Michael Totten

Why Israel Has to Leave Now or Later

Pat Robertson proves himself a foreign policy dumbass twice in one week. First he pops off about assassinating Hugo Chavez. Now he rails against Israelis for doing what must, at some point, be done.


Pat Robertson, one of the leading television evangelists in the US, has sharply criticized the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and said God will judge those who leave parts of the land of Israel.
Speaking on his daily TV show aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson said “the almighty God said he was going to judge the nation which has parted from his land and that he was going to bring judgment upon that nation.”
Robertson’s comments on the Gaza withdrawal were quoted on the Christian Coalition of America Web site.
Robertson has been a long supporter of the settlement movement and a strong opponent of the disengagement plan. As many other evangelical leaders in the US, Robertson believes that the historic land of Israel should be under Jewish rule.

Israel has four options.
1) Rule the West Bank and Gaza forever while denying Palestinians citizenship and equal rights. Basically, this is the South African apartheid model. The fact that Israel acquired those lands in self-defense in 1967 doesn’t change that.
2) Grant citizenship and equal rights to Palestinians. This would make Jews an ethnic minority in Israel only a few years from now. They’ll never do it.
3) Forcibly relocate (in other words, ethnically cleanse) Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza.
4) Withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza.
A debate over when Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza is an argument worth having. Perhaps it’s best that Sharon is pulling out of Gaza now. Maybe it would be better if he waited. We won’t really know for certain until we can look back in hindsight and see what happens next.
But if “Israel should be under Jewish rule” forever, as Pat Robertson claims, that means Israel has to choose one of the first three options. None are even remotely viable. Jewish morality and experience rightly forbids options one and three. Hardly anyone on either the Israeli or the Palestinian side has any desire to see option two implemented. That leaves only option four. The West Bank and Gaza will not, cannot, remain under Jewish rule. Israelis leave now or later because they have no other choice.


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