Date of Report: June 2, 2005.
Fact: President Bush has turned down Prime Minister Sharon’s request for special financial assistance.
Fact: Israel’s best friends in Congress – who possess the Power of the Purse – have advised Israel to refrain from such a request. Congress operates within rigid budgetary caps, and under the constraints of a $500BN deficit and mounting cost in Iraq, Afghanistan and other sites of the war on global terrorism.
Fact: VP Chenney and Secretary Rumsfeld counsel against such a request, that could raid the Pentagon’s own budget, while financing an Israeli policy of retreat from terrorism, which would constitute a tail wind to regional and anti-US terrorism.
Fact: President Clinton promised Israel $800MN for the withdrawal from South Lebanon. The funds have not been extended.
The immediate cost to Israel is $7b (similar to the annual defense budget!)
Fact: The cost of the Rafiah Salient Giveaway (to Egypt) was 15BN Shekels in June 1990 (3.3 shekels per dollar), which is equal to 30BN shekels in 2004 (4.5 per dollar and a one third decrease in the value of the dollar).
Fact: The cost of Gaza and Northern Samaria Giveaway could skyrocket to 44BN shekels, since it pertains to 8,000 residents with a 30 year tenure, compared with 5,000 residents with a 5 year tenure in Rafiah.
Fact: A minimalist estimate (ignoring the Rafiah precedent) could bring the cost down to 26BN shekels; 13.5BN for homes (including furniture and improvements), a two year adjustment payment and a 30 year compensation; 9.5BN shekels for jobs infrastructure; 3BN Shekels for roads, communications, electricity, water, sewage, classrooms, community structures and relocation of military installations.
Fact: The huge cost could halt the current economic recovery, worsen unemployment, increase taxes, impose mandatory government bonds, cut infrastructure expenditures, human services and subsidies of public transportation and gasoline, etc. The expected rise in terrorism would impose further cost.
Fact: The added cost would not be in return for peace accord. Rather than Land for Peace, this one will be Land for Economic Hardship, or – probably – Land for Terrorism, or Land for Recycled Non Binding Friendly Presidential Declarations
The Lethal Cost of the Giveaway
Fact: Prime Minister Sharon has himself stated: “Israeli evacuation of Gaza would transform Gaza’’s main square to a launching platform of missiles to Israel’’s Ashqelon… In 1970, Gaza was controlled by terrorists, because Israel evacuated the populated areas and the refugee camps… A flight from populated areas, and a failure to annihilate the threat in its incept, would require a much longer and a more difficult effort”(Ma’ariv, June 12, 1992).
Sharon’s recommendation is doubly relevant in 2004, with a less predictable world (than in 1992), a more explosive Mideast, more armed rogue regimes, a more horrific terrorism, and systematically and terroristically non-compliant PLO/PA.
Fact: Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, General Earl Wheeler: “Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Israel would reduce the hostile border by a factor of five, and eliminate a source for raids and training of (Palestinian terrorists). The Strip serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism, and its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage. By occupying the Strip, Israel would trade 45 miles of hostile border for eight.” (June 29, 1967 Memo on Israel MINIMAL requirements for security)”. Israel’’s control of gaza is a minimal requirement for its defense”