Argument: Israel loses strategic West Bank mountains in two-state solution

Issue Report: Two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict


Brad MacDonald. “Israel: Why the Two-State Solution Will Not Work”. Trumpet. May 14, 2009: “Here’s another reason Judea and Samaria are critical to Israel’s independence. Geographically, this territory is largely comprised of a mountainous ridge, known as the spine of Israel, that stretches from below Hebron in the south to the valley of Jezreel in the north. These hills, ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 feet high—the “mountains of Israel” as they are referred to in the Bible—provide an ideal strategic vantage point for either engaging with enemies or simply standing guard over the towns and cities peppered across the lower plains. The scraggy hills, marked by steep inclines, gaping gorges and deep valleys, are also an ideal natural barrier for slowing invading armies, and provide a measure of protection for civilians and homeland armies as well as military hardware and facilities.

Many are aware that the Golan Heights provide Israel with a great strategic advantage in the north, helping Israel control the Sea of Galilee and the towns and cities on the northern plains of Israel. But as Ettinger explained, few recognize that the mountainous ridge on which Judea and Samaria sit is infinitely more important to Israel than the Golan. It is so important, in fact, that it took less than a month for the Israeli government, after gaining Judea and Samaria in June 1967, to start rebuilding its national security platform around Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria.

Today, the hill country of Judea and Samaria are to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the coastal plain, what the Golan is to the Sea of Galilee and Israel’s northern plains. Strategically, the territory of Judea and Samaria is the pivot on which the national security of the Jewish state depends. It is critical not only to the security and stability of Jerusalem and the other towns and cities in the Judean and Samarian hills, but also essential to the security of towns and cities on the coastal plain, on which 80 percent of Israel’s population lives and the bulk of Israel’s finance, economy and transportation arteries and industry exists.

To those who understand the centrality of Judea and Samaria to Israel’s existence as an independent and secure state, the notion of ceding this territory to the Palestinians—a people incapable of forging peace among themselves, let alone with their sworn enemy—in return for peace, is illogical and immoral. Yet that is the basic premise of the two-state solution, a peace plan outlined in the Oslo accords in 1993, which has been embraced by most of the international community, including Britain, the European Union, the Palestinian Authority, and even the Arab League (with preconditions).”