I can answer that,Declan - it's what Ariel Sharon called "creating facts on the ground" some time ago regarding building illegal settlements and then arguing that it would amount to "ethnic cleansing" to remove them - although the more recent "outposts" could be up for negotiation.Thus the dream of Greater Israel would be acheived,containing a few Palestinian "Bantustans" to provide cheap Labour and much of the Palestinian population driven by intimidation or poverty into neighbouring countries,such as Jordan.
That is the dream - but the intifada and many brave Israelis have prevented it becoming a reality - so far.The wall is another attempt to nibble away at more Palestinian land.
Here's another comment worth reading -
[With the end of the holiday season this News Service is now back on deck, albeit, still in a summer mode. There are many items accumulated that could be sent to you. For example thereÂs the 12-months sentence for the refuseniks which takes us back to the early Â80s and the Lebanon refuseniks.
Instead however I chose this item because of the significance of the writer. Haaretz tells us in Hebrew and in English ÂThe writer was a major general in the IDF and a mayor of Tel Aviv.Â It is correct but Israelis would also know that Shlomo ÂChichÂ Lahat was a Likud mayor of Tel-Aviv, not a Meretz softie.
Here are some of the stronger quotes: Â We saw and we formed impressions. And the impressions were very harshÂ . At one checkpoint we met four mothers with eight blind children aged 4-5 who were walking to Nablus for medical treatment. It was a hair-raising sight to see the little blind children marching along led by the womenÂ .
ÂIn summary: I am doubtful whether the checkpoints have in fact prevented the passage of a terrorist or of weapons. Every checkpoint can be bypassed. I have the impression that the only purpose of the checkpoints is to make things hard for the Palestinian population. I am convinced that the checkpoints constitute a breeding ground for hatred for Israel, and harm an innocent population in an inhumane manner.
So when a former Likud mayor Tel-Aviv makes the observations above they should be taken seriously.
[The Independent Middle East Information Service is generously sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society]
Created By: Zeb Rahaman