In light of international forces’ previous failed attempts to maintain peace in the Jordan Valley, 70 percent of Israelis oppose an IDF withdrawal from the region.

According to these statistics, the future of this region, which is one of several discussion items in the current Israel-Palestinian Authority peace talks, raises security concerns for the majority of Israelis.

The Jewish Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) posted a video highlighting the perceived dangers of future arrangements involving international forces.

Indeed, citizens are concerned for their safety after the release of 26 security prisoners this week. This move was opposed not only by leading government figures, such as Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, but also by the overwhelming majority of the Israeli public, as reflected in current polls .

In a September Ynet interview, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, head of the IDF Central Command, warned:

“We cannot count on a foreign force to do the work along the border with Jordan.”

The JCPA website provided the following examples of international forces’ failure to fulfill their peacekeeping role in the Middle East:

In 1967, a United Nations peacekeeping force obeyed then Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s demand that they leave. The Six Day War followed.

Following this, the IDF entered Lebanon to destroy terrorist infrastructure after numerous attacks on Israel. In response, the UN established its Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to ensure Israel’s withdrawal and to facilitate Lebanese government control of the area. This peacekeeping attempt failed as well and was followed by the First Lebanon War in 1982.

A multinational Western force was installed shortly afterwards in Beirut. In 1983, two Hezbollah bombings took the lives of 241 American and 58 French soldiers. Within half a year, UNIFIL was disbanded.

In 2006, after the Israel-Hezbollah war in southern Lebanon and northern Israel, UN Security Council Resolution 1701 forced an end to the conflict and called for the terrorist group’s disarmament. Hezbollah never conformed and has more ammunition now than it did before the 2006 war.

Meanwhile, weapons continued to flow into Gaza, notwithstanding European monitors’ attempts to prevent weapon smuggling from Egypt. The fighting between Hamas and Fatah intensified in 2006, following the 2005 withdrawal of successful Jewish agricultural communities as a unilateral peace gesture. In response, EU peacekeepers fled to Israel. Southern Israeli civilians have been subjected to rocket attacks from Gaza ever since.

In the current bloody Syrian civil war, the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has fared no better as peacekeepers. While UNDOF was stationed in the Golan Heights to maintain the Syrian-Israeli ceasefire, intense Syrian fighting and mass human rights violations have caused many countries to remove their UNDOF soldiers.

In a speech to the Washington Institute in June on the future of the Jordan Valley, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon stated:

“Looking around to the Middle East, there is one democracy, stabilized, which is able to defend itself, by itself. No need to deploy either American troops or others in order to defend Israel.”

Author: Atara Beck, staff writer for United with Israel
Date: Oct 29, 2013