Bennett also highlighted the importance of avoiding the forceful expulsion of any Israeli citizen from their homes, explaining that the implications of uprooting more than 120,000 additional people in Judea and Samaria are very worrisome. “I urge everyone to go out, walk the land, meet the people and see the life in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “If we had a Prime Minister like Begin who would apply sovereignty on Judea and Samaria, we would undoubtedly be condemned by the world for a few days but then life would move on. The world has bigger things on the agenda than Israel – including Greece and Syria. We need to do what’s right for the Jewish State.”
David Makovsky, distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that an agreement between the two sides is “very possible, as the differences are not as wide as people think.”
Makovsky suggested increasing the area of the proposed land swap to include more Jews on the Israel side and more Palestinians on the Palestinian side. “Instead of a 2.2 percent land swap, why not make it 4.4 percent, or even more? If we swap five percent of the land this would include places like Beit El and the North of Ariel and will leave just 60,000 Israelis on the wrong side of the border.” While conceding that 60,000 is still a large number, he points out that it is still half the number that the proposed plan would seek to uproot.
The Fourth Presidential Conference will conclude on Thursday night with a session featuring remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Natan Sharansky, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
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