A leading scholar who once was solidly against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria now says a two-state solution is a falsehood. “Settlements are here to stay."
For decades, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti was a leading scholar in Israel’s pro-Arab camp, working diligently to curtail development of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.
He founded the West Bank Database Project in 1984 which documented social, economic, and political developments in the region, and reported on growth of the Jewish towns to Western powers which sought to halt the influx of Jews to their ancient towns.
In an interview last week, Benvenisti told Haaretz that a division of the land into a two-state solution is not practical and that the settlements are irreversible.
His comments demonstrate a growing trend among Israeli opponents of the Jewish return to Judea and Samaria. Many of the very same leaders of the struggle for “Palestinian Statehood” now recognize that it is too late – the Jewish towns of Yesha cannot be uprooted.
“Today, we are talking about 350,000 settlers. If you take into account (the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern) Jerusalem, then there are 550,000 settlers,” he said. ”Therefore, everyone understands now what I said 30 years ago: it’s irreversible. Nothing will help Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert or Tzipi Livni – it’s irreversible. You can’t get out of this mess...
"Israel’s Right is correct. Look what happened in Gaza. The Disengagement [from Gaza in 2005] didn’t solve anything and put Hamas in power. Therefore, division is not a solution to the problem, but rather an escalation of the problem… At one time, it would have been possible to divide the land, but not today.”
He called the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines, now known as the Green Line, “the left’s great alibi [that] no longer exists."
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