Thursday, August 15, 2013

8 %

Quotable words:-

How likely is it that Israel will attempt to relocate settlers as a result of negotiations?

There are over 650,000 settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This is more than 8% of the Israeli population. I don’t imagine that any Israeli leader would be able to relocate such a large population. The population of Texas is about 8% of the U.S. — imagine any American leader trying to relocate its 25,000,000 inhabitants! Even Palestinian negotiators know that Israel will not relocate all settlers. The negotiation is about how many settlers will be relocated and how many settlements will be added to Israel proper. Palestinians and Israelis will negotiate land exchange to allow some settlers to stay in their houses and remain in Israel. Still, with that being said, it takes an amazing political mandate to relocate any settlers. The two-state solution is not possible without evacuation of some of the settlements. However, it is possible to leave the major blocs and do a land exchange. These major settlement blocs house most of the settlers. Israel will have to remove some settlements that make contiguity of land impossible for a Palestinian state. It will also have to remove most of the small random settlements in the West Bank. This will mean tens of thousands of settlers. However, Israel is unlikely to agree to the removal of all settlers. The two sides are currently stuck on what settlements should be dismantled, which ones should stay within Israel, and what percentage of land should be exchanged between the two sides. With that being said, peace is also possible through other solutions. If the relocation of settlers is not possible, then alternatives to the two-state solution should be considered. Many scholars and politicians have been working on a variety of models and solutions. Also, some people have suggested that some Israeli settlers remain in the Palestinian state as Palestinian citizens. These options are less liked among the two governments, but they might have no option but to start considering them. If the current negotiations fail, the public support for two state solution is likely to diminish and new alternatives will become more popular and mainstream.

Actually, the figure is one out of every 10 Jewish Israelis lives beyond the Green Line.


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