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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
October 5, 2004
Friend of FLAME:
One of the persistent myths surrounding the Jewish/Arab conflict is
that the "root of the problem" is the presence of Jews in
"Palestine territory" and that peace would prevail if Jewish
communities in the areas were uprooted.
We have in many of our hasbarah (clarifying) messages explained
the invalidity of such thinking. But still, the myth persists and
has been repeated so often and for so long that most people, including
many who are well disposed toward Israel, have come to accept it as
fact and as truth. The current effort to dismantle Jewish settlements
in Gaza is only the latest example of such thinking. Many say that
it isn't "worth it" to engage Israeli troops to protect
those Jewish inhabitants of Gaza. But, of course, that is nonsense.
Would we give up Arizona to Mexico (who may arguably have a greater
right to it than the Palestinians have to Gaza) even if it would take
half the US Army to prevent that? Of course not! And one more thing:
Responsible statesmen don't give away pieces of their country for
purposes of appeasement. It never works!
Yoram Ettinger is a distinguished Israeli diplomat and analyst, who
was previously Israeli Consul General in Houston. In the essay that
follows, he explains succinctly the right of Israel to those territories,
why they are not an "obstacle to peace," and why the Jewish
communities in the areas (the "settlements") are indispensable
to Israel's security.
The Misrepresentation of
the Jewish Communities/Settlements in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the
Golan Heights (I)
The Ariel Center for Policy Research,
The Jerusalem Cloakroom #118 (http://www.acpr.org.il/cloakrm/index.html),
September 19, 2004
by Yoram Ettinger
Are settlements a cause for the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict?
Arab/Palestinian wars on the Jewish State erupted irrespective of
the presence/absence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria [called
the West Bank by some], Gaza or Golan. They were established
on 2% of Judea and Samaria and Gaza area following the
1967 War, which erupted following the establishment of the
PLO (1964), succeeding the wars of 1956 and 1948/9 and the sustained
campaign of Palestinian terror, which was launched in 1929, with the
massacre of Hebrons Jewish community and the expulsion of Gazas
Jewish community, the 1929, 1936 and 1948 decimation of Gush Etzions
Jewish communities and the 1948 dismantling of Kfar Darom in the Gaza
Are settlements an obstacle to peace? Why would the dismantling
of Jewish communities in Gaza and Judea and Samaria promote peace,
while the dismantling of Arab communities in Israel violate human
rights?! The 1993 Oslo Accord does not restrict settlement activity.
If 250,000 Jews among 2.6 million Palestinians in Judea and
Samaria and Gaza constitute an obstacle to peace, how does
one refer to 1.3 million Israeli Arabs among 5.5 million Jews? A super
obstacle to peace?! If the 1.3 million Israeli Arabs represent peaceful
coexistence, why would 250,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and
Golan be an obstacle to peace?! According to Israels law, the
establishment of Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria and Gaza
cannot utilize private Arab land, and cannot displace any Arab.
Settlements are the litmus test for and spur to peace.
Hope for peace and the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and
Samaria and Gaza constitute an oxymoron. If 2.6 million Palestinians
cannot tolerate 250,000 Jews in their midst, what do they mean by
peaceful coexistence?! The venomous Palestinian/Arab opposition to
Jewish presence in their midst featuring heavily in their formal
education, clergy and media systems reflects an inherent long-term
ideology/strategy. It has been the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict and of anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism. Why would the West
tolerate Judenrein [free of Jews] Arab areas?! Palestinians
should know that preoccupation with terror would yield more Jewish
communities, thus taxing Palestinian negotiation posture. Freezing
Jewish settlements would remove a chief Palestinian incentive to negotiate.
Would the dismantling of settlements ease the conflict? The
Palestinian-Israeli conflict has not been territorial, nor has it
been driven by despair. The 1993 Oslo Accord provided the PLO/PA with
unprecedented hope, territory and legitimacy, which produced unprecedented
terrorism. [Prime Minister] Barak offer to evacuate 98% of Judea and
Samaria and Gaza triggered the current war. The conflict has been
nurtured by the Palestinian/Arab aim to eradicate sovereign Jewish
(or any other minority) presence in the Mideast, and by their hope
for Jewish surrender. The uprooting of Jewish communities, in a deterrence-driven-peace
region, would fuel, rather than subdue, Palestinian terrorism.
Are settlements required for Israels security? The mountain
ridges of Judea and Samaria constitute the Golan Heights
of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. Most settlements are located in
strategic areas, controlling critical transportation arteries and
hill tops, protecting 40% of Israels water resources, constraining
and deterring terrorist maneuverability and bolstering Israels
determination to hold on to the vital area. Gazas Kfar Darom
and Netzarim were established, in 1967, per IDF insistence. It was
consistent with the late Chairman of the Joint [Chief of Staff] General
Earl Wheelers recommendation that Israels control of the
entire Gaza (139 sq. miles) would reduce hostile potential by
a factor of five (recruitment, training, operations, incitement, etc.).
They constitute an outpost, absorbing terrorism, which would otherwise
hit Israels soft belly. The 1993/4 disengagement
from Gaza required three times as many IDF soldiers around and inside
Do Jews have the right to settle Judea and Samaria, Gaza and Golan?
The 450 Arab villages of Judea and Samaria bear Biblical names (Anatot
is Anata, Haramah is A-Ram, Gilo is Beit Jallah, Gofna is Jifna, Levonah
is Luban, etc.). Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and
Golan have renewed ancient Jewish presence, which was violently suspended
by Arab and prior aggression. Israels Founding Fathers were
not inspired by the coastal plain (which played a minimal role in
forging the Jewish identity), but rather by Judea and Samaria, Gaza
and Golan, which constitute the Cradle of Jewish History. Ben Gurion
stated: The Jewish passport has been the Bible. Statesmen
do not negotiate away their Cradle of History, lest they forfeit their