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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A stronger case for annexing Judea and Samaria?

Does pushing Gaza off to Egypt make a better case for annexing Judea and Samaria? At least one person thinks so.
"It is not in Israel's interest to see Gaza and the West Bank as one entity," Eiland observed.

That's a view shared not by Palestinians -- whose strong sense of nationalism takes in both enclaves, and overwhelmingly welcome the announced reunification of Hamas and Fatah -- but it's endorsed by Israel's settlers, as determined and implacable a group as you can find in the modern world. They want to hold onto the West Bank, an area rich in Biblical sites and significance to the observant Jews who are the most "hard core" of Jews living on West Bank hilltops, notes Naftali Bennett, director general of the Yesha Council, which represents settlers. Gaza has nothing of consequence to religious Jews, which is one reason to be rid of it.

Another reason: Without the Strip, Israel can make a better case for annexing the West Bank. As Bennett explained the other day to a room of foreign journalists, the case against annexation has always been the assumption that Palestinians would soon outnumber Jews, making Israel a defacto apartheid state, with the minority governing the majority. Few Israelis want to be in that position. But, Bennett maintains, "the myth that demography is against us is wrong. Demography is not against us."

His math is instructive in more ways than one.

Within its borders, Israel has some six million Jewish residents and 1.1 million Arabs, descendants of Palestinians who did not leave in 1948. How many Palestinians reside on the West Bank is a matter of dispute, but Bennett thinks 1.8 million is about right. Combine them, and you have a nation of six million Jews and about three million Palestinians, a comfortable Jewish majority, Bennett says, given the declining birth rate among Israeli Arabs.

And Gaza? What about the 1.5 million Palestinians there?

"Gaza we don't count," Bennett says. "Because that's gradually becoming Egypt's problem."
Of course, Egypt being 'responsible' for the Gaza Strip has some bad aspects to it too, as Barry Rubin points out.
Story 1: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Egypt is losing control of the Sinai Penninsula where there are a lot of terrorists who can go into the Gaza Strip and attack Israel or stage cross-border attacks.

Story 2: Arab newspaper reports an estimated 400 al-Qaida terrorists in the Sinai.

Story 3: Egypt opens border to Gaza Strip so money, terrorists, and weapons can flow in freely.
What could go wrong?

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1 Comments:

At 11:28 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Personally, I favor annexing Yesha areas held by Israel with Jews and handing over Israel's Little Triangle to the Palestinians and implementing complete disengagement from their society.

Israel is not obligated to take care of them, just to defend itself. And by removing the "occupation" from the consciousness of the world and the Israeli Left, Israel becomes a stronger and more unified society.

Israeli Jews are sick of the Arabs and the Arabs are sick of them and if they want to live their own way, that's fine. There won't be peace but there will be mutually assured deterrence.

That is all any one can expect in our lifetime.

 

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