by Caroline Glick
A few weeks shy of the tenth anniversary of
Nearly hidden between the two puff pieces was a little article titled "We told you so."
It featured an interview with retired far-left Knesset member Yossi Sarid who opposed the withdrawal. Sarid told Yediot that in hindsight, he's glad the withdrawal went through even though it led directly to the wars that followed. Following Sarid's self-congratulatory modesty, Yediot gave former defense minister Moshe Arens and Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau a sound bite apiece to lash out at the withdrawal. That base covered, the paper dismissed them both as "right-wingers."
ALTHOUGH UPSETTING, Yediot's treatment of the
Yediot praised the retreat as a work of operational genius because no one was wounded, kidnapped or killed during the 48-hour operation. Of course, by presenting force protection as the IDF's highest goal, the paper ignored basic strategic realities.
The fact is that the withdrawal was an operational fiasco. In its rush to the border, the IDF left behind huge quantities of sensitive equipment that Hizbullah commandeered.
The withdrawal was a military defeat. It weakened
The soldiers were killed and
The withdrawal was a regional failure. Immediately after the withdrawal, Palestinian Authority chairman Yassir Arafat ordered Fatah chief Marwan Barghouti to prepare for war. Acting on Arafat's orders, Barghouti formed the Aksa Brigades terror cells comprised of Fatah members and the Popular Resistance Committee terror network that combined Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells.
Four months later, after Arafat rejected Barak's offer of Palestinian statehood at
The withdrawal was a political failure. To justify his decision to surrender south
This historically false, intuitively nutty assertion gave credence to the false Arab-Leftist narrative which argues that
AS HIZBULLAH'S subsequent build-up, continued aggression and eventual de facto takeover of the Lebanese government all showed, Hizbullah was not an Israeli creation. It was formed by Teheran to serve the needs of the ayatollahs. Its continued existence, strength and aggression are dictated not by Israeli actions but by Iranian interests.
So too, the wider Arab conflict with Israel predated the 1967 Six Day War and it won't end if Israel shrinks into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. It won't end until either
The withdrawal from
For ten years
CONSIDER THE following representative extract from the paper's interview with Barak.
Q: The most significant argument [against the withdrawal] is that the withdrawal is what built-up Hizbullah. That we are responsible for its increased strength.
A: That is...completely incorrect. When we left Hizbullah already had 7,000 rockets, which is nearly twice what they fired during the second
"Hizbullah's biggest build-up happened six years after the withdrawal, after the Second
"I suggest that we set aside the comforting story we tell ourselves that we supposedly built them up. We didn't build them up and there's no reason in the world to think, from everything I know about reality, that if we were in
So we built them up but we have to set aside the comforting fable that we built them up. They were formed because we were in
And how did Yediot respond to Barak's pearls of strategic wisdom?
Q: You never stop talking about leadership and making courageous decisions. But you're not a commentator. You are Defense Minister and one of the most important people in the Israeli government. Ten years after the withdrawal and four years after the Second
This exchange - which is in no way unique - makes two things clear. First, Barak would rather say foolish things than acknowledge the harsh truth of his strategic misstep. Second, led by Yediot, the media prefer to portray Barak's buffoonery as courageous statecraft than acknowledge the massive cost of his failure.
THE QUESTION is why are they acting this way? From Barak's perspective, the answer is clear. Telling the truth would force him to acknowledge that his tenure as prime minister was a disaster for the country. Moreover, if Barak were ever courageous enough to acknowledge his failure, rather than listen to what he had to say, the media would shove him into the right-wing ghetto with Arens and Landau. He would lose his status as a brilliant strategist and be castigated as an ideologue.
The media's commitment to prolonging the fiction that the withdrawal was a stroke of brilliance and blocking all debate on issue stems from the fact that the withdrawal from
Since the withdrawal, the media have ignored its military consequences. They pretended Hizbullah's abduction of Sawayid, Avitan and Avraham, its cross border attack in Shlomi in 2002, and its military build-up were unrelated to the withdrawal. So too, as far as the media are concerned, Hizbullah's electoral and extra-electoral takeover of the Lebanese government and its decision to initiate the Second Lebanon War were all wholly unconnected to the IDF's withdrawal.
The media have ignored the withdrawal's regional consequences. They preferred to give credence to Arafat's claim that the Palestinian terror was a popular Palestinian response to Ariel Sharon's visit to the
They ignored the political consequences of the withdrawal. They opted to support the Arab-Leftist narrative that if
When people wonder why
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