Rejecting the North Samaria and Gaza Giveaway Would Not Undermine US-Israel Relations

Straight from the Jerusalem Cloakroom #159, April 27, 2004


The Giveaway is Not a Top US Objective

FACT: President Bush did not initiate the Giveaway, does not consider it a top priority, and therefore refuses to finance it. President Bush has limited his support to very friendly declarations, which are ambiguous, non-binding, and do not repudiate the Palestinian "claim of return", nor do they support Israel's sovereignty beyond the Green Line.

FACT: In 1974, President Nixon and Congress extended Israel a military grant of $983MN and a loan of $4.15BN , as an inducement to stop the siege over the Third Egyptian Brigade and to withdraw from certain parts of the Sinai Peninsula.

FACT: In 1979, President Carter and Congress provided Israel $3BN ($800MN in grant), as an expression of the top priority accorded by the US to the full withdrawal from Sinai.

FACT: In 2000, President Clinton offered Israel an $800MN grant in order to facilitate the withdrawal from So. Lebanon, which he viewed as a top priority.

The Giveaway Undermines US War on Terrorism

FACT: VP Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld contend that Israel's withdrawal from So. Lebanon has propelled Hizballah from a local terror organization to a regional terror organization, facing the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel's disengagement from Gaza (which took place already in 1993!) bolstered Palestinian terrorism. Further withdrawal will add more fuel to the fire.

FACT: The Giveaway contradicts US' own war on terrorism: Offensive on the enemy's own ground (and not defensive); Swift and traumatic submission of the enemy (rather than a protracted war); Military solution and destruction of the terror political infrastructure (and not co-existence with terror).

FACT: The Giveaway strengthens Israel's critics, and weakens Israel's top supporters, in the US.  It implements the goals of Foggy Bottom and the CIA (pushing Israel to the 1949/67 Lines), which are the ideological rivals of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Congressional leaders.

Rejecting the Giveaway – Consistent With US Democracy

FACT: Congress tends to reject about 35% of presidential initiatives.

FACT: According to US democracy - and contrary to dictatorships – a presidential commitment to a foreign country (even a military commitment), is non-binding unless legislated or ratified by 2/3 of the Senate.

FACT: In 1999 Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, along with major global powers. Senate non-ratification did not raise doubts about the viability of US democracy; it was a testimony to its strength (checks and balance; constrained Executive; separation of powers).

The Cost of the Giveaway – Economic Crisis

FACT: President Bush and Congress refuse to finance the Giveaway.

FACT: The cost of the withdrawal from the Rafiah Salient (5,000 residents; 5 year tenure) was 15BN shekels in 1990, which is equal to some 30BN in 2004, which is similar to the annual defense budget!

FACT: The cost of the Giveaway could exceed 40BN shekels, considering the 8,000 residents with 30 year tenure in the Gaza Strip.  A minimalist assessment - different than the Rafiah precedent – could lower the cost to 26BN shekels, which includes housing (furniture and improvements), two year adjustment pay, compensation, employment infrastructure, roads, communications, electricity, water, sewage, classrooms, community structures and relocation and upgrading of military installations.

FACT: The cost of the Giveaway would devastate the economy: averting economic recovery, worsening unemployment, increasing taxes, imposing government bonds, cutting infrastructure development and human services, decreasing government subsidy of public transportation and gasoline, etc.

What Can Israel Expect in Return for the Giveaway?

No peace agreement.

Land for Nothing?

Land for Terrorism, which tends to doubly terrorize those who run away!

Land for very friendly, but non-binding, ambiguous presidential declarations (which were also proclaimed by LBJ, Reagan and Clinton).