Land Swaps With Palestinians? Israel Doesn’t Have Enough to Swap…

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Brilliant reporting by Nathan Jeffay in the Forward, on the question of land swaps. Is there even enough land to swap, per the Obama idea? And what would swapping mean?

There are several issues: There isn’t enough Israeli land to give the Palestinians to make a swap even-steven, hard-core settlers outside the settlment blocs would never leave the West Bank so that ups the percentage of land that would have to be swapped; and then what if “populated” areas are included in the swaps– Israelis moved off land inside Israel to give it to the Palestinians, Israeli Palestinians transferred with their land to the Palestinian state. A recognized idea in Europe, someone tells the Forward. But it does make you wonder about the limits of ethnic nationalism. (Just imagine for one second American Jews being asked to transfer their residency from Massachusetts to New York in order to solidify the Jewish #s in New York…)

Some excerpts from the Forward reporting:

“The solution Obama talked about, one that is “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” means that Israel would hold on to some settled areas that it captured in 1967 and compensate the Palestinians with land that currently falls under Israeli sovereignty…. But in Israel, many experts say there simply isn’t enough free land under Israeli sovereignty to exchange for them….

[Ehud Olmert] wanted 6.3% of the territories — that is, the West Bank and Gaza — which would keep 75% of settlers in their homes.

But Olmert could make such an offer only because he ignored three principles on which Palestinian leaders insist. The first is that exchanges must be on an acre-for-acre ratio, and Olmert was offering only areas equivalent of 5.8% of the territories. The second is that the land must be what they consider good quality — usually assessed from agricultural criteria — while large sections of what Olmert offered are not easily cultivated. The third is that Palestinians must be compensated acre for acre for the Israeli presence in parts of Jerusalem that was captured in 1967, while Olmert’s calculations discounted Jerusalem….

[And where could the Israeli land come from?]

According to [Geneva Initiative Shaul Arieli’s] analysis, 2% can be found along the Gaza border; 1% near the West Bank, in the Lakhish district in south central Israel, and another 1% near the West Bank in the Beit She’an Valley, in northern Israel. There is also 1% close to the West Bank near Arad, in southern Israel, but it is mostly nonagricultural land.

Of course, the figures are tight only if populated areas are off the table.

Currently, nobody in Israel is suggesting evacuating kibbutzim or small villages populated by Jews to free up space for exchange. But David Newman, professor of political geography at Ben-Gurion University and chief editor of the journal Geopolitics, believes this could change. “It’s only as taboo as talking about land swaps was 15 years ago, or talking about a Palestinian state was 20 years ago,” he said.

Swapping areas populated by Arabs is, however, already an accepted principle by many in Israel.”

2 Responses to Land Swaps With Palestinians? Israel Doesn’t Have Enough to Swap…

  1. Ariely 01/06/2011 at 8:11 PM

    1:1-Israel will hand over to Palestinian government land inhabited by Arabs from Israel and Jews from settlements governed by Israel
    1:2-Both Arabs and Jew will remain in their current homes nobody will have to move physically.
    1:3 Artificial boarders or imposed boarders are major conflict reasons.
    Avoid future similar conflicts while defining boarders

    Canada-French want state: Belgian Flames separations. Basques in Spain. Irish and Scotts independence from UK . Wars in Africa because tribes have been separated or united by Europe. Kashmir- Cyprus- Kurds in Turkey, Balkan wars. wars in Russia.

    Don’t be fooled again by the Arabs tactic to get real estates in exchange to uncommitted words,no peace and open doors for conflict continuations and terror.

    2:1 – Arabs refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Jews to a state in their 3500 old homeland.

    2.2- The refugees: 1.000.000 Jews from Arab countries -650.000 Arab refugees from mandatory Palestine.

    2.3- Jerusalem
    Arab will govern Muslim holly places.
    All the other governed by Israel.
    Arabs have a very poor record of protecting or offering equality to infidel cultures.

    Don’t be misleading by the presided: OBAMA THE CHANGE.
    Impressive TV shows. Charismatic speeches without facts backup.
    Covering the emptiness of:OBAMA THE CHANGE

  2. Aaron 31/05/2011 at 2:12 AM

    The above maps are complete fabrications.

    1) The first map shows The British Mandate of Palestine in 1946, which was ruled by the British. All areas, Jewish and Arab, were “Palestinian”, since at the time Jews were called Palestinian Jews and Arabs were called Palestinian Arabs. The green areas do not represent areas owned by Palestinian Arabs, only area that wasn’t specifically Jewish. That doesn’t make those areas Arab.

    2) The second map shows the UN recommended partition of Palestine into equal parts – Arab and Jewish. This partition was accepted by the Jewish leadership but categorically rejected by the Arab leadership. Six Arab states (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia) then invaded Palestine to wipe out the unborn Jewish state.

    3) The third map incorrectly shows the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestine”. In fact, after the 1948 Israel was of independence, Gaza was annexed to Egypt and the West Bank was annexed to Jordan. No Arab country at the time considered creating an independent Palestinian Arab state.

    4) The fourth map is also incorrect. There are in fact three types of areas in the West Bank and Gaza: Area A (under full Palestinian control), Area B (full civil Palestinian control and Israeli military oversite) and Area C (Israeli control). This map only shows Area A. The final status of Areas B & C are still being negotiated.

    Regardless of your sympathies, it behooves Mideastposts to publish the truth. The truth will set you free.

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