Op-Ed: Official Yesha Population Stats - Yossi Sarid Responds
Baruch GordonThe writer, founder and former manager of the Arutz Sheva website, authors the blog Baruch's Breeze on the site. An IDF veteran who made aliya from Memphis, Tenn., he is Dir. of Development and PR for the IDF Preparatory Academy in Beit El and the Beit El Yeshiva Center as well as director of BetElTours.com which offers countrywide tours of Israel. He and his family live in Beit El.
The numbers which appear below in the Official Population Statistics of Judea and Samaria (Yesha), aka the West Bank, are not readily accessible to the general public. They come directly from the Population Registry of Israel's Interior Ministry and are painstakingly gathered and formulated by the office of Knesset Member Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz.
The growing number of Jews in Judea and Samaria is getting the attention of influential people. Despite headlines of world leaders planning a Palestinian State on Jew-free turf, a slow and quiet Jewish population explosion there has already rendered these designs wholly unrealistic.
As of June 30, 2012, there are over 350,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria (not including the more than 300,000 in the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem which are also technically the West Bank).
As per the stats below, the facts on the ground are conclusive: it's over; there will never be a Palestinian State in the middle of the Jewish Homeland in the area known as the West Bank.
It's only a matter of time before the facts begin to register with people of influence.
And so it is with former Meretz Party Leader Yossi Sarid who is a very intelligent, savvy analyst. He was the arch enemy of the movement to restore a Jewish presence in the ancient Hebrew towns of Judea and Samaria. Though I disagree with every word he says, he's not stupid like some of the others.
In a recent article entitled, "Tisha B'av: Maybe Next Time We'll Succeed" (Haaretz, July 27, 2012), Yossi Sarid basically throws in the towel. He writes:
"In reference to the settlement movement] I always convinced myself that what was being done can and will be reversed, and that the long-awaited awakening would surely come. Now it's too late.
"In response to Benvinisti who wrote 25 years ago that the settlements are irreversible] I wrote then, 'There's no such thing as irreversible. Only death is irreversible.... Why instill premature despair?' He was right. I was blinded and continued to operate on mistaken assumptions... I based my false hopes on common sense... on our ability to stop at any moment and change direction. I was wrong. It's my fault."
This article will bring joy to the hearts of many. At long last we merit to hear Sarid admitting he was wrong. Blessed [is He] who has let us live to see this day. At long last he understands that the settlements are here for eternity, "from ancient times and forever." Sarid answers the joy of his opponents with a prediction....