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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 10, 2004 / 18 Shevat, 5764

About Those Israeli ‘Settlements’

By Daniel Pipes


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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Ariel Sharon, the prime minister of Israel, has broken with decades of his own history and declared an intent to withdraw all Israeli habitations from Gaza, plus some from the West Bank. Doing so raises a basic question: Just how important are these "settlements" in the grand scheme of Palestinian-Israeli relations?


(I use quotation marks around settlements because the dictionary defines this word as "a small community" or an establishment of people "in a new region." This inaccurately describes the Jewish habitations in question, many of which boast tens of thousands of residents in place over several decades.)

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Some analysts consider Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza to be one of the leading obstacles to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For example:

  • Thomas Friedman, The New York Times: "Israel must get out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as soon as possible and evacuate most of the settlements. I have long advocated this, but it is now an urgent necessity. Otherwise, the Jewish state is in peril. Ideally, this withdrawal should be negotiated along the Clinton plan. But if necessary, it should be done unilaterally. This can't happen too soon, and the U.S. should be forcing it."

  • Jean AbiNader, Arab American Institute: "the settlements are the major political obstacle" to a resolution.

  • Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential candidate: "Israeli settlements are a significant obstacle to a viable peace between Israel and the Palestinians." I disagree with this argument, and for two main reasons.


First, it assumes that Palestinians seek only to gain control over the West Bank and Gaza, whereas overwhelming evidence points to their also aspiring to go further and control Israel proper. Therefore, pulling Israelis from the territories does no good.


In fact, it probably does harm. Imagine that Israelis were uprooted and the Israel Defense Forces pulled back to the 1967 boundaries — what then? Friedman, AbiNader, and Kucinich assume the Palestinians would be grateful and reward Israel by tending to their own gardens, permitting Israel quietly to go its separate way.


But I expect a quite different reaction: Palestinians will see a pullback signaling that Israel is weak, appeasing, and vulnerable. Far from showing gratitude, they will make greater demands. With Jenin and Ramallah in the maw, Jerusalem will be next on the agenda, followed by Tel Aviv and Haifa.


This implies Israel is fated to stick with its towns and communities in the West Bank and Gaza. They might be a tactical and political liability, but they must retained and defended. To do otherwise is to indicate to the Palestinians that open season on Israel has begun, spurring yet more violence than the twenty or so incidents now taking place daily.


Second, Sharon's intent to uproot Israeli habitations assumes that they pose a large, perhaps insuperable, barrier to a Palestinian-Israeli resolution. In contrast, I see them as a minor obstacle. Once the Palestinians do fully, irrevocably, in deed as well as in word, accept the existence of a Jewish state, all sorts of possibilities for ending the conflict open up.

  • Adjusted borders: As Sharon himself suggested last week, the "triangle" area in northern Israel, with its large Arab population, might be up for trading.

  • Non-contiguous sovereignty: Jews living separate from Israel proper could live under Israeli rule.

  • Palestinian sovereignty: Once Palestinians truly accept the Zionist presence, then Jews in the territories could live under Palestinian rule.


Such schemas, admittedly, sound like cloud-cuckoo land at present. But when Palestinians finally undergo a change of heart, when they accept Israel's existence and renounce the use of force against it, all sorts of positive developments can take place to sweep aside today's seemingly intractable issues.


And to the question, "How will we know when that change of heart takes place?" my reply is: When Jews living in Hebron (on the West Bank) have no more need for security than Arabs living in Nazareth (in Israel).


Until that happy day arrives, the issue of Jews living in the territories is perhaps the least significant one facing strategists and would-be diplomats. Instead of focusing on this political triviality, they should devise ways to induce the Palestinians to accept the existence of a sovereign Jewish state called Israel. Until that happens, no other initiatives will do any good.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Militant Islam Reaches America. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Daniel Pipes