The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Is Olmert Already Abandoning Mass Unilateral Withdrawal?
Last Friday, I posted about signals emanating from Kadima that Prime Minister Olmert would not, after all, be implementing a withdrawal from all Judea/Samaria communities east of the security fence.
In particular, I wrote that Beit El, Kiryat Arba and Hebron's Jewish community would probably be among the areas that are retained in the event that Olmert is to backtrack.
While Olmert himself has offered few specifics about his plan, in the days since my post, reports indicate that Beit El, Kiryat Arba and Hebron are indeed among the areas that Israel will retain. For example, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post, Uzi Keren, Olmert's adviser for settlements stated that "the Beit El group" would likely be retained. Today, Haaretz is reporting that Kadima's Otniel Schneller says that Israel will find "creative ways" to retain Kiryat Arba and the Hebron community.
Again, these statements should be taken with caution, since Olmert has offered no particulars about his plans. However, in Washington, Olmert already began referring to his goal of achieving "secure borders" for Israel, rather than "permanent borders," as he had previously always called for.
With little prospect of either U.S. financial support for a massive evacuation of tens of thousands of Jewish residents or U.S. political support for Israeli annexation of the large settlement blocs that comprise less than 8 percent of Judea and Samaria, Olmert will likely begin scaling back his plans, from a massive unilateral withdrawal to Israel's "permanent borders" to a much more modest unilateral withdrawal to "secure borders."