By Schmoel Yitzhak
There is a simple arithmetical equation to explain Middle East politics.
Israel gives an inch and the Arabs take a mile.
It happens over and over again and yet the judgmental world X-raying Israel seems blind to the obvious.
The evolving situation in Gaza is a good starting point for the explanation.
In 1967, Israel won a war started by the Arabs and did so whenever the assaults were repeated. As a result, Israelis settled in Gaza establishing industry, producing fruits and vegetables, making the land better.
Palestinians demonized the move and harassed the settlements at every turn. Finally, in a moment of soft-headed senility or a sagacious concession to peace -- YOU take your pick -- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon chose to vacate all Jewish habitation in the Strip.
This was a difficult decision because Jews in Gaza did not want to leave and they had every reason to fight the eviction process. But Sharon was convinced that the forced exit would produce long-range peace. And who could quarrel with the PM's thinking. The end of 2005 saw 21 settlements dismantled and 8,000 Israelis uprooted.
Here he was showing the Arabs that he will unilaterally give up some of the most advanced cultivation of a hitherto arid land with no questions asked. A rational person would assume that such a gesture would receive a reciprocal glad hand and some sort of entente cordiale could be established between the conflicting parties.
Sharon's glad hand earned him an eventual slap in the face. For starters, the Palestinians systematically destroyed everything Jewish, from the hothouses to the synagogues. The Arabs preferred scorched earth to cultivation.
That in itself could be tolerated. After all, it was peace that the Israelis sought.
So, here's what the Sharon gesture ultimately earned in return: for eight years Hamas has fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. This was WAR in no uncertain terms; except that the United Nations did not think so. Not a single UN resolution was passed condemning the assaults. Not one.
When Israel retaliated it was condemned by the UN Human Rights Council. As one commentator noted, "By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as criminals."
Now imagine if thousands of rockets were fired by a hostile Canada at the United States. Or that an irate Mexico sent barrage after barrage into Texas. For how many minutes would Uncle Sam tolerate that?
Maybe five -- and then the counterattacks would begin.
Israel's response was patience, patience and more patience -- until it finally ran out and Operation Cast Lead was launched. It was done with precision so that a minimum of damage was done to the civilian population.
Of course it was impossible to avoid civilian casualties among the Arabs because Hamas was firing missiles from homes and schools. Mosques were weapons depots. Ambulances were used to move explosives.
Eventually a truce was declared and the assumption was that, once and for all, missile attacks on Israel would be over and some sort of calm would be restored; not for a day, not for a month but for a long, long time.
But since the Palestinians remain dedicated to the extermination of Israel, it was inevitable that the attacks would be resumed and they were.
No surprise there. For 62 years the Arabs have sidestepped a permanent peace yet Jew-hating throughout the world keeps increasing.
In Malmo, Sweden, Jews have emigrated because of constant harassment by the growing Muslim population.
In Seattle, Washington, buses are carrying posters condemning Israel for Operation Cast Lead as if there was no reason for Israel to retaliate against the aggression.
In Washington, D.C. there is a president who badly treated Israel's prime minister, There is a chief executive who has yet to visit the only democracy in the Middle East. Barack Obama's policies have encouraged isolation of Israel, no more no less.
The Gaza pullout earned no gains for Israel. The way Arabs think, it proved that Israel has gone soft, if not just plain loco.
Israel must fight back on all fronts because the threats are growing.
Bibi's government needs more friends like American publisher Rupert Murdoch; someone who knows the score and won't bow to the left-wing philosophy of politically correct.
"The world of 2010 is not the world of the 1930s," says Murdoch. "The threats Jews face today are different. But these threats are real. These threats are soaked in the ugly language familiar to anyone old enough to remember World War II.
"And these threats cannot be addressed until we see them for what they are: part of an ongoing war against the Jews."
That war not only is being launched in Gaza, Iran, Lebanon and Syria but in the Unites States as well.
Anti-Israel billboards on Seattle buses say it all.
"This," adds Murdoch, "is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it."
Israel must win this war and cannot give an inch because that kind of concession invites even more missile barrages!