At the time of the publication of this article, U.S. Reaffirms Support for Natural Growth of Settlements was also published. Remember, the Oslo Accords were signed in 1995. Netanyahu was following the course set by both Allon and Sharon. PM Barak violated this Plan at Camp David in 2001 by reducing Israel’s demand to about 6% of the land and offering to share Jerusalem. Three years later when Sharon was maneuvering for Disengagement, he indicated that his preference for Judea and Samaria was as it was. Obviously the Arabs have been very successful in shifting the focus of discussion to the ’67 lines. Ted Belman
Some weeks ago Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat exclaimed in frustration, “I don’t know what Netanyahu wants.”
Well, now he does. Publication of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “secret” map for the division of the West Bank between Israel and the Palestinians clearly establishes Netanyahu’s preferences as he pushes the Oslo process into addressing the core problems of Jerusalem, settlements, water, and refugees. The map says nothing about the hapless Gaza Strip, where Israel remains in control of 30 percent of the territory.
There are two ways to analyze the publication of the so-called secret map at this time–by assessing the meaning of its publication in the context of current diplomacy and the Israeli preferences that the map reflects.
Whatever the map details, its appearance now is yet more proof that the Oslo process has moved irrevocably away from the framework of the “interim period” reconfirmed by Israel, the U.S., and the Palestinians as recently as the Hebron agreement earlier this year.
Netanyahu is implementing his long-held intention to refashion a process inherited from his predecessors one year ago. He is now focusing on developing proposals for final status issues, directing the momentum of diplomacy and moving the agenda away from “further redeployment” and toward Jerusalem, the settlements, and his “Allon-Plus” plan for territorial compromise on the West Bank. If settlement construction at Jebel Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) was described by Netanyahu as “the beginning of the battle for Jerusalem,” a battle he had no intention of losing, this map signals the beginning of the battle over the borders of “Greater Israel.” (See map page 3.)
Netanyahu’s map maintains fidelity to a number of long-standing Israeli geostrategic principles outlined in the Allon Plan; Ariel Sharon’s “A Vision of Israel at Century’s End,” published in 1977; and the “Peace Map” of the Third Way political party issued last year. According to the principles, “defensible borders” for Israel and its strategic superiority throughout the territory require these factors:
- Israeli sovereignty in a 15 km wide belt including the Jordan Valley and its western mountain ridge and in the Judean Desert running west from the Dead Sea (except for a small area running north of Ayn Fashka).
Expansion of the territorial bridge between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean coast by widening Israeli sovereignty northwest of the city to the settlement of Beit Horon and south to the Etzion Bloc.