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The Jews of Gaza By: Michael Welner M.D.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, January 17, 2005

Is there a more grotesquely forsaken community of democrats than the Israeli Jews living in Gaza? These peaceful residents face an uncertain future. Several thousand strong, they have provided a buffer zone for Israel, stemming the tide of Islamo-chaos. Now, the more secure Israelis, while shielded by these frontline Jews, deem them expendable. Even the Bush administration watches silently as Israeli Gazans absorb a barrage of missiles from the terrorists Israel seeks to appease.

Legitimizing the move to uproot these Jews is none other than Ariel Sharon. As the Prime Minister sacrifices fellow Israelis on the altar of intolerance, other Israelis fear that this political gamble will only encourage Arabs seeking to occupy much more than Gaza. Why else do the terrorist bombings continue during Israel's unilateral concession?

Perhaps Israelis in Gaza are not the problem -- which would explain why proposals for their removal do nothing to satisfy Palestinian terrorists and the masses that support them. Could it be that Gaza's Jews are part of the key to peace?! In the decades when Palestinians in Gaza nursed devotedly at the breast of UNRWA, the area's Jewish residents built modern, self-sufficient communities from uncultivated scratch.  In their rise to prosperity, these Israelis have employed Palestinians, respected Muslim differences, and--most importantly--provided a window to the value of Western progress.

Like the happy family living next door to a drug addict, Israeli Gazans' success shows the violent and destitute that other behavioral paths exist. The contrast between an agro-economy with industrial marketplaces and a warlike community that channels investment to tunnels, rockets, and bombs is bound to catch the attention of Palestinians. Blaming Israeli Gazans for violence in the region, as many people do, makes as little sense as identifying the Mideast conflict as the cause of human rights abuses within Arab non-democracies.

Israelis, desperate to end terrorism, identify Gaza as one final bone to throw to the Palestinians.  They choose to accept the validity of Arab demands rather than to insist on Israel's right for a buffer zone before its enemies. In Europe, citizens downplay the growing threat of radical Islam in their own countries.  Can they stop the Islamist tidal wave by dismantling Israel, piece by piece?  Not if Gaza's Israelis represent little more than the range--to date--of missiles launched from Palestinian territories.

Arab forces do not enjoy great military success. They have proven adept, however, at instilling self-doubt in Israelis and Americans. The coming carnage in Jew-free Gaza, when rockets begin hitting their Israeli targets, will be the bitter fruit of America and Israel's hopeful naivete. Why does it take the Munich massacre, the Yom Kippur War, the fraudulent Mohammad al-Durra, the disembowelment in Ramallah, the desecration of Joseph's Tomb and the Netanya Passover bombing for Israelis to recognize the true aims of pan-Arab nationalism?

History tells us that Israel's neighbors seek peace only after Israel stamps out the threats that face it. If Palestinians flow to Gaza, they should come peacefully -- to work alongside the progressive Israelis willing to coexist with Arab enemies.  Let them one day become former enemies.

Dr. Michael Welner, one of America's leading forensic psychiatrists, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA. He has authored published works on the psychology of terrorism, and is
architect of The Depravity Scale (
www.depravityscale.org), which distinguishes the most heinous of offenses for sentencing in war crimes and jury proceedings.

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