The Indefensible Case for Withdrawal

(Jerusalem Post) Ari Harow - Despite the Arab street's clear demands for regime change, there are still those who insist that an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is the recipe for regional stability. In reality, moves to delegitimize our presence in Judea and Samaria, and ultimately to hasten our withdrawal to the 1967 armistice lines, would prove catastrophe for democratic hopes in the region. If there is to be any progress, it must be grounded in the concept of defensible borders. A withdrawal to the indefensible 1967 armistice lines is a risk we simply can't afford to take, and which the likes of Hamas are all too eager to exploit. A pullout from the West Bank would surely only encourage the Iranian-inspired fundamentalists who hope to add our eastern flank to the trophies of Gaza and Lebanon. Regionally, other extremist forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood would gain inspiration from a perceived Israeli capitulation, fuelling their own appetite for power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries. A pullback to the 1967 lines would leave the region's only genuine democracy exposed at a time of immense uncertainty. In doing so, reconciliation and genuine peace would become even more unlikely. Any future Israeli-Palestinian talks must therefore be predicated on the necessity of defensible borders. The writer served as bureau chief to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

2011-03-03 00:00:00

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