Obama has recently revealed his plan for regulating the Middle East conflict. Basically, the President wants negotiations to start with an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 border, and go from there. Here is a brief explanation why even the precondition for negotiations is unachievable.
1. Indefensible borders. Look at the map above, one does not need to be a general to see the problem. After the withdrawal Israel will be around 10 miles thick in the middle, a column of tanks could cut the nation in two in half an hour. Every major Israeli population point will be within striking distance of short range rockets. An invasion force assembled in the West Bank could reach any point in Israel in less than a day. Israel would have to defend a gigantic border with Palestine in addition to its borders with its other hostile neighbors. Simply put, the 1967 border will put Israel under constant rocket barrage in all its cities, and on the path to total annihilation by Arab armies.
2. The settlers. When discussing Israeli settlements and their removal, westerners often make one simple and false assumption, that the settlers CAN be removed. In fact there are over half a million settlers in Israel, they represent a massive voting block that combined with conservative and religious parties represents an electoral juggernaut in Israeli politics. No Israeli government can survive a proposal to remove the settlers, there simply does not exist a coalition large enough to achieve this. Furthermore, even if an electoral majority approves of settler removal, such action would likely result in a civil war. Many settlers have lived beyond the 1967 line for three generations, and any attempt to remove them will be met with fanatical resistance. The settlers are armed to the teeth, and if it comes to it, they will defend their land with lethal force, even against fellow Jews.
3. Too much and not enough. While return to the 1967 line is completely unacceptable to Israel, the irony is that it is equally unacceptable to the Palestinians. Simply put, that line exists purely in the imagination of westerners. Neither Fatah nor Hamas accept these lines as the borders of a future Palestine. They are open about their intent to destroy Israel, and to take hold of the entire territory currently in her possession. Hamas will need to be part of any final peace deal, and to even suggest that the terror organization will accept anything less than total victory over Israel is laughable. Furthermore, one of the main demands of the Palestinians is the right of return, that is to say the right of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to return to areas of Israel beyond the 1967 line. This would mean an end to Israel as a Jewish state, since in addition to a Palestinian state there will now be a half Arab Israel.
In conclusion, an attempt to return Israel to the 1967 border will cause a civil war within Israel, will do little to please the Palestinians, and even if successful, will result in vulnerable, indefensible state.
Categories: World Events