The meaning of 'contiguous'David Hornik discusses the notion of a 'contiguous' 'Palestinian state.'
Regarding the West Bank, “contiguous” implies the forced removal of tens of thousands of Israelis living there (for the Israeli public’s opposition to this, see here and here). It also implies the absence of any Israeli military or intelligence capabilities in the territory, even though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly emphasizes Israel’s crucial West Bank-related security concerns.I also wonder what he means by 'safe passage.' In the '90's, for a couple of years, we had roads that were marked as 'safe passage' roads for the 'Palestinians' between Gaza on the one hand, and Judea and Samaria on the other. The roads were shared with Israelis and were rarely used by the 'Palestinians,' who then had to pass through Israeli crossing points at the other end. Does Mitchell propose that the 'Palestinians' share the roads with us? How will they be secured? Who will deal with traffic accidents? (The 'Palestinians' - and the Arabs in general - are notoriously aggressive drivers who cause hundreds of accidents). If the roads will not be shared and the territory is to be turned over to the 'Palestinians,' how will there be (or will there be) a contiguous state of Israel?
Meanwhile, Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has released a report on Hamas’s summer camps for children. The report notes that this summer in Gaza, about 100,000 children and adolescents — the same total as last year — attended the camps:[Hamas views the camps as] an important means for indoctrinating them with its radical Islamist ideology of jihad. … In addition to indoctrination, Hamas operatives provided paramilitary training. Banners were hung on the walls with slogans extolling jihad and death for the sake of Allah. … Other prominent motifs this year [included] manifestations of hatred for Israel and the Jews.The report’s photos are even more dramatic than its words.
Even worse than the rain of rockets and mortars now falling on Israel from Gaza is the reality of these camps. The shelling of Israeli communities is an acute problem in the present. The camps promise continuing problems in the future — far into the future.
If so, it is difficult to know what Mitchell and the administration he represents have in mind regarding their contiguous Palestinian state. Would Israel be obligated to provide “safe passage” to the West Bank, and back, for the teachers, students, and graduates of the summer camps? What would prevent the transfer back and forth of terror operatives, weapons, plans, and know-how?
When it comes to Hamas, the U.S. seems to want to have it both ways. It was the Bush administration that pressured Israel to allow the organization to participate in the 2006 Palestinian elections. When Hamas won, the U.S. was surprised — but it was Israel that had to deal with the situation. Now — four years, thousands of rocket attacks, a war, and tens of thousands of jihad-trained Palestinian children later — the Obama administration still talks breezily about peace and contiguity.
Read the whole thing.