The peace treaty with the Palestinians doesn’t seem close, unless the Bush-Rice duo orchestrates a major political assault on the Israeli government. Even so, a Palestinian state exists de facto: with president, parliament, and even many countries’ embassies. Does anyone protest the media calling Abbas the Palestinian president?

Olmert negotiates the borders of Israel, which include the settlement blocs. He is anxious to avoid Gush Katif-type evacuation trouble. As long as the settlements remain inside Israel, most settlers won’t protest giving up Judea and Samaria.

The government might leave the faraway and militant places like Kfar Tapuah alone, not evicting the settlers. They will be allowed to remain there just as any Israeli stays abroad, and it will be left to the Palestinians to harass them, intercept them en route, and make their life untenable.

Nothing will change when the government signs peace accords with the Palestinians. As long as most settlers are not evicted, the status quo won’t be changed. Almost no Jews venture into Schem or Ramallah, anyway. The West Bank Palestinians won’t start shelling Tel Aviv a-la Shderot, as they know that would provoke massive retaliation; Jews hesitate to attack Iran but would have no qualms about invading a weak Palestinian state.

Bringing massive numbers of Jews into the territories to stem the evacuation is not an option. Once the border is demarcated and legalized, it would be plainly illegal for them to cross the state border, and few takers would appear. Crossing the state border beyond the official checkpoint is not merely an act of politically inspired civil disobedience, but a clear-cut crime.

Moreover, the “front line” of the possible government action in Judea and Samaria is long. Jewish conservative activists failed to defend Gush Katif, where the confrontation line was minuscule. The army can also wait out the protesters: tens of thousands of people cannot hold vigils for more than a few days, as they need to work for living. The army, on the contrary, can stay there for months, waiting for the human wave to dissolve.

Israel might as well be located in Uganda. The beaches of Tel Aviv are a part of the Promised Land, but so are Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon. The seashore was settled by Philistines, then heavily gentilized and controlled by the Romans. Jews have very little historical connection with the seashore. On the contrary, the very area Israel abandons to the Palestinian state—Judea and Samaria—is the core Jewish land. Hebron was King David’s seat of power, Schem was conquered by Jacob; the ancient Jewish state was located specifically in the area that Jews are giving away now. Ignore the uninhabitable Negev Desert, Galilee and the Little Triangle near Lod settled by Arabs, and Israel is reduced to a tiny beach strip fourteen by eighty miles; even there, Arabs constitute 34 percent among the young. The Jewish population shrinks to the Tel Aviv–Netanya strip of the beach and the Haifa enclave.

But the influence of the haredi increases with their numbers, especially as they are a uniquely coherent and zealous group. As conscription becomes increasingly unfashionable among atheist Israelis, haredi might become the major force in the army. As secular Jews emigrate, the haredi will become a majority, or at least the largest voting bloc.
Jews lean to the right as they see that every peaceful measure fails with Arabs from Palestine to Iran, and Arab enemies grow stronger.

Even if Olmert gives up Judea, another leader can take it back.

Israel road map