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