Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Curiouser and Curiouser

Bibi plans IDF pullback from West Bank cities

Print Email
Netanyahu arrives in Paris to meet with President Nicolas Sarkozy today.(AFP/Getty Images)

Was Benjamin Netanyahu’s grudging and precondition-laden acknowledgment of Palestinian statehood just a sweetener to Barack Obama intended to keep Israel’s right-wing coalition together? In his American Prospect column this week, Gershom Gorenberg paraphrases Dr. Iyad Barghouti, director of the Ramallah Center for Human Rights, as saying that Bibi wants only “colonial-style ‘self-rule’” in the Palestinian territories. Maybe so. But at the same time, a funny thing is happening: Netanyahu seems to be pulling back a bit from the territories. Yesterday, Haaretz reported that manned roadblock deconstruction was occurring at an accelerated pace; today, the Jerusalem Post reports a plan to “radically reduce” Israeli troop levels in parts of the West Bank. Under the plan, IDF soldiers will decrease their presence in the cities of of Kalkilya, Ramallah, Jericho, Jenin, and Bethlehem and cede authority to American-trained Palestinian soldiers. “Defense officials said that the move was aimed at giving the Palestinians the ability to enforce law and order and crack down on Hamas and other terror elements independently without Israeli intervention,” Yaakov Katz writes. (Of course, Israel hasn’t ruled out IDF sorties in those cities to preempt planned or rumored terrorist attacks.)

Netanyahu may be a long way from adopting the Sharon About-Face and initiating a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank. But these incremental measures aimed at bolstering Palestinian sovereignty cannot be discarded out of hand. Even a diplomatic salve to a more contentious American president has the possibility to alter “facts on the ground.”

IDF to Radically Cut West Bank Presence [J-Post]
Previously: The Curious Case of Benjamin Netanyahu

Print Email
2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Bibi plans IDF pullback from West Bank cities

More on Tablet:

15 American Rabbis You Haven’t Heard Of, But Should

By Yair Rosenberg — These Jewish leaders’ influence has been felt around the country, in every denomination, even if you don’t know them by name