Israel After Disengagement
It was necessary, it would seem, for the disengagement from Gaza to take place for the strategy behind it to be revealed as unworkable.
That strategy was based on two assumptions that have guided the Likud government of Ariel Sharon, both clearly held by him yet only partially articulated for reasons of political expediency. The first is that Palestinian and Israeli positions are too far apart, and the Palestinian leadership too weak and untrustworthy, for successful negotiations between the two sides to take place in the foreseeable future. The second is that, in the absence of a negotiated agreement, Israel cannot afford, either politically or demographically, to remain forever in the greater part of the territories now controlled by it.
About the Author
Hillel Halkin is a columnist for the New York Sun and a veteran contributor to COMMENTARY. Portions of the present essay were delivered at Northwestern University in March as the Klutznick Lecture in Jewish Civilization.