Friday, August 26, 2005


Michael Totten on the recent Israel situation

"Israel has four options.

1) Rule the West Bank and Gaza forever while denying Palestinians citizenship and equal rights. Basically, this is the South African apartheid model. The fact that Israel acquired those lands in self-defense in 1967 doesn't change that.
2) Grant citizenship and equal rights to Palestinians. This would make Jews an ethnic minority in Israel only a few years from now. They'll never do it.
3) Forcibly relocate (in other words, ethnically cleanse) Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza.
4) Withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza.

A debate over when Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza is an argument worth having. Perhaps it’s best that Sharon is pulling out of Gaza now. Maybe it would be better if he waited. We won’t really know for certain until we can look back in hindsight and see what happens next.

But if “Israel should be under Jewish rule” forever, as Pat Robertson claims, that means Israel has to choose one of the first three options. None are even remotely viable. Jewish morality and experience rightly forbids options one and three. Hardly anyone on either the Israeli or the Palestinian side has any desire to see option two implemented. That leaves only option four. The West Bank and Gaza will not, cannot, remain under Jewish rule. Israelis leave now or later because they have no other choice."

I actually have my concerns re: the West Bank, largely because of the water situation, but broadly speaking you wouldn't want to disagree with any of that.

If memory serves, Barbara Amiel was at one point very much in favour of Option 3 with the added twist that while doing it the Israelis should threaten first strike use of tactical nuclear weapons against anyone who tried to intervene to stop it. I seem to remember it was around that point that I switched to the Times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to read Michael Oren's _Six Days of War_ and realize how reluctant the Israelis were to move into the West Bank in 1967, and how a modicum of restraint shown by King Hussein would have forestalled this move and spared the mideast 38 years of grief.

Ralph Hitchens

11:29 AM  
Anonymous David Tomlin said...

Hardly anyone on either the Israeli or the Palestinian side has any desire to see option two implemented.

What a canard. 'Option two' would lead to the secular state that was always the goal of Palestinian nationalism. Palestinian leaders accepted 'two states' in a futile attempt to appease the Israelis.

Jewish morality and experience rightly forbids options one and three.

Jewish morality commands option three.

Exodus 23:31-33

Numbers 31:17-18

Deuteronomy 2:32-34; 3:1-6; 7:1-2,16; 20:16-17

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Option 3 has been stated to be Sharon's end plan by Martin van Creveld no less.

Right now it appears to be a compromise - abandoning settlements in small Gaza but consoldiating the important West Bank, possibly with an eye to finalizing the situation if circumstances appear favorable.

4:36 PM  
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