View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Settlements and Other Settlements

Jed Babbin has a fine discussion on Israel's need for the Fence. In it, he touches on the issue of settlements.

The issue of settlements can be very simple (keep them all; they all must go) or very complicated. Not all settlements are equal. The Etzion Bloc of settlements, for instance, south of Bethlehem, has not only been built up substantially, but also has great emotional significance. Michael Oren, in _Six Days of War_, talks about how even secular Jews felt a sense of homecoming in the West Bank, because that was historical Judea, where the great events of the Jewish people took place. Thus Hebron and Nablus, while now Arab cities, have places of great religious significance to Jews.

I certainly do not believe that every settlement is a good thing. I do not believe, for instance, that it makes any sense to keep Jews in the middle of Gaza, or that their presence there has any meaning, or that it makes holding onto Efrat any easier.

My only point is that some places will be more easily disposed of than others, and these distinctions need to be drawn now, before Israel concedes anything, leading to momentum and pressure for them to concede everything.

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