Cart before the horse - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Stephen Duke
    • 04.12.05 | 12:49 (IST)

    Levy, I think, puts the cart before the horse. Of course Israel should withdraw from Yehuda and Shomron but this needs to be done in an orderly and well thought out fashion, and not just from a security standpoint. Withdrawing from the territories will cause a huge split in the nation (not just geographically) and one way to ensure this move goes as smoothly as possible is to make sure we have the economic and social infrastructure in place to cope with a huge relocation of people. We've seen the problems the residents of Gaza are facing and (as much as a lot of this is self-imposed because they refused to face up to reality) we should try to make sure this isn't repeated with settlers who live east of the fence. It's much better to use the money that currently goes towards isolated settlements in order to devleop the Negev and Galilee and to narrow the gaps in society so that there will be somewhere for the settlers to move to and something worthwhile for them to do when they arrive back over the green line. So, Israel must first focus on social issues precisely in order to be able to withdraw from the territories. I think the point that Shelly Yachimovich is making is that for far too long Israel has ignored the social gulf because we were preoccupied (no pun intended) with the situation in the territories and Shimon Peres glorious vision of the "new middle east" where peace and co-operation would lead to economic growth. I don't think she is suggesting that we ignore the Palestinians, simply that we can no longer ignore the social problems that exist in Israel. I believe she (and by extension Amir Peretz) is right.

    from the article: Beyond Yachimovich's view
    First published 00:00 04.12.05 | Last updated 00:00 04.12.05
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