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 Congressional Leaders Worry About Appeasement
Some congressional leaders worry Gaza pullout amounts to appeasement
Geostrategy-Direct, www.geostrategy-direct.com, August 2, 2005

Nobody in the Republican-controlled Congress wants to be seen as 
opposing the wishes of both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the 
Bush administration. But quietly, the unilateral Israeli pullout from 
the Gaza Strip is making some prominent House and Senate members 

Over the past few weeks, these legislators have been briefed by leading 
Israeli and U.S. strategists over the impact of the Israeli pullout.

The briefers have not been unanimous in their assessment. But virtually 
all raised the prospect of the Gaza Strip turning into another Somalia, 
or a terrorist haven hosted by a dysfunctional Palestinian Authority. 
The terrorists would certainly include members of the Iranian-sponsored 
Hizbullah as well as Al Qaida.

One scenario envisioned that Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi would use the Gaza 
Strip to recruit Palestinians for the Sunni insurgency in Iraq as well 
as for operations in neighboring Jordan. Another scenario was that Gaza 
would be used as a launching pad for attacks on U.S. and NATO shipping 
in the eastern Mediterranean.

Rep. Dan Burton, an Indiana Republican and regarded as one of the most 
security-minded members of the House, expressed his concern over the 
Gaza pullout on U.S. interests in the Middle East and the war on 
terrorism. In a June 20 House speech, Burton, a senior member of the 
House International Relations Committee, viewed the Israeli withdrawal 
as a victory for terrorism both over the Jewish state and the United 

"Personally, I will not second guess the prime minister's wisdom," 
Burton said. "I very much hope that he is right. But again, my 
experience tells me that if you take steps to appease an enemy you only 
give him a green light to put more pressure on you. In my opinion, it 
is imperative and critical to U.S. national security that we as 
policymakers understand the consequences should the Israeli 
disengagement plan fail to live up to expectations."

Burton then introduced into the record an assessment by a former 
Israeli diplomat, Yoram Ettinger, who served in Washington and as 
consulate-general in Houston during the 1990s. The assessment warned 
that the Israeli pullout could create a terrorist regime that could 
turn the Palestinians into an international threat against the United 
States as well as against such allies as Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and 

"Disengagement is perceived, by the Mideast, as cut and run, 
appeasement and cave-in, in sharp contrast to U.S. war on terrorism," 
the assessment said. "No negotiation with - and no concession to - 
terrorists; no ceasefire with, but destruction, of terrorist regimes; 
no political, but military solution, to terrorism."