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Saturday, September 08, 2007
This Land is Our Land?

by: Moshe Feiglin
Founder and President, Manhigut Yehudit
22 Elul, 5767 (Sept. 5, '07)

Translated from the article in Israel's Makor Rishon newspaper.

Rosh Hashanah 5768 is rapidly approaching, and according to news reports, the IDF is preparing a massive troop incursion into Gaza. I don’t know if anybody is counting the IDF incursions into Gaza, but one thing is clear: every incursion is followed by a retreat. The situation in Gaza is strikingly similar to the situation in Lebanon. It is a pendulum that swings back and forth between two impossible poles. We can’t enter because it is not our land and we will rapidly lose international support to remain there, and furthermore, nobody wants to face journalist-turned-Labor MK Sheli Yechimovitch and the Four Mothers. But we also can’t stay out, because Kiryat Shmonah and Sderot are part of our land and we ultimately have to take care of their security needs.

This is not a military question. It is much more basic. Is this our land or not?

Maybe in 5768 we will finally determine the answer to this simple question. We have certainly done our utmost to solve the Arab problem on the basis of the assumption that this is not our land. The Oslo Accords and their aftermath have been one long attempt to work with the assumption that this land is their land. Since the infamous Arafat-Rabin-Clinton handshake on the White House lawn, we have paid for this assumption with close to 2000 dead, tens of thousands of wounded, a horrific Expulsion and devastating despair. What people think about less is how much it costs us. Some simple calculation reveals that the solution based on the assumption that this land is not our land costs us about 200 billion dollars per decade. The cost of the security guards at the entrance to every café makes up 15% of this sum, which does not include protective roofs in Sderot and various anti-Kassam mechanisms.

We can continue to spend these colossal sums on the same, failed assumption. We can continue to invest the 200 billion dollars in making the Separation Fence high enough to prevent Kassam missiles from flying into our towns. Or we can invest in a revolutionary, outrageous, unthinkable solution, based on the outlandish assumption that this really is our land. We can use the same amount of money to encourage Arab emigration from Judea, Samara and Gaza and to compensate them for their homes. (No Expulsion, G-d forbid. That is something that we only know how to do to fellow Jews).

According to findings published by Bir Zeit University, the vast majority of Arabs living in Yesha would be more than happy to escape the clutches of the terror thugs that the Oslo Accords have created, and to find a better future in a different country. According to research by Yoram Ettinger and his staff of demographers, this process is already taking place. That is why the Moslem religious clerics repeatedly forbid emigration from Yesha -- to no avail. The Arabs of Yesha continue to leave for the Gulf States and Canada. All that we have to do is encourage and aid them. 200 billion dollars that we spend every decade on security guards, fences, roadblocks and social security payments to the families of the dead and wounded would amount to about one quarter of a million dollars for every Arab family in Yesha. How many of the millions of Moslems who have immigrated to the West in the last decade have had that sum in their pockets?

This option is a one time investment. Afterwards, we will be able to invest in our own education, infrastructure, families, etc. The Oslo option, on the other hand, is a never-ending investment. After we invest another 200 billion dollars to raise the height of the Separation Fence to anti-Kassam levels, the Iranians will develop a new missile that can fly even higher. Then we will need another 400 billion to raise the fence once again.

It all seems so simple. But will we be willing to admit that this really is our land? Of course not. It’s easier to send our troops into Gaza.

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