Caroline B. Glick wrote on JWR The nature of the war being waged against Israel changed, perhaps irreversibly this week. Processes that have been developing for more than four years came together this week and brought us to a very different military-political reality than that which we have known until now.
The face of the enemy has changed. If in the past it was possible to say that the war being waged against Israel was unique and distinct from the global jihad, after the events of the past week, it is no longer possible to credibly make such a claim.
I never thought there was a differenceFour events that occurred this week — the attacks in the Sinai; the release of Osama bin Laden's audiotape; the release of Abu Musab Zarqawi's videotape; and the arrest of Hamas terrorists by Jordan — all proved clearly that today it is impossible to separate the wars. The new situation has critical consequences for the character of the campaign that the IDF must fight to defend Israel and for the nature of the policies that the incoming government of Israel must adopt and advance.... But today everything has changed. Israel, like Egypt and Jordan, is under the gun. Bin Laden himself made this clear in his tape this week. By placing Hamas under his protection, bin Laden made three moves at once. First, he announced that the Palestinians are no longer independent actors.
One wonders whether the Palestinians will accept that fact.Second, he defined the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority as a part of the liberated Islamic lands where al Qaida can feel at home.
They need some place to call home, because the Iraqis certainly are not welcoming them.Third, he hitched a ride on the Palestinian issue which is more popular in the Islamic world than the Iraq war, where al Qaida is apparently on the road to defeat. For his part, Zarqawi already announced his plan to go back to his old war and work to topple the Hashemites (and destroy Israel) last November, after he commanded the Amman hotel suicide bombings. Back then Zarqawi announced that Jordan was but a stop on the road to the conquest of Jerusalem.... In his manuscript, Adel laid out al Qaida's intentions for the third stage of the jihad. He explained that the organization needed new bases and was looking for a failed state or states to settle in. Darfour, Somalia, Lebanon and Gaza were all identified as possible options. As the American author and al Qaida investigator Richard Miniter puts it, "US forces together with the Kenyans and the Ethiopians have pretty much prevented al Qaida from basing in Somalia or Darfour. That left only Lebanon with all its problems with its various political factions, overlords and the UN. But then suddenly, like manna from Heaven, Israel simply gave them the greatest gift al Qaida ever received when Ariel Sharon decided to give them Gaza."
It was not a gift, out of his generous heart. He just found that it did not make sense to send a lot of military to die defending a handful of settlers.Israel, he explains, provided al Qaida with the best base it has ever had. Not only is Gaza located in a strategically vital area — between the sea, Egypt and Israel. It is also fairly immune from attack since the Kadima government will be unwilling to reconquer the area.
Kadima is unlikely to want to reconquer Gaza, but now that there are no Jewish settlements there, it may decide to just carpet bomb the entire area, as a response to the rocket attacks.