They Say, We Say: Asking Israel to give up land is asking Israel to sacrifice its security.
We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.
You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.
Go HERE for all installments of APN's "They Say, We Say"
Does more land mean more security?
Israel is a tiny country - smaller than many U.S. states - and the 1967 lines are indefensible. Asking Israel to give up land is asking Israel to sacrifice its security.
Nobody is trying to force Israel to accept the 1967 lines as a permanent and official border between the West Bank and Israel. Borders will be the result of negotiations, subject to mutual agreement. There will be no peace agreement unless Israel agrees that it can live with it, including with respect to the defensibility of its borders.
Besides being a red herring - an intentional effort to divert attention from Israel's acute need to end its occupation of the West Bank - the "indefensibility" argument is wrong on its merits. Yes, an Israeli withdrawal from most of the West Bank will involve some security risks, but these risks do not render the borders of a future two-state agreement "indefensible." Negotiations with the Palestinians can produce a permanent border for Israel that meets its security needs. On balance, the national security benefits for Israel of a future peace agreement with the Palestinians far outweigh the risks.
Moreover, this argument ignores the security sacrifices that Israel is making in order to maintain military control of the West Bank - including harming army morale and leaving Israel's forces unprepared to handle serious external security threats.
Broadly speaking, when considering the defensibility of future borders, one has to distinguish between legitimate concerns and the ubiquitous manipulation of these concerns. Israel has legitimate security concerns. Misrepresenting facts or ignoring overarching Israeli national interests when discussing such concerns is blatant manipulation, generally to advance an ideological "Greater Israel" agenda.