Israel and DisengagementNOTE: I am tired of stale links, so am going to cache many things here. Ehud Olmert is the #2 in Israel, the Vice-Premier. The new Labor-Likud government seems to be going forward, even though Peres had originally wanted to be Vice-Premier in the new government. Today's news is weird, though, so it probably is a strategy. From what I've gathered, historically, Likud is more pro-settlement, and Labor is less so, even if neither party actually does anything to change settlement rates. So, on the one hand, the top story on Google News (cached here) is about Olmert saying that the disengagement plan is just a precursor to a total withdrawal from the West Bank. The articles includes loony logic like that from MK (Member of Knesset) Aryeh Eldad of the National-Union (which gets 5.5% of the vote), from the Jerusalem Post article "A proof that there is a plan for more disengagement, he said, is the fact that Israel is planning to cede Gaza down to the last centimeter. 'This means we don't have claims to other territories,' he said." Well, what the Jerusalem Post doesn't note is that Sharon's office has no comment on what his #2 is saying! From the San Francisco Gate
However, Sharon's office did not confirm the plan. "The Prime Minister has not changed his policy and the plan for disengagement. There is nothing beyond that," said Raanan Gissin, an aide to Sharon.In short, the party of the settlements is declaring that disengagement from Gaza is a precursor to disengagement from all Palestinian lands. Smells worse than fishy to me. I believe the settlement mentality is irrational. I believe that a large proportion of settlers are American Jews who believe an imaginary being gave them this land. The best way to spike the disengagement plan, I see, is to have Olmert suggest its really just the first step in a massive disengagement plan.
According to the newspaper, Olmert declined to define the extent of the second pullback, but said such a withdrawal was necessary to prevent Israel from being forced to give up all the lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war.