Sunday, January 23, 2011
FantasyLand - Isn't it Fun To Carve Up A Map Of Israel?
Today's New York Times (where else?) sports the nifty little map above, courtesy of David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Pravda-on-the-Hudson identifies Mr. Makovsky as 'a mild-mannered analyst at a pro-Israel think tank'.
What he was attempting to do here was to show how a new Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza could be created using the pre-1967 boundaries of Israel as a starting point while keeping the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria largely within Israel...or as the Times puts it, reconciling 'the Palestinian demand for sovereignty over the West Bank with the Israeli demand for control over a majority of the settlers.'
“In my view, it is definitely possible to deal with each other’s core demands,” Makovsky said. “There are land swaps that would offset whatever settlements Israel would retain. The impossible is attainable.”
Isn't it pretty?
The Time's editorial comments, by the way, point out a key reason this is pure fantasy.
To begin with, it's not the Israelis who are demanding 'control' over the 'settlers', it's the 'Palestinians' who are demanding that their new reichlet be 100% Jew-free. And therein lies the problem with the pretty map above.
The little fingers of land containing major Jewish communities like Ariel and Ofrat are isolated sitting ducks for terrorist attacks and in the event of hostilities, could easily be cut off and the inhabitants massacred. Does anyone seriously think that the 'moderate' Fatah mafia who can't even abide the idea of a single Jew living among them could be trusted to honor an agreement like this? Not only that, but anyone who knows the topography of the area knows that these borders would sacrifice the high ground to the 'Palestinians'..ideal sites for rocket attacks that could not only devastate the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria but Israel's densely populated central plain.
It gets even more ridiculous. Part of the land swaps Makovsky envisions involve areas adjacent to Gaza,now under Hamas rule. How are these going to be connected to a 'Palestinian' reichlet in Judea and Samaria? And how long would they survive a Hamas takeover?
For that matter, the same question could be asked about the new 'Palestinians' state itself. The unelected Abbas and Selim Fayyad regime are far from popular, and Hamas has considerable support in Jordan and in the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria. The main thing keeping Hamas at bay there right now is the IDF's security apparatus. Once the IDF moves out, the shiny new Fatah army the US spent millions equipping and training under General Keith Dayton is on it's own.
That army didn't even last a day in Gaza, and likely would last about as long in Judea and Samaria once Hamas attacks the Fatah enclave there. What does Israel do then?
Needless to say,neither the Israelis or the 'Palestinians'would entertain anything like what's presented above for a moment - the Israelis because it would be suicidal and the 'Palestinians' because accepting something like this would involve them negotiating their demands and making concessions, which they adamantly refuse to do.
What the Times, David Makovsky and those who think like them don't understand is that the main obstacle to settling the Arab-Israeli conflict isn't 'settlements', borders or Jerusalem. It's the inability of Arabs to live next to Jews in conditions of peace and equality in the areas the Arabs control.
Solve that problem, and the rest of them fall into place. Ignore it and absolutely nothing changes.