Photo: AP
Photo: Effie Shrir
West Bank settlement: Tiny village in sea of hate
Photo: Effie Shrir
Sever Plocker
Gaza only the beginning
Evacuation of 8,000 settlers only an appetizer before main course

The hundreds of soldiers and police officers in Gaza equipped with video cameras were not meant to document a historic event, but rather, to provide footage for future security forces briefings on we can better pull off the now-inevitable future evacuations.




The exodus from Gaza was no more than a military exercise. Just like the Lebanon War, the "disengagement program" will not come to an end with the destruction of Gush Katif and Netzarim.


After these 8,000 evacuees will be 80,000 more: The moving of 80,000 Jewish settlers who today live across the Green Live to areas not under dispute.


Broken Dream


The settlement movement looks today like a broken dream.


It is true that 240,000 Jews live over the Green Line, but 150,000 of them live in "large settlement blocs" near or on the 1967 border. This is where Israel ends.


One need only travel just a few more kilometers eastward to sense the failure: Tiny Jewish communities, dotting a sea of hostile Palestinians.


Just a stone's throw from town of Kfar Saba, there is already a Palestinian state, created after the first Intifada.


Despite all the rhetoric, from the time of the Madrid Summit in 1991 until now, there has been exactly one new Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, called Modi'in Ilit, and it, too, is close enough to touch the 1967 border.


Stupid camouflage


In the stupid attempts to camouflage things, new neighborhoods were added to existing settlements, but this changed little, and they remained mostly barren.


In Itamar, there are a grand total of 500 people, Eli's got 2,000, Ofra 2,000 and Emmanuel 2,500. Elkana's got another 3,000. These communities are on the scale of statistic mistake.


At the end of the day, non-settlers, rather than settlers themselves, determined the border between Israel and the Palestinian state. Ariel Sharon knows this.


It's possible he cries about this; it's also possible he's happy about it. A million Jews that didn't move to the territories prevented the irreversible establishment of a bi-national state.


What's left?


Against the fall of the settlement movement and the settlements themselves, what's left for Sharon – the prophet and architect of the movement – to do?


Just what he's doing now: Pull out, gather the broken and establish new, defensible, demographic borders for Israel.


He started by pulling out of Gaza, but Gaza was just the appetizer, intended to give security forces tactical experience, to set legal and economic precedents, to manipulate the Right and to confuse the Left.


Sharon will learn lessons from this, will fortify his government (either the current one or the next one), and will continue with the second grand project of his life: Dismantling Jewish settlement on the other side of the border fence.


As an old man, Sharon will seek to complete these historic proceedings in just a few years.


From 8,000 to 80,000


Sharon has already explained why this has to happen: Because the Jewish people failed to make the vision of Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza happen.


This failure has brought us to a position of no choice. No choice but to cut our losses and pull out.


Therefore, after the 8,000 Gaza evacuees will come 80,000 more from Judea and Samaria.


A person such as Sharon, a seasoned politician accustomed to thinking big, will settle for no less.


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