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RUSH: I haven’t talked about this yet, and I’m sure it’s going to come up on the phones. Is it there yet? No, but I’m sure it will be, and that’s the Israeli pullout of Gaza, the settlements out of Gaza on the orders of Ariel Sharon.
Let me give you a little history lesson. I went to Israel (Best of Rush Limbaugh the TV Show: Video) in June; maybe it was July, of 1993. I was in Israel when Vince Foster was found dead at Fort Marcy Park. So whenever that was, that summer. It was a four-day trip, and this four days, folks, was worth two years of college. Among the things that I did was this. I got a three-hour private bus tour led by Ariel Sharon of the settlements in the West Bank – didn’t go to Gaza ? the settlements in the West Bank. I met some of the settlers. I heard their stories, and I learned why they’re there. And they’re there for defensive purposes. I was shown the whole settlement area — well, not the whole — the West Bank is fairly large when you’re in it. It’s pretty small compared to other countries as the whole country of Israel is, but it’s still a pretty large area when you’re in it walking around. These settlements were strategically located on high ground because the settlers could also serve as lookouts. The thing about Israel, you look in one direction and there is an enemy, Syria. You look in another direction and there’s another enemy, Iraq. You look in another direction, there’s another enemy, Jordan. You can see it. It’s like being in New York and being able to see New Jersey and knowing that they’ve got all kinds of weapons and guns aimed at your house and they hate the fact that you’re alive. It’s a whole new experience. Sharon was the architect of these settlements and he was very proud of them. He explained the whole philosophy and policy behind them and the settlers that came out of their homes that I was able to meet were equally respectful of him. He was like a god to them. Now, as I said, I didn’t go to Gaza. Well, here we are.

Now, the latest challenge for the Israelis is that they have to withdraw these settlers from Gaza, and they’re doing it, and these are some of the most heartbreaking pictures. A woman sets herself on fire, refusing to leave her home. There have been other protests and people attempting to stay. It’s their homes and they’re being forced out of them by their own country. The theory behind this is, “Well, you know, there’s a new Palestinian authority, and no more Yasser Arafat, and we must do this. We must do this to show that we want peace with the Palestinians. We must do this to show the world that we are willing to compromise, and this action must be taken, uh, to also demonstrate the Palestinians, the dawn of a new day. They, too, are interested in peace. Yada yada yada yada yada.”
Well, you know, it all sounds good, and I listened to the intellectuals in this country talk about how Sharon has to it, “He has no choice, and Sharon should do this. It’s up to Sharon now to be the big guy. Sharon to be bigger than his enemies, up to Sharon to give the Palestinians another shot at showing the leadership that they are serious this time about peaceful coexistence.” Well, earlier today, you see some Palestinian demanding that the settlers start leaving the West Bank. Whoooah. Okay, my point is there’s nothing new, and I don’t understand what’s on the table that people think is new. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, they’re all still there. They’re all being funded and paid for by Iran. This pullback is nothing more than Israel giving up more land and more ground and it’s not going to stop anything. I hate to be negative about this, but roll the dice. The odds here are that the history that has happened is going to repeat itself. The idea that there’s a new dawn of a new day on the Palestinian leadership side, somebody show me the evidence. Somebody show me where these enemies of the Israelis have retracted their statements of extermination. Show me where they say, “You know what, we no longer think that every Jew in the world ought to be dead. We no longer think that these Jews should be run into the Mediterranean.” Show me the statement. It hasn’t been made. It hasn’t been written.
So Sharon, who established the settlements, is now the architect of their dismantling all on the vague hope, wing and prayer, that it’s a new day for the Palestinians and that they can peacefully exist side by side, and this is necessary to give the Palestinians one more chance to prove their goodness and decency and so forth. You know, we all have hope, but we have our doubts at the same time, and we’ll just wait and see here what reality brings. But my fear is that the reality is already known, that there are decades and decades and decades of reality that have said, “Israel, you’ve got to give up that portion of the country, you’ve got to give up that portion,” and they’ve done it, they’ve given up that and nobody’s ever happy, nobody’s ever happy with what they end up giving away. And it’s hard to believe that this is going to satisfy anybody now. It’s hard to believe this is going to accomplish anything other than, “We’ve got ’em on the run.” So we’ll have to wait and see. That’s my take on it in case anybody is going to call and ask.

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