(The photos posted on the right show the tragic progression of the famous greenhouses of Gaza from cornucopia of prosperity under Israel pre-2005 to desolate launching pad for Palestinian hate today.)
Israel's pre-eminent opinion columnist, Ze'ev Schiff, writing in today's Haaretz, turns the rhetorical question into a true enquiry: Does anyone remember, he asks, and is anyone interested in truly understanding, what there is to learn about the abandonment by Israel of the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and the lessons that have followed?
Well, Schiff doesn't exactly ask it that way.
But if he had, we would have agreed wholeheartedly with the question. He makes some powerful "emperor-is-naked" points. Here are some extracts from his essay "If that's how they act in Gaza".
The armed Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip are demonstrating once again what has become a norm among the Palestinians - that the agreements to which their leaders commit have no value. It's enough just to listen to Palestinian citizens complaining about how the cease-fire agreements there have no meaning. Agreements are made and signed, and immediately violated. In this latest round of violence, the warring parties have already decided on a cease-fire five times. Each time, within hours, they were back to killing each other and injuring bystanders in the process. If this is how they behave among themselves, why should they be any more scrupulous in abiding by agreements with outside elements such as Israel, Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt? This is an important lesson that Israel must learn from the recent events in Gaza.The whole piece makes for a compelling, depressing analysis. Let those who say "Israel should" and "Israel must" read this before they open their frequently-ill-informed, dangerous mouths with Pollyannish suggestions that encourage national suicide via the express track.