In case of “peace”, Israel will abandon everything beyond the fence

Can real sovereignity be applied to a region that today looks like a military area? And in case of new terror, what will Israel do, build bypass roads all the time? New fences?

Giulio Meotti

OpEds ישיבת אלון מורה
ישיבת אלון מורה
צילום: עצמי

The new US “peace plan” envisions all Jewish settlements coming under Israeli sovereignty, along with large swaths of surrounding land making up 30 percent of Judea and Samaria. 15 communities deep inside  the region are a big challenge to overcome the continuity and are now listed as “enclaves”. They will be Israeli towns "abandoned" inside an eventual Palestinian Arab state. 

The Jewish community in Hevron is not listed among them. But what is the difference between the Jews of Tel Rumeida in Hevron and those living near Shechem, who will be completely surrounded by that Palestinian state?

Why not include a settlement like Einav, which is totally isolated, as if someone had forgotten it on a hill. There are Palestinian villages on each side: Ramin to the east, Anabta to the north, Beit Lid to the south, Kuft Albad to the west. It was built there to form a Jewish line of isolation between Tulkarem, Taibeh and Tira, to break the Palestinian Arab continuity.

Ariel Sharon wanted to include its residents in his horrible evacuation plan, to give the Palestinian Arabs a large region from Jenin to Ramallah, which is now in fact Jüdenrein, or without Jews. Today there are only three Jewish communities, about 600 Israeli families, among thousands of Palestinian Arabs. Isn't Einav another “enclave”? And what about Shavei Shomron? There is nothing around it. 

When you travel in Samaria, Ariel looks like an “enclave” if you compare to Barkan, and Kfar Tapuach looks like another “enclave” if compared to Ariel. If you go to Shechem, then Yitzhar, which is considered very remote and “isolated”, is not so isolated if you compare it to Elon Moreh, which needs another trip to reach it from Yitzhar. 

Those who have been in the area understand perfectly that, in this “peace” agreement, Israel will abandon everything beyond the fence it built during the Second Intifada. When Ariel Sharon built the fence, of the then total 240,000 Israeli “settlers”, 74 percent lived on the “Israeli” side of the projected fence. It was already a future border. During the Second Intifada, 68 settlements in Judea and Samaria were to be permanently merged into “blocs” that would remain under Israeli proper, according to national planning priorities.

Israel already divided the land in the last 50 years by not expanding many of these communities, by freezing them de facto. 

Since then, the Israeli consensus has also been about places such as Alfei Menashe, the “15 minutes from Kfar Saba” settlement five kilometers over the Green Line. It is the very exclusive club of settlements where people “feel safe”, such as  Oranit and Givat Ze'ev. Safe from terror. Safe from eventual withdrawal. Even places such as Kedumim and Shilo are far beyond the consensus. The big question is Ariel. It is not a “settlement”, it is already a city. 

So let's get to the point. In case of “peace” and division of the land, there is no way these "enclave Jews" will accept relying on the new Palestinian State for their security, to drive on the roads, to bring their children to school, to get a hospital in case of emergency. And unless Israel massively develops many of the settlements now beyond the fence, there will be much more than 15 enclaves. 

Will Israel dismantle the fence? Can real sovereignity be applied to a region that today looks like a military area? And in case of new terror, what will Israel do, build bypass roads all the time? New fences? And what about Kiryat Arba, whose protrusion into the area and the fact of its being surrounded on all sides by Palestinian Arabs will challenge Israel to build a narrow corridor connecting Kiryat Arba to the rest of Israel. Is that a viable solution? 

So let's forget any division. Unless you decide to plan a mass ethnic cleansing of Jews in Judea and Samaria - and obviously Jews will rebel against it (no thank  you to another Gush Katif), the area will be under the exclusive control of only one authority. It will either be a Jewish State or an Arab State. 

So now the question is: today you have Jordan, whose population has a vast majority of Palestinian Arabs, and Gaza, which is a de facto terror state. Two Palestinian States. Why does the region need to add another third Palestinian state? Forget it - or the entire Jewish enterprise in the Biblical heartland – which is also essential to Israeli security and memory – will be lost. 

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