244. Settlements negate a two-state solution


The administration has a "road map" for a two-state solution of the Palestine question. Before making any deal, the Palestinian leadership should consider two important points.
First, they should look closely at a map. If they do, they will find that the number of settlements in the occupied territories made up of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza is 285; that the number of settlers is 400,000; that Israel has built 250 miles of roads to be exclusively used by Jews. The result is that the West Bank is carved into 200 disconnected islands.

Second, they should consult the updated edition of the annual World Factbook recently released by the CIA. If they do, they will find that the percentage of population growth is 3.39 in the West Bank and 3.95 in Gaza, while it is merely 1.48 in Israel; that the fertility rate is 4.77 children per woman in the West Bank and 6.29 in Gaza while it is merely 2.54 in Israel; that the percentage of the population under 14 is 44.4 percent in the West Bank and 49.7 in Gaza while it is merely 27.1 in Israel.

Given the first set of facts, unless there is a total withdrawal of the settlers to Israel proper, a sovereign Palestinian state is not viable. If the Israelis refuse to withdraw, given the second set of facts, the Palestinians should forget about the two-state solution. The trend favoring a Palestinian majority in historic Palestine/greater Israel is rapidly accelerating.

November  8, 2002