When Hirsh Goodman speaks about the destiny of Israel, people listen.
After the dust has settled and Israel concludes its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, a key issue will be whether the move will enhance its security or not. Will it be perceived as a "victory for terror" as the right wing has claimed, or a "base for Islamic terror" as former Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said? Or will it enhance Israel's overall security posture? There is absolutely no question at all that from a security perspective this move will in the short, medium and long run only enhance Israel's security.
The Gaza settlements were a strategic dinosaur. They were built in the early 1970s as a buffer between a hostile Egypt and a hostile Gaza. Israel has been at peace with Egypt for almost three decades. The nearest Egyptian gun or tank to the border with Israel is on the other side of the Suez Canal, hundreds of kilometers away. Given the massive military outlay in protecting the 8,000 or so settlers, Gush Katif had turned from a strategic asset to a strategic burden.
The reason Goodman's words carry extra authority will become clear to anyone who reads his excellent new memoir, "Let Me Create a Paradise, God Said To Himself: A Journey of Conscience From Johannesburg to Jerusalem" (Perseus Books Group). Anyone who equates Israel with an apartheid state should be left in a quiet room with a copy of the book. If anyone can compare the old South Africa with the current Israel, it's Goodman.
The motive driving suicide volunteers is revenge. They have stopped fighting to liberate Palestine.
The motive driving suicide volunteers is revenge. They have stopped fighting to liberate Palestine. They have suspended the dream of a state. They now dream of killing as many Jews as possible, of revenge, of making life in Israel impossible -- and they truly believe they can do it.
When the editors of The Jewish Journal, along withpublisher Stanley Hirsh, started planning an issue to commemorateIsrael's 50th anniversary, we were committed to something other thana "coffee-table" paper. We wanted it to be highly readable andentertaining, definitely, but also filled with stories and newsarticles that were immediate and compelling and newsworthy -- notjust gloss or an endless series of superlatives.