"I'm aware there's no perfect solution here," Oren concluded. "Every option involves risks, untold circumstances. But I can't emphasize enough the importance of having what I refer to as the Zionist option: We do not outsource our fundamental destiny to Palestinian decision making."
With that rational he proposes that Israel announce a Plan B that she would implement in the event the Palestinians act on their Plan B, namely to go to the international community for recognition as a state. "Their Plan B includes international sanctions, targeting our economy, completely delegitimizing us in the world." he said.
In essence, he is arguing for unilateral withdrawal from parts of Judea and Samaria which he says will differ from the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in that no settlers would be uprooted nor would the IDF be removed from the remaining land. He thereby fortifies the idea that PM Netanyahu mooted about leaving 150,000 Israelis behind in Palestine. Everyone knows that it would cost $150 billion to remove them and no one is talking about where the money would come from. So they are trying to avoid the cost by leaving them there.
He refused to discuss in detail where a unilateral border should be drawn if Israel were to withdraw from the mostly Palestinian areas of the West Bank. Nor would he specify what exactly would happen to Jewish settlers who would find themselves on the Palestinian side of such a line.
He stated his rationale for withdrawing:
"If we declare our borders, that creates a de-facto situation of two nation states recognized by the UN - we may not recognize one another, but they're already recognized by the UN - that have a border dispute. And we would be one of dozens of pairs of countries in the world that have a border dispute."
Even after Israel unilaterally declared its borders, it could still say that it was interested in reaching a final peace deal, under which border adjustments could be possible, he added.
That being the case why does he not say we should declare the Jordan River our eastern border?
He does say that such a plan is being discussed.
"There are number of guidelines that are being discussed. I'm not the only one discussing it. This will determine what are [Israel's] defensible borders, what are the borders that encompass the maximum number of Israeli settlers. What would enable us to reduce, to the greatest possible extent, our control over the Palestinians? In any such move, Israel would of course maintain its military presence in crucial areas. And it would also ensure the continued unity of Jerusalem."
He won't commit himself on where the borders should be but says , "the principle is maximum number of Israelis within the State of Israel and maximum protection of Israel's security," But the framework is all about the minimum of land we keep. As I pointed out in a recent article, we should design the border that would maintain our sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and reduce the number of Israelis that had to be remove by 100,000. This would save $100 Billion.
Last Friday, the Maariv newspaper reported that Yoaz Hendel, a former media adviser to Netanyahu, is also working on a plan that calls for unilateral withdrawal from parts of the West Bank. These ideas originally found expression in Kadima's Convergence Plan and Netanyahu is obviously entertaining them.
As for maintaining the status quo he said:
"I don't know if remaining in the entire territories, with control over a great number of Palestinians and being exposed to increasing international sanctions - boycotts and delegitimization - I don't know if that brings you to peace, either. It actually endangers Israel,"
In this regard, I fail to see how his Plan differs. We still have to maintain the same restrictions on the Palestinians living in what we leave behind. How are Israelis better off?