Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pro-Israeli Group Offers Maps for Palestinian State

The NYT floats a proposal - and map - from David Makovsky, one of the stalwarts at WINEP (essentially Israel's think-tank in DC), that would allow Israel to retain major West Bank settlements but only keep about 5 percent of the West Bank territory its settlers now occupy - with land swaps included to compensate the Palestinian Authority.  On the face it, it's lovely, and it certainly projects an image of WINEP as fair-minded and committed to a two-state solution.

But . . . .

As Makovsky admits, his plan leaves the religiously significant city of Hebron - and the adjacent settlement of Kiryat Arba, which is populated by some of the most viciously anti-Arab settlers in the West Bank - outside the area to be annexed by Israel.  One might suspect Makovsky of being just a bit disingenuous in stating that
 “It’s up to the parties to decide what to do with these settlers,” he said, conceding that when only 9,000 settlers were uprooted from Gaza after Israel withdrew in 2005, it caused years of political upheaval.
According to him, though, “I’m in the think-tank world to solve problems, not be polemical . . . . The idea here is to bring the two-state solution down to earth.”  Well, David, your map is very nice, but you (and everyone at WINEP) know that there  is no way in hell that the Kiryat Arba people are going to agree to leave their little colony.

Thanks for nothing.

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