It is with some alarm that I read of increased extreme radicalism, and even apocalyptic fervor, among west bank settlers (June 26). The difficulty, politically and militarily, in removing tens of thousands of such people is clear.
Realism should be the watchword in seeking the best peace deal for Israel. Micro-managing what the future Palestinian nation will look like, including the extent of its democratic tendencies, will yield no good. We all know Palestine will be corrupt, badly divided, hostile, and ruled by radical autocrats. Israel should aim for a cold peace, as with Jordan and Egypt, or a glorified armistice, which maintained borders from 1949 to 1967, and not expend political capital nor exchange land in return for illusory paper guarantees about the character of Palestine.
As advocated by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel should excise as many communities of Israeli Arabs as possible in the final peace deal. Israel’s Arab population is a cancer and should be minimized. Much land can be attained in such a swap; perhaps valuable strategic portions of the Jordan Valley could be retained.
The peace deal should and will retain for Israel heavily settled areas of the west bank. As for the remainder: The settlers will have many months advance notice of the treaty’s effective date. They should be notified that, effective the day after, they will be outside the law. Since their fate shall be clear, one hopes they will opt to depart, for adequate compensation.