Herzl famously said "If you will it, it is no dream." That's a nice sentiment but, unfortunately, it takes more than the force of will or the power of belief to change reality.
Sharon believes disengagement is the only way Israel can retain some 50 percent of Judea and Samaria. If his opponents somehow succeed in derailing his plan, he told me recently, Israel will wind up with only about 4 percent of Judea and Samaria.
In other words, having won the Knesset vote on Tuesday night, Sharon is warning his opponents not to bring him down. If they do, disengagement from Gaza will be replaced by the kind of massive withdrawals championed in the plans sponsored by president Bill Clinton and prime minister Ehud Barak.
Bring down Sharon, and you in effect get Yossi Beilin's Geneva Accord.
And then this:
Clearly, retreat from one part of the Land is being made to guarantee control over other parts.
Guarantee? What guarantee?
The compelling answer to the point, I think, is that it isn't a "point" at all. At best this is Uri Dan parroting Sharon's "I have secret information you don't on why you have to adopt my plan, so you just have to trust me" shtick. At worst, he's just making all this up out of whole cloth.
Here's Bush's "promise." At least the only one anyone can arguably hold him to (but see below) because he made it publicly. It's ambiguous to say the least.
Realities on the ground have changed over decades. In the light of those changes, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the 1949 armistice lines.
How does that translate to "Israel can retain some 50 percent of Judea and Samaria?" How does that translate to a "guarantee" of control of anything? And from where does Sharon (or Uri Dan) get substantiation for the absurd claim that if his plan isn't accepted, Israel "will wind up" with only 4%? Says who?
Even if you take Bush's comments at face value and interpret them as some sort of "promise," it didn't go beyond "no return to '49 borders." That could just as easily mean 4% as 50%. And he quickly backtracked a bit on that "promise" a few days later when he started making noises about "a 'corrective' move toward [our] European allies and the Arabs".
And do I need to mention that Bush's "promises" are in no way binding? Even if we accept that the President will honor such promises as a matter of good faith, they're certainly not binding on his successor. And sooner or later (hopefully later, but no later than a little over 4 years from now), Bush will be leaving the White House. So absent some sort of binding resolution from Congress, these are all just words.
Even so, the Americans and the Israelis don't have the final say in this matter. I didn't hear the palestinians and the Arab states signing on to this "deal." I didn't even notice the EU climb aboard. To the contrary.
Meanwhile, speculation is running rampant that with Arafat's expected permanent departure from the scene, the U.S. will be taking a more "active role" in the "peace process," regardless of who sits in the White House. We all know what that means.
And, finally, I was just reading somewhere this morning that Europe intends to ramp up the pressure on Israel for compliance with the roadmap, i.e., all the roadmap, as per their interpretation. Which I don't think allows for Israel to retain even 4% of Judea and Samaria. And that's with or without disengagement from Gaza.
Sharon may very well "believe," as Uri Dan says, that "disengagement is the only way Israel can retain some 50 percent of Judea and Samaria and that the failure to implement it will bring down all of his dire predictions. But just because Sharon believes it doesn't make it so.