Will Israel Settle the Entire West Bank?06 Mar 2015
####Sure, just give it 5,000 years.
You’ve heard it a million times: Israeli settlements are making a Two-State Solution impossible.
The Two-State Solution is the unquestionable, divinely ordained goal of the Left, and since we are told that settlements are making this not viable or have already made it impossible, this is a huge problem, worthy of global attention and condemnation.
This is accepted as fact by the average news consumer. But let’s take a few minutes and see if it actually holds up to the facts (hint, it doesn’t).
In order for the settlements to pose a threat to the Two-State Solution, they would need to take up a substantial amount of land. From a cursory view of the media and its obsessive, witch-hunt-like focus on the issue, one would certainly believe they do. So that begs the question:
###How much land do the settlements take up anyway?
Instead of going to the Israeli government or the settler groups themselves, which one might expect to downplay the size of the settlements, let’s ask B’Tselem, the leftist Israeli “human rights organization” that spends most of its time and resources demonizing Israel when its employees aren’t denying the Holocaust.
According to Yehezkel Lein, a researcher at B’Tselem, the built-up areas of the settlements take up… 1.7%!
Now you’re probably thinking, that can’t be right! They must take up more land than that or else they wouldn’t make headlines like they do. Well, let’s now go to the Palestinians and see what they have to say.
According to Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian “peace” negotiator and Abbas confidant, said in 2011 that the built-up areas of the settlements take up… 1.1% of the West Bank!
This news is probably very jarring to you. Could it be that the settlements take up just over a single percent of the West Bank? Surely the municipal boundaries take up more land and that is the cause of the global outrage.
Well, let’s ask Yehezkel Lein of B’Tselem again. How much land do the settlements take up if you include their municipal boundaries? An astonishing, astronomical, asymmetrical, astounding… 5.1%!
But what about the additional land administered to by the local regional councils and military zones? Those end up taking roughly 40% of the West Bank. You’re trying to fool me with numbers!
Not at all.
You’re right, there is more land that is outside of the municipal boundaries that is controlled by Israel. This includes Area C and parts of Area B. But this was part of an arrangement the Palestinians themselves agreed to during Oslo. More to the point, since this is area is almost entirely uninhabited and only contains military outposts or bases, it can easily be evacuated and transferred to the Palestinians if by some miracle they ever agreed to peace and we were able to trust them.
Additionally, Israel has a history of withdrawing from territory and removing settlements and military bases in exchange for peace and in attempts to create conditions conducive for peace, but instead each time the territory has become a haven for terrorists:
1979 - Camp David Accords Israel agreed to a full withdrawal from the Sinai in exchange for peace. Stability reigned for years, but now ISIS affiliates have taken over wide swaths of territory and have attacked both Egypt and Israel.
2000 - Israel unilaterally withdrew from all of Southern Lebanon, which was subsequently taken over by Hezbollah who filled it with rockets aimed at Israeli cities.
2005 - Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and 4 settlements in Samaria only to have Gaza overrun by Hamas 2 years later.
2006 - Israeli voters elect Kadima, a party who’s sole platform was withdrawing from most of the West Bank, just as was done in Gaza a year prior. This was scrapped after the Palestinians voted in Hamas and it violently seized power in Gaza.
Israel also agreed to withdrawal at Camp David in 2000, The Clinton Parameters and Taba in 2001, and Olmert’s Proposal in 2008.
It is historical fact that Israel has committed itself to withdrawal and the removal of settlements when it believes doing so will help the cause of peace. It just happens that each time, abandoned territory has been used to make war instead. It isn’t the settlements that are preventing peace or even a division of the land, but rather Palestinian rejectionism and violence.
But even in the face of all this, Israeli building in Judea and Samaria has been limited to just over 1% of the territory.
So let’s be clear about this: after nearly 50 years of Israeli control of Judea and Samaria, Israel has built up a little more than 1% of the land, which is expanded to only 5% with the municipal boundaries.
The world is right. At this rate, Israel will settle the entire West Bank… in about 5000 years.
#####Alert the presses!