JERUSALEM, 5 Nov (JMCC) - Settlement leader Rabbi Menachem Forman is advocating a new approach to the problem of settlers in the West Bank: let them stay. Forcibly evacuating 300,000 settlers would be harder, and costlier, than integrating them with their Palestinian neighbors, Forman said, and according to a former Israeli official, twenty years ago the current Palestinian Authority president agreed.
Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, said he does not remember the proposal ever coming up in formal negotiations, but that he and Mahmoud Abbas — years before he became Palestinian president — suggested it in an unofficial peace proposal they crafted in 1995.
Under their proposal, settlers would remain in the West Bank under Palestinian sovereignty — but in communities that would be open to Palestinians as well.
Settlers rejected the notion outright at the time. Now, says Beilin, he hears it brought up more often in settler circles.
It's not a central issue, Beilin said. But it's right to talk about it because ... it could be a real solution to one of the big problems facing governments, what to do with the settlers.
Read more at The Jerusalem Post...