TO THE READER: This article was written in June of 1995, but is still very relevant to Israel's security.
The most often quoted and least understood argument of the current "Land for Peace" debate is: In the Age of Ballistic Missiles, the land of the West Bank and the Golan is unimportant for Israeli security. Since the very existence of Israel is being gambled on the presumed "correctness" of the "In the Age of Missiles" argument, it would be prudent to examine this concept in the context of the Arab- Israeli conflict.
Would Syria or Iran stop or delay their longrange ballistic missile programs if Israel were to give up both the entire Golan Heights and the entire West Bank? Israel will barely be able to keep the Syrian Golan "demilitarized," let alone neuter Syria's missile program or Syria's desire to use them. If history is any judge, even though Israel gave back the entire Sinai, Egypt under the code name "Project T," continues to build missiles which can destroy Israel. In fact, Egypt is so advanced in its missile program that British Aerospace (no charitable organization) recently withdrew from the Egyptian missile project for fear of uncontrolled proliferation (Jane's Defense Weekly 519/92). And as for Iran, Israel could withdraw to the 1947 U.N. Partition lines and also vacate the entire West Jerusalem, and Iran will still buy No-Dong missiles from North Korea with the openly declared intent to annihilate the "Zionist Entity."
And as for the Palestinians, they do not even have missiles to begin with. However, the Rabin Government is creating a "demilitarized" West Bank Palestinian State, with virtually no Israeli border control and zero Israel "internal security." Consequently, Israel will be helpless to stop Hamas and other "radicals" from smuggling Katyusha rocket parts into the West Bank. The Hamas West Bank Katyushas would easily be able to hit Israel's densely populated Tel Aviv coastal plain.
Katyushas have many military advantages over missiles. Firstly, the Palestinian government can (conveniently "deny" responsibility for "Hamas" fired Katyushas. Secondly, Katyushas can carry a low-tech readily available chemical warhead. The first Katyusha to hit Tel Aviv would put the entire Jewish population into an uncontrolled panic and cripple Israel's mobilization. Additionally, since Tel Aviv apartment houses run on gas, the multiple launched rockets can easily ignite secondary gas main explosions.
The West Bank Katyushas would be so small, mobile and dispersed, it would be impossible to retaliate or stop rockets from inflicting debilitating un-conventional attacks on Tel Aviv.
Because the West Bank is Israel's watershed, Israel would not be able to un-conventionally retaliate against the West Bank like it can against Syria, Iran or Egypt. Therefore, by Israel's ceding of the West Bank to the Palestinians, Israel not only would fail to minimize the extant missile threat but also creates for itself a devastating West Bank Katyusha rocket threat.
In addition, it always appears that those who quote the "In the Age of Missiles" argument, act as if the world just discovered missiles in the 1992 Iraq Gulf War. However, historically, Nazi Germany's V-2s (the grandfather of the Scuds) killed over 3,000 British civilians in World War II. Did Winston Churchill ever say that "now in the age of missiles" we have to give Hitler a bridgehead on the British Isle? Further, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union possessed nuclear-tipped missiles which could destroy the entire United States seventy times over. Did any U.S. president ever suggest ceding a single inch of the strategically irrelevant Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba? No! The entire non-Jewish world successfully works on the sound strategic principle "Peace through Strength."
Only when it comes to the compromise of Israeli Jewish lands that were attained in defensive wars, does the canard that "land is unimportant" magically take on the allure "strategic logic." Only when it comes to the easy spilling of Jewish blood do Jews and non-Jews alike grasp at the flimsiest and most ill-conceived-of "strategic theory.
And lastly, the Israeli Jewish people's eager "parroting" of a 60 obviously flawed "strategic logic" masks a much more ominous "tiredness." And this being the case, the Israeli people should clearly understand that the Rabin government's retreat is not "high-tech enhancement of security" but is, in reality, an absolute surrender which exposes the entire nation to an almost certain annihilation. The Jews have already been told once this century that an "Auschwitz" was safe.
Unlike the doomed Jews of the Nazi Europe Holocaust, the Israelis have a powerful army which can easily hold the present line or, if need be, protect a complete evacuation of the entire Jewish population of Israel to somewhere else.
On its present course, the Rabin Government is "herding" the people of Israel into "Auschwitz" borders while telling its people that they will not sacrifice security." The Israeli people should understand the stark reality that faces them and make existential decisions based on hard facts, not on a "mirage of peace" wrapped in false logic.
Mark Langfan is a New York attorney and military analyst for the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies. He is responsible for the three dimensional topographical map of Israel used worldwide to explain strategic issues.