Syrian threat is why we need defensible borders
Given the threats coming out from Syria, Iran and Lebanon that they will launch attacks against Israel if the U.S. or anyone else attacks Syria and given the fact that Assad has used chemical weapons numerous times and not just this latest time against his own people, can anyone with a shred of credibility argue that we should return the Golan Heights and the military advantage that would give them to Syria?
Given the absolute uproar and chaos in literally all of the countries around us, save Jordan, and the deep and implacable rift between the Palestinians themselves (Hamas and Fatah will never be able to make amends beyond the most superficial level and Al Qaeda-supporting factions are arising to challenge them both), no sane person can argue that we should return to the indefensible pre-1967 Auschwitz borders.
We not only have slightly more than half a million Israelis living across the 1948 ‘green line,’ making such a withdrawal logistically impossible, but it would be utter suicide to do so. We cannot give up the hills that would provide the perfect launching spot for crazy people with simple shoulder-launching rockets to take down international aircraft coming into or departing the Ben-Gurion airport. We cannot give up the hills that run all along the narrow strip of coastal land that houses 80% of our population — Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, Petakh Tikva, Holon, Bat Yam, Rishon Letzion, Netanya and more of our major population centers would be sitting ducks for any nutburger with access to a rocket, homemade or imported. Nutburgers in this region are a dime a dozen.
It would likewise be utterly stupid to give up the Judean Hills and Judean valley, referred to as Area C of the West Bank. Only 4% of Palestinian Arabs live in this region and it has significant defensive importance. Negotiations with the Palestinians, despite all the surrounding uproar, should go full steam ahead but anything short of defensible borders should not be on the negotiation table.
We are surrounded by people who have no problem killing off thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of their own — Hamas killed more than 1200 Fatah supporters in their over-throw of Gaza, 1000s have been killed in clashes in Egypt, Lebanon’s 3 major factions are in perpetual conflict and tens of thousands were killed in in-fighting in their civil war, and in Syria — well, more than 100,000 have died in the last two years in their civil conflict. If our neighbours are willing to do this to themselves, we cannot afford the slightest chink in our defensive armor.