They Say, We Say: The West Bank will become a haven for terrorists

They Say We Say 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.

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Does more land mean more security?

They Say:

If the IDF withdraws from the West Bank, the West Bank will become a haven for terrorists and Israel's largest population centers and its most vital strategic assets could be easily attacked by rockets and shells.

We Say:

The IDF's presence in the West Bank unquestionably has some security benefits for Israel. However, it doesn't guarantee against the infiltration of terrorists and the smuggling of weapons into the West Bank. It also isn't a guarantee against rockets and mortars targeting Israeli population centers and installations.

The reality is that even when Israel was in full control of Gaza, rockets and mortars were launched at Israel from the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Such attacks have stopped only when the Palestinian authorities in Gaza have decided to stop them. Likewise in the West Bank, a motivated Palestinian government has been the most effective means of stopping terrorism.

Terrorism emanating from the West Bank and Gaza, and sometimes supported by outside forces, is already a top Israeli concern. To address this concern, Israel today relies mainly on defensive measures, like the Iron Dome anti-rocket system. Israel will no doubt maintain such measures even under a peace agreement. However, under a peace agreement, Israel would also benefit from intensified security cooperation with Palestinian authorities. Likewise, in the context of peace negotiations there is no doubt that Israel will insist on security arrangements that address specific Israeli concerns, including protecting Ben Gurion airport and preventing infiltration of people and weapons through the Palestinian-Jordanian border into a future Palestinian state.