June 28, 2007

A Changing Israeli Consensus on West Bank Withdrawal

From A Changing Israeli Consensus on West Bank Withdrawal:

There is a growing consensus in all the camps and across the political spectrum in Israel that a withdrawal from the West Bank is no longer possible. President-elect Shimon Peres wrote last week in Yediot Ahronot: "It is unclear when we will pull out entirely from the territories....Even if we are ready to pull out, we have no one to hand them over to at this stage, because of the Palestinian inability to establish a single army, and a single state that will assert their control over the territories." In the current public discourse, any talk of withdrawing from the territories is perceived as a dangerous illusion. The reason is obvious: Israel does not want Kassam rockets on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ben-Gurion International Airport. Most Israelis assume, in view of the experience from Lebanon and Gaza, that any territory that will be evacuated will become a launching pad for rocket attacks against Israel.