Israeli presence on the West Bank is a must

HDan Koski How long must we wait to see an effective Israeli presence on the University’s West Bank?

As our disinterested president dawdles, hems and haws over involvement in this troubling region, this cultural bridge between two worlds, the world waits for a decisive action to end the chaos and rebellion we see on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, as a friend to both Jews and Palestinians, I strongly urge the rapid deployment of no less than 35,000 Israeli troops to the strife-ridden West Bank of the University.

A small but vocal portion of Israeli troops, in particular liberal reservists, have expressed concerns that an occupation of the West Bank would be an unnecessary risk. That is why I support an all-volunteer Israeli force for this operation, which will be mentally and physically prepared to undergo the rigors of say, dodging promotional workers, Greenpeace activists, right-wing religious nuts or struggling folk artists who are veterans in selecting unsuspecting targets for their operations.

Working with Mossad intelligence network and paramilitary forces, these soldiers can create a proactive force that can avert any crisis that might occur before it happens. Twenty-four hour surveillance of known radicals within the different, often independent cells of the College of Liberal Arts, will be costly, but effective. Methods such as bulldozing the dorms dangerous operatives have used for activity planning, a 24-hour military checkpoint of student IDs at the mouth of both sides of the bridge, and the block-by-block disarmament of staple-guns, placards and photocopied flyers might seem like draconian measures to such left-wing interventionists as Amnesty International or the Free Palestine Movement, but it will prove to save more lives in the long run than weaker measures than the likes of Ehud Barak might offer.

Eventually, the anti-Israeli organizations which pose as “pro-Palestinian” groups will be forced to move their operation farther from the University center to sympathetic hosts nearby, such as Mayday Book Store, the Hard Times Cafe and Global Village. But even this modest move will displace their grip on the target populace on which they feed, and ultimately lead to the rise of more sensible figures willing to negotiate. Once all sides have respectable representatives, and the state of Israel’s interests can enjoy the University without fear of reprisals and harassment, there will be no doubt that a mutually satisfying agreement will be reached.

There are some who have suggested a multinational peacekeeping force would be a major step toward downplaying any possible Israeli hegemony on the West Bank. And while we are all very impressed with the multilateral peacekeeping operations in other collegiate “hot spots,” we should hesitate to draw parallels with the present situation. An international peacekeeping force would be unappreciative and incapable to understanding the complexity of, say, the plight of teaching assistants on the lower level of the Social Sciences Tower, or the delicate “open air” truce both sides enjoy with usage of the Elmer Andersen Library. This would ultimately lead to instability in the entire region, threatening nearby Jewish, Muslim, New Age and Christian communities, not to mention a host of religious institutions only miles away from the heart of this crisis. We must remain firm in our resolve to make the Goldy Gopher a symbol all sides can relate to, and this cannot be done through disaffected third parties.

By establishing an Israeli military presence on the West Bank, we can achieve a greater cohesion and stability in not only the multiethnic Minneapolis area, but ultimately the entire Midwest. But we must move soon, for the current “cease-fire” situation is shallow and impotent – as shallow and impotent as a humanities degree.

Dan Koski is a fifth-year history student. Send letters to the
editor to [email protected]