About Ehud Barak’s Disengagement Plan
Ehud Barak looks like he’s planning on running to be Israel’s next prime minister when elections are finally called. To that end, he’s floated a proposal to disengage from large parts of the West Bank and to hand control over to the Palestinian Authority.
While this might garner support from the Israeli left, Likud and other right wing parties aren’t going for the idea - and they point to how the Gaza disengagement turned out. They note the thousands of rocket terror attacks that have occurred since the 2005 disengagement as proof that a West Bank plan wouldn’t work.
There are serious reasons to doubt a West Bank plan, but there are also good reasons for Israel to consider it. The demographics don’t favor Israel, and the Israelis don’t have a partner in peace with the Palestinian Authority so long as Hamas remains part.
A disengagement would potentially lead to a 3-state solution: Hamas-controlled Gaza, a Fatah-controlled West Bank, and Israel. It’s not what the peace process envisioned by Oslo would ever have considered, but based on the facts on the ground, it’s one of the only ways Israel could break through the impasse on the peace process. Fatah isn’t willing to give up the ghost of a right of return - one that would use demographics to overwhelm Israel. Uprooting Israeli settlements has been done in the past, and it would likely happen again. It’s not about the settlements - it never has been.
Consider this an opening salvo in Israeli domestic politics towards their next election.