Friday, December 17, 2010

Leading Israeli Military Historian: Israel Must Leave the West Bank Now – And Can Do So Unilaterally

Martin van Crevald, one of Israel's leading military historians, and no peacenik, has published a piece in the Forward that makes the following claims:

1) Israel is militarily in an extremely strong and secure position.

2) Holding on to the West Bank will be detrimental to Israel's future (in fact, he says that he will tell his grandchildren to leave such an apartheid country if Israel doesn't withdraw)

3) It would be preferable for the withdrawal to be negotiated, but not necessary.

4) It would be preferable for a Palestinian state to be demilitarized but not necessary.

5) Withdrawal from Gaza was very successful for Israel's security.

Van Crevald is no peace-nik. Words like "justice," "peace," "rights," "self-determination" don't issue from his pen. He is only concerned with one parameter, Israel's security. I think he is mistaken on many points, including some pf the ones he mentions here.

But if you are trying to make the case for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank to your brother, the Israel Lobbyite, I suggest you use some of van Crevald's arguments.

Money quote from the conclusion:

Keeping all these facts in mind — and provided that Israel maintains its military strength and builds a wall to stop suicide bombers — it is crystal-clear that Israel can easily afford to give up the West Bank. Strategically speaking, the risk of doing so is negligible. What is not negligible is the demographic, social, cultural and political challenge that ruling over 2.5 million — nobody knows exactly how many — occupied Palestinians in the West Bank poses. Should Israeli rule over them continue, then the country will definitely turn into what it is already fast becoming: namely, an apartheid state that can only maintain its control by means of repressive secret police actions.

To save itself from such a fate, Israel should rid itself of the West Bank, most of Arab Jerusalem specifically included. If possible, it should do so by agreement with the Palestinian Authority; if not, then it should proceed unilaterally, as the — in my view, very successful — withdrawal from Gaza suggests. Or else I would strongly advise my children and grandson to seek some other, less purblind and less stiff-necked, country to live in.

h/t to Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, for drawing my attention to this.





pabelmont said...

Thanks for this post. He writes: "what it is already fast becoming: namely, an apartheid state that can only maintain its control by means of repressive secret police actions." Hmm. Are there still people who say "fast becoming"? What would signal (to them) that the apartheid state had become (at long last, naturally) a then-present reality?

Unknown said...

This man, who likes war so much, is Martin van Creveld. When he first used the words "eruit! Eruit!" some thought he meant the Palestinians. He had to explain in the NRC of May 1st 2009 that he meant the settlers.

Anonymous said...

"Withdrawal from Gaza was very successful for Israel's security"

tell that to the people of southern israel who sustained 8000 rocket attacks

the man is a boob

but if he wishes to unilaterally leave...he may do so...ill help him find a place in nyc