Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Reveals His
Sneaky Plan
To Give
The Palestinians
A State

Hopefully, every reader will understand that the use of the word "sneaky" in the title is satirical. In fact, Olmert could not be more upfront. He's giving the Palestinians the state they've always said they wanted, and always turned down, when offered.

The thing I have always loved about the Separation idea is that, while allowing Israel to draw back to defensible borders, it will force the Palestinians to take responsibility for themselves. There is a sense in which the plan gives them enough rope to either save themselves, or, uh, hang themselves.

Obviously, they are, at this point, working on hanging themselves.

The election of Hamas revealed, in stark contrast, the moral differeence between the Israelis, who want peace so badly, they give land away without negotiation, and the Palestinians, who simply want to kill Jews.

So, here's Olmerts plan:

JERUSALEM - Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that Israel plans to separate from most of the Palestinians in the West Bank and this would require withdrawing from some of the territory.

It was the first time Olmert, who took over from ailing Ariel Sharon a month ago, has spelled out his thinking for future policy if he wins March 28 elections. The Kadima Party he inherited from Sharon, who is comatose after a stroke, is far ahead in the polls.

"We will disengage from most of the Palestinian population that lives in Judea and Samaria," Olmert told Israel's Channel 2 TV, using the biblical names for the West Bank. "That will obligate us to leave territories under Israeli control today."

Under questioning, Olmert listed West Bank four areas Israel would keep under his vision: Maaleh Adumim, a settlement of 30,000 next to Jerusalem; Gush Etzion, a bloc of settlements south of Jerusalem; Ariel, a settlement of 18,000 deep in the West Bank; and the Jordan River valley.

About three-fourths of Israel's 244,000 West Bank settlers live in the areas Olmert delineated in the TV interview, according to government figures and estimates by the Peace Now settlement watchdog group.

Of course, we'll probably never hear any apologies from those who have villainized Israel all these years. Almost every move Israel has ever made in the Palestinian territories has contained within it a logic towards peace. Those who do not seek to villify Jews can see this logic. Those who love to hate Jews, can not see any logic when it comes to Israel.

But, now, the veil of diplomacy and strategy has been removed by Olmert, because Israel has found that diplomacy and strategy will not work with a Palestinian people who are simply bent on killing Jews.

And now that the veil is removed, what do we find? Israel wants to give the Palestinian people a state, at any cost.

Israel would be well within their rights to have declared Al-Aqsa/Fatah, and Hamas the Palestinian military, and thus rendered any attack by either group the act of one nation upon another, giving them the right to destroy the Palestinian regime. That is what I have advocated. But, no. Israel wants peace.

Let us hope the world will work with Israel to help ensure that this move by Olmert will lead to peace.