The settlers in Judea and Samaria are beginning to plan a major offensive. This time it won't include moving caravans in the dead of night onto a barren hilltop; the next battle will be carried out by slick PR firms in Tel Aviv in a desperate last-ditch attempt to shift the Israeli mainstream. The next plan for the future of the region might come from, of all places, the YESHA Council.
...Realignment off the table doesn't mean they can stop worrying. After a decent interval, the government is going to come back to the issue of the outposts and demand the dismantling of at least a few of them...
..."Our working assumption is that we have a temporary respite, we don't know for how long," says Adi Mintz, a member of the YESHA Council. "A number of forums have already held meetings [and who was present or invited to these "forums"?], and the main conclusion is that we have to use this time to address the deeper issues, the fundamental challenges to the Jewish state."
..."It's not clear whether public opinion is ripe for a change," says Eldad. "It has to be put to the test, in a big way. I can write an op-ed column or make a speech in the Knesset, but it won't convince anyone; but now at least there is a feeling that people don't want to take any irrevocable steps, like additional retreats. This is where we have to prove that we also have an alternative of our own."
Mintz has already proposed such a plan, with the backing of the council, that outlines a future for the West Bank in which the Palestinians...
Veteran journalist and former head of the YESHA Council, Uri Elitzur, agrees that there should be an alternative plan for the future of the territory, but he believes that "it shouldn't be a plan of the council, which will only cast a stigma on the plan and make the public think that this is the most right-wing position, even if we made some concessions. There has to be a consensus among the right wing over a plan."
He also thinks that a PR offensive is imperative and believes it should be aimed not only at the Israeli public but "also at opinion makers in Europe and America; there are enough respectable elements there that can conceivably support a position against a two-state solution."...
Well, my veteran readers know that I have been pushing something exactly like this for the longest time. And may I humbly suggest to those who are involved that they need to bring in people who have been out in th field, have spoken before audiences, appeared in the media, consulted with diplomats, etc.
It could only help.