Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Understanding Disengagement

The Supernatural Blog has a great piece posted on the politics of the Disengagement in Israel. Here's a little excerpt:

Good arguments have been made by both sides and the debate has generally been rational and reasonable.

It's worth noting that the very existence of this newfound disagreement between the pro-Israel blogs is evidence that Israel is making painful, difficult and potentially compromising (in terms of their security) decisions in order to move towards a possible end of conflict. When everyone agrees, nothing is happening. Disagreement is a sign that things are moving ahead (or behind as others may argue) - all the while nothing seems to change in the Palestinian camp.

It's a pity that Israel isn't receiving the credit due for even considering these moves.

Arguments for and against the disengagement are often provided, but here is a quick look at what the disengagement plan actually is - as described by the Israeli government.

1. General

Israel has concluded that there is currently no reliable Palestinian partner with which it can make progress in a bilateral peace process. Accordingly, it has developed a plan of unilateral disengagement, based on the following considerations:

i. The stalemate dictated by the current situation is harmful. In order to break out of this stalemate, Israel is required to initiate moves not dependent on Palestinian cooperation.

ii. The assumption is that, in any future permanent status arrangement, there will be no Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, it is clear that in the West Bank, there are areas which will be part of the State of Israel, including cities, towns and villages, security areas and installations, and other places of special interest to Israel.

iii. The relocation from the Gaza Strip and from Northern Samaria (as delineated on Map) will reduce friction with the Palestinian population, and carries with it the potential for improvement in the Palestinian economy and living conditions.

iv. The hope is that the Palestinians will take advantage of the opportunity created by the disengagement to break out of the cycle of violence and reengage in a process of dialogue.
v. The process of disengagement will serve to dispel claims regarding Israel's responsibility for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

When there is evidence from the Palestinian side of its willingness, capability and implementation in practice of the fight against terrorism and the institution of reform as required by the Road Map, it will be possible to return to the track of negotiation and dialogue.

Go read the rest.

By the way, there is no issue regarding Israel which is more divisive within the camp of those who are pro-Israel. I have pretty much stayed out of this fight, because I don't understand the various proposed borders and their political/strategic import. I have not been to Israel. So, I couldn't understand. I imagine that I could read and read and read, and still probably only understand a bit of what one could easily see if one were there. But, I will say, the writer of the Supernatural Blog seems like a reasonable guy to me.

I wonder how many new enemies I will have created for myself, just by writitng the previous sentence.