There is only one important fact on the ground. That fact is the Israel Army. There is one important fact in the air -- the IAF. The rest are negotiating chips. After the 1973 war, the USA wanted peace between Israel and Egypt. Israel wanted to keep half the Sinai to help in the next war with Egypt. US: Move back to the pre-1967 border. Israel: We can't, that border is not defensible. US: Peace is worth it. Israel: It would cost us $20 billion to move our bases. US: Here's $20 billion. Do it. They did, and it will hurt them in the next war with Egypt. If there were real peace negotiations .... US: Move out the settlers. Israel: We can't. It would cost us $500 billion. US: Here's $500 billion. Do it. Israel would create as many settlers as they could, because each settler would be worth a million dollars. Negotiating chips to cash from the USA. And later the Israeli Army could take it all back.
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from the article: Olmert's negotiator: Full Mideast peace impossible