What Israel Must Do

Israel must choke off the endless supply of weapons and missiles into Gaza by repossessing the Philadelphi Corridor -- the narrow strip of land separating Egypt from the Gaza Strip. It should do this as a most basic but vital military act for its own security and survival. It can still do so while only Hamas rules in the Gaza Strip and should have done so long ago.

There is now no more need for smuggling tunnels beneath the Egypt/Gaza border. Instead, endless fleets of trucks openly bring into the Strip from Egypt -- the big Muslim Brotherhood -- the most sophisticated weapons and missiles from Libya and Iran needed by Hamas -- the little Muslim Brotherhood. Only by possessing the Philadelphi Corridor again can Israel hope to stem this lethal tide.

The question is, will Israeli leaders continue the same fearful and timid policies that too many have shown when dealing with the Quartet, the U.N., the Obama Administration, and the EU.

I fear Israel will find that the Gaza Strip becomes an appendage of a new Islamic Republic of Egypt. Gaza has always been a perilous finger pointing into the very heart of the Jewish state. Now it will become even more so, backed by an Egypt armed with enormous and highly lethal amounts of weaponry previously supplied by the U.S. over many years and still -- despite Egypt's hatred towards America and the West -- showered with millions of dollars by President Obama.

Repossessing the Philadelphi Corridor will no doubt evoke screams of rage from the morally compromised world, but they will always condemn Israel however peacefully the Jewish state acts. So it is surely better to be hung in the media and the international corridors of power as a lion than a sheep.

Retaking the Philadelphi Corridor is definitely Israel's only hope of security and the most effective way to choke off the importation into the terrorist infested Gaza Strip of yet more lethal and sophisticated weaponry.

When the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed in 1979, the 14 km long security and buffer zone known as the Philadelphi Corridor was under Israel's control. Its purpose was to prevent weapons entering the Gaza Strip from Egypt to be used against Israel.

The Oslo Accords, signed in 1995, allowed Israel to retain the security corridor along the border but it soon became apparent that Sinai Bedouin and the Palestinian Arabs were digging ever more sophisticated smuggling tunnels under the border.

Condoleezza Rice, when Secretary of State, urged Israel to vacate the vital security strip separating Egyptian Sinai from the Gaza Strip as a peaceful gesture to the Palestinian Arabs: Another land for peace disaster in which the Arabs always receive land but in which the Israelis never receive peace.

Following the infamous and tragic disengagement from Gaza in 2005, forced upon the Jewish villagers in Gush Katif by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel also gave up control of the Philadelphi Corridor to the Palestinian Authority in September of that year.

Meanwhile, massive smuggling continued. It was only a matter of time before Hamas, the little Muslim Brotherhood, evicted their Fatah rivals in a bloody coup in 2007. Hamas, with its charter calling for Israel's extermination, has ruled the Gaza Strip since then, including occupying the Philadelphi Corridor.

In a meeting several years ago in West Jerusalem, Ahmed Qurei, the former Palestinian Authority prime minister and member of Fatah, the Palestinian rival to Hamas but nevertheless hardly moderate, asked Tzipi Livni, a left-winger and former Israeli foreign minister, if Israel would re-occupy the Philadelphi corridor to seal the border and cut off supplies to its arch rival, Hamas. Apparently Livni did nothing and Hamas, as we know, has been greatly strengthened militarily ever since.

So take it, Israel, and take it soon, for the Muslim Brotherhood neither sleeps nor rests, and time in this instance is most assuredly not on Israel's side.

Should there be yet another attempt to create a fraudulent ceasefire arranged with Hamas, it is imperative for the Jewish state not to be lulled yet again into a sense of false security. The terror will continue so long as Israel and the IDF merely retaliates sporadically against future Muslim Arab crimes against the Jewish state's civilian population.

As one person, commenting on a blog, stated: "Israel's taking out rocket launchers is like giving aspirin for cancer. It's only a band aid -- not a cure."

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of the trilogy, Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state. Available from www.LuluPress.com  and www.amazon.com