For 37 years, the Israeli army has been the Settlers Defense Army. It has planned, openly and in secret, the placement of the settlements, including the "illegal" settlement outposts all over the West Bank. It has devoted most of its forces and resources to their defense. That has reached grotesque dimensions: for example, the Netzarim settlement, in the middle of the Gaza Strip, was defended by three whole battalions. Seventeen male and female soldiers lost their lives in the defense of Netzarim, about which Ariel Sharon said some years ago: "Netzarim's fate is the same as Tel-Aviv's!" The story about the settlers' children going to music classes escorted by armored troop carriers has become a part of Israeli folklore.
Sharon's is a classic Zionist ideology, consistent and pragmatic: to enlarge the borders of the Jewish State as much as possible, in a continuing process, without including in it a non-Jewish population. To settle everywhere possible, using every possible trick. To do much and talk little about it. To make declarations about the desire for peace, but not to make a peace that would hinder expansion and settlement.
That is...Sharon's outlook. He wants to expand Israel's borders as much as possible, and minimize the number of Arabs within them. Therefore it makes sense to him to give up the tiny Gaza strip with the million and half Palestinians living there, and also the centers of Palestinian population in the West Bank. He wants to annex the settlement blocs and the sparsely populated areas, where new settlement blocs can be set up. He is content to leave to future generations the problem of the Palestinian enclaves.
Read the whole thing.