by Kathleen Malley-Morrison & Ed Agro
Monday’s engagingpeace post discussed the opposition of General Dwight D. Eisenhower to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although it is easy to stereotype military commanders as always believing that the only tools available in their fight against designated enemies are death and destruction, there are other recent examples of leaders who do not promote endless war.
In a recent (June 29, 2016) Associated Press article by Dan Perry and Joseph Federman, we learn that “An extraordinary array of former top commanders are now criticizing Netanyahu in increasingly urgent terms, accusing him of mishandling the Palestinian issue and allying with extremists who are bent on dismantling Israel’s democracy.”
More specifically, and more dramatically, “a group representing more than 200 retired leaders in Israel’s military, police, Mossad spy service, and Shin Bet security agency presented a plan to help end the half-century occupation of the Palestinians through unilateral steps, including disavowing claims to over 90 percent of the West Bank and freezing Jewish settlement construction in such areas.
The movement, called Commanders for Israel’s Security, reflects an increasingly widespread assessment that Israel is drifting catastrophically toward permanent entanglement with the Palestinians and conflict with the world community.”
These courageous and long-overdue recommendations of the Commanders would move Israel in the direction of compliance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (Partition Plan) of November 29, 1947, and away from the violence that continues today.
We have one point of disagreement with the Perry and Federman article. They state: “Complicating the picture is that the Gaza pullout ended badly from Israel’s perspective: Hamas militants took it over, leading to three wars between the sides.”
This assertion misses the fact that Hamas was elected in a process all observers considered to be fair; it was only after Israel, with American help, declared that election to be illegitimate that Hamas returned to armed resistance. Another thing that’s not well known is that Hamas was formed years ago with the help of Israeli fifth-columnists as a way to weaken the Palestinian Authority and render rational discussion impossible.
Overall, the Perry and Federman article is excellent, very informative and heartening! It’s taken years to reach recognition that Israel cannot continue its current policies, even with the self-serving military and economic assistance of the U.S. government. Let’s hope reason and humanity prevail. Let’s hope the wrong-headed Netanyahu government falls and Israel finally joins the Middle East. And not to forget, the Israeli/Palestinian anti-Apartheid (for want of a better word) activists have been working against insuperable odds for many many years.