by Prof. Ron Breiman
The most prominent achievement of Operation Protective Edge was not properly manifested in the stated goals of the operation -- weakening Hamas, without toppling it. This achievement, if properly maintained, can be used to protect Israel from the threat of a renewed "peace process," which would be based on the erroneous premise that the establishment of an enemy state in the heart of Israel would bring about peace. Anyone with eyes has seen the dangers since "peace" broke out in 1993. Those who have yet to sober up should observe the consequences of the wintry Arab Spring. Those who do so will understand that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, like his brothers in Hamas, is a problem, not a solution.
The extreme hate-filled speech Abbas gave at the U.N. General Assembly meeting over the weekend can be viewed with a glass half-full approach -- he did Israel a favor by revealing to even the peace delusionists in Israel and the wider world his true face, which is that of a bitter enemy. He is no different than his partners in Hamas. Their goals are the same and even their styles are not that dissimilar. Abbas and Hamas comprise an axis of evil and therefore Israel must not advance suicidal plans under the guise of a peace process.
Abbas must not be strengthened while Hamas is weakened. The partial nature of Israel's achievements in the war means that it must ready itself for the renewal of fighting -- it will come, because full deterrence was not established. Israel must not dance around the golden calf of "peace" by bolstering Abbas and Hamas.
Despite the erosion of public support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he is still popular and polls show that voters see no suitable alternatives to him. In fact, despite the drop in his poll numbers, Netanyahu stands heads and shoulders above his political rivals who are seeking to oust him. Operation Protective Edge gave Netanyahu two types of "diplomatic horizons." In my opinion, Netanyahu should immediately make clear that his duty as prime minister of the Jewish state is to ensure a diplomatic horizon for the Jews, not their enemies.
However, it would be wrong for the 72 Israelis who died in Operation Protective Edge to serve as a silver platter for the flawed diplomatic horizon of installing Abbas in Gaza and strengthening him in Judea and Samaria, backed by IDF bayonets. This was not what the IDF was meant for.
Netanyahu must not return to paying protection money to the enemy in Ramallah, in the form of the release of terrorists, a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria or aiding the reconstruction of Gaza. If, God forbid, Netanyahu is tempted by the reckless advice from the Left, he could lose his support from the Right. Likud ministers will refuse to publicly back him if he is suspected of marching down the foolish Oslo path, and the heads of Habayit Hayehudi and Yisraeli Beytenu will continue to bash him for not toppling Hamas.
If it becomes clear that Netanyahu's diplomatic horizon is what the Left and many media outlets hope it will be, the disappointed Right will not fall in love with Netanyahu again and he could pay a heavy political price. But if Netanyahu wants to improve the country's situation, he must mold the diplomatic horizon in line with his promises and advance Israel's interests. As I see it, he must, first and foremost, deny the theoretical connection between peace and a Palestinian state, as these are a contradiction in terms.
The Zionist vision, not "peace," must be Israel's top priority. The government should focus on gathering the Jewish people in their homeland, which would increase the chances of true peace.
Professor Ron Breiman is the former chairman of Professors for a Strong Israel.
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