The vast majority of the people of Israel clearly oppose the massive unilateral withdrawal plan from Judea and Samaria, dubbed ?Convergence", of the government of Israel. The most recent Haaretz-Dialog poll published on June 9, 2006 in Haaretz shows that 56% of Israelis oppose the Israeli government?s plan, only 37% support it and 7% are undecided. This result shows an increase in opposition to the plan, as the results of a previous poll published in Haaretz on March 10 showed that 48.5% of Israelis opposed the plan and only 37% supported it.

Accordingly, the polls show that the election results in Israel, which occurred in between the two polls, were definitively not a mandate for Convergence. Any attempt to enact such a controversial plan would be against the views of the majority of Israelis.

The opposition to Convergence is widespread because Disengagement was such a total failure. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had described Disengagement as a test to see which direction the Palestinian Authority would take - and we have now seen, by Hamas?s victory, that those who criticized Disengagement and said it would radicalize the Palestinian Arab population and strengthen Hamas were correct.

As Hamas leader Mahmoud A-Zahar stated upon Hamas? victory in the Palestinian Authority elections, ?The armed struggle will continue, and it will cause Israel to make great concessions....? Furthermore, the head of the Shin Bet (Israel's Secret Service), Yuval Diskin, has said that instead of Egypt meeting its agreement to control the Gaza border, weapons smuggling has increased four-fold since Disengagement, including 10 tons of explosives, several million rounds of rifle ammunition, 10,000 assault rifles, several hundred rocket propelled grenades and, most alarmingly, surface-to-air missiles.

Moreover, the Disengagement proponents' prediction that rocket fire would either stop or that Israel would be able to take stronger measures and stop it after Disengagement have proven false, as rocket fire substantially increased since Disengagement, including shelling of the Israeli town of Sderot on a daily basis. Furthermore, rockets have struck communities never reached before Disengagement, because they were being fired from the areas that previously housed the Jewish communities of Gaza.

The Israeli government has openly admitted that they have no solution to stop the missiles. But the obvious solution is to take back the land, as there were no missiles fired from these areas when Israel controlled them; however, that would mean that Disengagement was a failure and the government of Israel would rather have Sderot live under constant bombardment than admit the failure of Disengagement.

According to Israel's former Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon, due to Disengagement, "Gaza has turned into Hamastan, Hizbullahstan and Al-Qaedastan." The goal of the Palestinian Arabs has not changed, according to Yaalon: "The Palestinians do not recognize our right to live within the 1967 borders. Their decision to wage war in September 2000 was aimed at dodging the need to recognize Israel as a sovereign state."

Due to Oslo and Disengagement, Israel has now created a terrorist entity within missile range of Ashkelon; and soon, within missile range of larger Israeli cities. It is thus very logical for Israelis who currently live in cities that are not yet being hit by missiles to oppose a plan to cede land - which Prime Minister Olmert has consistently referred to as historically Jewish land - to a terrorist entity that puts their homes in missile range.

If the opposition to Convergence is so strong, then a question can be asked: How did Kadima win the election advocating such a plan?

First of all, in Israel?s parliamentary system, Kadima ?won? the election with 29 seats out of 120 total and with less than 22% of the vote - and they were the only party that officially supported the plan. Secondly, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who founded Kadima, had publicly ruled out any further "Disengagements" (even if not everyone believed him) before he was incapacitated by a stroke. Prime Minister Olmert only publicly announced the Convergence Plan as a basic policy of Kadima three weeks before the elections, so there was little time for the public to react to it. Furthermore, Kadima likely would have done worse in the elections if they did not receive a huge boost (polls showed an increase of at least five seats) two weeks before the elections in the successful raid on the prison in Jericho and the capture of the murderers of Minister Rechavam Zeevi. Finally, Kadima did drop from around 40 seats in polls before the Convergence Plan was announced to 29 on election day, which by itself would indicate public opposition to the plan.

The rest of the coalition consists of the Labor party, which actually had a net loss of three seats in the election and ran mainly on a social welfare platform, the Pensioners Party, which won seven seats and did not take a position on any political issues before the election, and Shas, which unequivocally opposed Convergence before the elections.

Israel?s history is replete with controversial plans that have been passed through the Knesset in, at best, questionable manners, while citing Israeli polls showing public support for the plan. This occurred during the ratification of the Oslo Accords, in which Oslo II was passed by the Knesset by a 61-59 margin, with the support of the Arab Knesset members and the openly bribed support of two former opponents of Oslo - Gonen Segev and Alex Goldfarb - who received ministerial and deputy ministerial positions. Disengagement passed the Knesset with the support of half of the Likud members and Prime Minster Sharon, despite the fact that the main issue in the previous election was Disengagement as proposed by Amram Mitzna of Labor. Prime Minister Sharon opposed the plan and the Likud, under Sharon?s leadership, won an overwhelming victory in that election - and then passed Disengagement with the support of Labor. The did so without going back to the voters, by citing opinion polls showing support for Disengagement.

Now, we have a situation in which the polls show strong opposition to Convergence. It will be interesting to see if all of those pundits who said that the dubious political maneuvers of Oslo and the Disengagement were acceptable, because polls showed the majority of Israelis supported those plans, will now oppose the attempt to implement Convergence, as it is opposed by a majority of Israelis?

More importantly, how can there be talk of a Palestinian State or even a Convergence Plan when the Palestinian Authority areas have become a terrorist entity, when we are in the midst of a war against terrorist entities. How could the US Government support a plan to give a terrorist entity that provides safe havens for terrorists, including those that murder Americans, more land? The US policy needs to be that in this war against terror, all terrorist entities must be destroyed, and we urge Israel to destroy the terrorist entity that is the Palestinian Authority - for their sake and for the sake of the war against terror.