I live in small town America. Rockford, Illinois to be exact. Our home town paper The Rockford Register Star is not known for its pro Israeli views. We get the usual newswire stuff about how the Israelis are oppressing the Palestinians.
Imagine my surprise then, seeing almost two pages in the Sunday editorial section praising Israel for the Gaza pullout and putting the ball in the Palestinian court. And who were the authors of the pieces? Not the usual Palistinian apologists. Nope. We got Max Boot. Yossi Klein Halevi. Aharon Kleinman.
The headline? Israel's wishful Gaza thinking. What was the gist of the piece? That the Israelis shouldn't expect the Palestinians to respond in kind and work to live in peace.
Max Boot was especially harsh on the Palestinians. He expects that Gaza will turn into another failed terrorist state.
If, following the Israeli pullout, Gaza becomes another training ground for Islamo-fascist fanatics - a successor to Afghanistan under the Taliban - the resulting terrorists will find the U.S. and Europe much easier targets than Israel, which is the world's most heavily defended state. Irony of ironies, perhaps in a few years enlightened Westerners will rue the day when Israel gave up control of Gaza.That one paragraph alone is a very big dividend for the Gaza pullout.
I thought the Gaza move was a good idea when it was first announced. I think my optimism was justified. It has changed the terms of the debate.