Here is a good piece on the threats Israel faces from South Lebanon and Gaza.
Published: June 2, 2010
Updated: June 3, 2010 6:36 a.m.
Rabbi David Eliezrie: Israel must control its own security
By RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE
President of the Rabbinical Council of Orange CountyStory Highlights
By displacing nearly 10,000 Jews from Gaza five years ago, Israel had hoped that it would become an oasis of hope and prosperity. Hamas has transformed it into a terrorist state.
If you want to find out why Israelis are worried about Gaza, all you have to do is take a look at South Lebanon. Hamas' ideological twin, Hezbollah, is in control. In the wake of the recent war, the UN promised to ensure that Hezbollah would not rearm. Today they are bristling with thousands of missiles, many that can reach deep into Israel with the potential to strike Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They arrive overland via Syria and by sea along the Lebanese coast. Many observers fear the arms buildup by Hezbollah could lead to a deadly conflict this summer in Israel's north.
Hamas is not as strong as Hezbollah. Israel's embargo blocked sophisticated weapons. Still, it has launched over 7,000 missiles into Israel in recent years. This week there were several attempts. Their weaponry is primitive, the range just 10 or 20 miles; however, if you live in places like the border town of Sderot, you live under constant fear. If the embargo is lifted in Gaza, arms will flow from Iran to Gaza like they do in Lebanon. The threat is not theoretical; Hamas has proven its intentions. Its charter states that its goal is not just to annihilate Israel, but Jews the world over.
Rabbi David Eliezrie: Israel must control its own security.
Imagine if al-Qaida was camped out in Tijuana and Iran was shipping them missiles. Would the U.S. Coast Guard allow the importation? Would the Obama administration stand by as a terrorist group armed itself with lethal weapons that could reach as far as Los Angeles? American military is on the ground in Afghanistan. Drones search out al-Qaida over Pakistan to prevent terrorist groups from threatening the U.S. Should Israel be able to protect its borders?
Almost five years ago, Israel left Gaza. They dismantled Jewish communities and forced close to 10,000 Jews to relocate. The claim by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was that Israel would show the world they wanted peace. Israeli military leaders opposed the move saying it would endanger Israeli security. Today, it's clear this was a major mistake. Sharon hoped the Arabs would seize the opportunity to create an oasis of hope and prosperity. Instead, Hamas created a terrorist state.
Lacking control over the territory, Israel cannot prevent Gaza from becoming a center of hostility that could lead to war. At the least it can control is border to limit arms shipment.
Israel has learned the hard way that diplomatic concessions only empower an enemy whose goal is the eradication of the Jewish State. More concessions will only increase Israel's vulnerability. Some are pushing Israel to leave the West Bank and create another Palestinian entity. Clearly, that is an untenable idea. Withdrawing from the mountain tops in the West Bank that dominate the coastal plain will create a third front in the war of attrition that the Arabs are waging. Instead of border towns, the urban centers of Israel will be under direct missile range.
The incidents of the last few days have shown Israelis two important things: First, they cannot depend on other nations to ensure their security. The UN failed miserably in preventing the reaming of Hezbollah. The immediate condemnation of Israel's defending itself by nations worldwide prove, yet again, that there is a double standard for the Jewish state. Second, concessions only empower the Arabs to demand more and put Israel at greater risk.
Leaving Lebanon created an opportunity for Hezbollah to dominate that country; leaving Gaza was an entry to Hamas. These two groups share the Iran's aspirations to destroy Israel. Time and again Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened to destroy Israel. He is arming these groups to further his goal. The Jewish community has learned that we should take our enemies at their word. In 1940, we made the profound mistake of not taking the threats of another despot seriously. The result was the death of six million Jews. Hamas is promising the same. Is Israel supposed to allow it to import the arms to fulfill its goals?
Rabbi David Eliezrie is the president of the Rabbinical Council of Orange County. His email is [email protected]