Can Israel Achieve a Demilitarized Gaza? – David Horovitz interviews Col. Richard Kemp (Times of Israel)
(dailyalert.org, July 28, 2014)
Col. Richard Kemp, a former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, is notorious for his robust defense of the morality of Israel’s army and his empathy for the challenges Israel faces from Hamas and other Islamic extremist groups seeking its destruction.
He cautioned, “It’s preferable to end with a diplomatic solution only if and when the IDF believes there has been sufficient damage to Hamas and/or you are confident that Hamas is so restricted as to significantly reduce the threat it poses.”
He did recommend something Israel could do to boost its security – encroaching deeper into Gaza to carve out “a more substantial buffer zone that would provide some defense against the cross border tunnels.” But he immediately acknowledged that there would be heavy international criticism for the removal of Gaza’s civilian population that this would entail.
“The language of extreme violence has more leverage here [in this region]. But that’s not on the table in the 21st century….That’s not feasible or desirable.” Therefore, he concluded, “You’re in an enduring situation….It’s a matter of containment, rather than resolution.”
He added, “As the Gaza lessons show, how could Israel possibly come to any agreement with the Palestinian Authority which would allow them full sovereignty in the West Bank? Maybe in 20, 50 years. But in the world today, it’s not possible for Israel, with its security needs, to withdraw its forces significantly from the West Bank.”
Israel deserves full support for what is a “legal, lawful operation, [a case of] Israel defending itself,” he said. When that full support is not forthcoming, that encourages the extremists.
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole interview…Ed.)