‘Land swaps’: is there enough land to swap?

Nathan Jeffay reports:

It is the magic formula that could end the occupation while letting the majority of settlers stay put. But how would an Israeli-Palestinian land swap, the basis of President Obama’s Middle East vision, outlined on May 19, actually work?

The main practical problem of an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is the fact that some 300,000 Israeli settlers live there. Not only would a full evacuation be hazardous for any Israeli government on the domestic political front, but it also would be logistically difficult and exceedingly costly.

The solution Obama talked about, one that is “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” means that Israel would hold on to some settled areas that it captured in 1967 and compensate the Palestinians with land that currently falls under Israeli sovereignty.

Even if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorses the principle, a problem remains. Every Israeli leader insists on retaining the large settlement blocs — usually defined at a minimum as the Etzion Bloc, Modi’in Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, and Givat Ze’ev and its surroundings — and the national consensus in support of this position is strong. But in Israel, many experts say there simply isn’t enough free land under Israeli sovereignty to exchange for them.

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3 thoughts on “‘Land swaps’: is there enough land to swap?

  1. Eleonora

    So what else is new? One only needs to look at the maps (Passia.com) to see that this is since quite a long time a known fact. Why the fuss now?

    As the PA lawyer Michel Tarzai said a while ago: “We’re discussing with Israel how to slice the pizza while Israel is eating it up”

  2. Norman

    Like any glutton, eat too much, they explode. The days are numbered, everyone should understand that. Perhaps the question should be asked of the Israelis, “what are you going to do when the U.S. and the American Jews stop giving aid?

  3. Eleonora

    To Norman

    I assume they would go back home to where they came from … i.e. Poland, Russia, Germany (did you know that many Israeli of German descent have and do apply in increasing numbers for the German passport? Ironic, isn’t it?), France, the USofA, et al. Those who belong here and have always been here would probably and hopefully stay.

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