Outpost Watch: Obama's future minefield - and Netanyahu's
A project in progress: The sheer size of the list of outposts suggests how tough they will be to dislodge.
The following is the first phase of a project aimed at helping monitor outposts and clarify the potential difficulty in countering them for the sake of peace. The data is based in large part on extensive research conducted over years by the Peace Now organization, augmented with and cross-referenced by information from settlers and Haaretz correspondents.
The accompanying map of outposts is under construction. It is, as is the lists of outposts below - and the outposts themselves - a work in progress.
The public will be invited to assist this project. Information on new outposts, or changes in existing outposts, is welcome via the Talkback feature.
Of the long list of hackneyed pro-Israel arguments which persuade no one except previously and permanently persuaded fellow-Israelis, none tops the tired clunker trotted out by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his U.S. visit to Washington this month.
Settlements in the West Bank, he told reporters after talks with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, are "not an obstacle to achieve peace."
Permit me at this point to save some time, and to speak candidly. Everyone - and I do mean everyone, whether they are willing to publicly acknowledge this or not - knows that obstacles are precisely what West Bank settlements were put there to be.
Settlements, whether considered legal or illegal, whether granted overt or blind-eye Israeli government sanction, or placed there by unruly-eyed fanatics who hate the Israeli government almost as much as they hate Arabs, have a common goal.
They were built to be explicit, intentional, physical, literal obstacles to any peace process that would include ceding West Bank land to Palestinians. And that, everyone knows, describes any conceivable future peace process.
Yes, they are also a place to live. And yes, the land they occupy may well be mentioned in the bible, even scores of times. And yes, generations of Jews have now been born and raised there. But this last only underscores the reason they are there.
It should be noted that at this point, there are in fact three distinct classes of West Bank settlements. The first are the government-approved enclaves on the "Israel side" of the West Bank barrier. Under a future peace deal, these are expected to be annexed to Israel, with an acreage-equivalent swath of the western Negev appended to an independent Palestine.
The second class, in every sense, are government-authorized settlements scattered across the West Bank, on the "Palestinian-side" of the fence/wall.
Finally, there are the outpost settlements, which Israel and even elements of the settler movement concede are illegal.
If the settlements are obstacles, the outposts are designed to be landmines. They are volatile, potentially explosive, often vaguely marked and defined.
They defend established settlements by creating a protective outer ring of obstructions to be cleared prior to any move to raze the older, larger, more solidly built enclaves.
And if Barack Obama and, for that matter, Benjamin Netanyahu, make any substantive moves toward Mideast peace, the number of these minefields is certain to mushroom.
View Outpost watch in a larger map
With thanks to Adam Abrams
The current list:
1. ADEI AD 2. AHAVAT HAIM 3. AHIYA 4. ALONEI SHILO, OR NOF KANEH FARM 5. ALTITUDE 468, or, NOFEI PRAT WEST. 6. AMONA 7. ANCIENT SYNAGOGUE OF SUSYA 8. ASA'EL 9. AVIGAIL 10. BAT AYIN EAST 11. BAT AYIN WEST 12. BEIT EL EAST 13. BNEI ADAM, OR ADAM EAST 14. BRACHA A 15. BRUCHIN 16. DERECH HA'AVOT 17. EIN PRAT 18. ELISHA, OR TZOFIT [PRE-IDF SERVICE ACADEMY] 19. ELMATAN 20. ESH KODESH 21. GILAD FARM 22. GIVAT ASSAF 23. GIVAT HADAGAN 24. GIVAT HADEGEL 25. GIVAT HAHISH 26. GIVAT HAREL 27. GIVAT HATAMAR 28. GIVAT SALIT 29. GVA'OT OLAM 30. HABAYIT HA'ADOM, OR HADA'AT FARM 31. HAHAR 32. HAKARON 33. HANEKUDA 34. HAR HEMED 35. HARESHA 36. HARO'EH, OR ELI 762 37. HAYOVEL 38. HERUTI 39. HILL 26, OR KARMEI NETANEL 40. HILL 725 41. HILL 777 42. HILL 782 43. HILL 836 44. HILL 851 45. HORESH YARON 46. IBEI HANAHAL 47. JABEL ARITIS, OR ALT. 909 48. KARMEI DORON, OR EINAV NORTHEAST 49. KFAR TAPUAH WEST 50. KIDA, OR ADEI AD NORTH 51. KOCHAV YAAKOV EAST 52. KOCHAV YAAKOV WEST 53. LEHAVAT YITZHAR 54. MAALEH EFRAIM [PRE-IDF SERVICE ACADEMY] 55. MAALEH HAGIT 56. MAALEH ISRAEL 57. MAALEH REHAVAM 58. MAALEH SHLOMO 59. MAAVAR MICHMASH, OR MIGRON SOUTH 60. MAGEN DAN 61. MAON FARM, OR HILL 833 62. MAOZ ZVI 63. MAROM AYALON, OR MEVO HORON NORTH 64. MEVO'OT JERICHO 65. MIGRON 66. MISHPATEI ARETZ, OR BEIT HAGDUD [YESHIVA] 67. MITZPEH DANNY 68. MITZPEH ESHTAMOA, OR SHIM'A NORTH 69. MITZPEH HA'AI 70. MITZPEH JERICHO NORTHEAST 71. MITZPEH KRAMIM 72. MITZPEH LACHISH 73. MITZPEH YAIR, OR MAGEN DAVID 74. MITZPEH YITZHAR 75. MOR FARM 76. MUL NEVO 77. NEVE DANIEL NORTH, OR SDE BO'AZ 78. NEVE EREZ 79. NOF HARIM 80. NOF NESHER, OR LUCIFER FARM 81. NOFEI NEHEMIA 82. OFRA NORTHEAST 83. OLD MASSUOT YITZHAK 84. OMER FARM, OR EINOT KEDEM 85. PALGEI HAMAYIM, OR HIRBET A-SHUNA 86. PNEI KEDEM 87. RAMAT GILAD 88. RACHELIM SOUTH 89. SDE BAR FARM, OR KFAR ELDAD 90. SDE KALEV, OR KIRYAT ARBA SOUTH 91. SHALHEVET FARM, OR YITZHAR WEST 92. SKALI'S FARM, OR POINT 792 93. SNEH YAAKOV 94. SUSYA NORTHWEST, OR RUJUM El CHAMRI 95. TEKOA B AND C 96. TEKOA D 97. TZUR SHALEM 98. YAIR FARM 99. YATIR SOUTHWEST 100. ZAIT RAANAN
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