On Sunday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus transporting Israeli soldiers through the Jordan Valley—wounding seven, two of them seriously. The attack, Gershon Hacohen argues, is evidence of the flaws in conventional thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which presumes that terrorism is the result of the Israeli presence in territories outside the 1949 armistice lines:
The Palestinian Authority has long lost its control over its cities and it is only thanks to the proactive posture of the IDF and Shin Bet that Jenin and Nablus have not become another Gaza. The new terrorist threat should have Israel rethink its overall rationale guiding its policies since the Oslo Accords have come into effect in 1990s. Almost 30 years since they were supposed to usher in a new era of peace, it is incumbent upon us to undergo a paradigm shift by scrutinizing the flawed assumptions on which they were based.
The first rationale was that a separation from the Palestinians was a prerequisite for any resolution of the conflict. The fact of the matter is that in northern Samaria the IDF pulled back from Jenin in 1996. In 2005, several Jewish settlements were uprooted in northern Samaria. In both cases, this only turned the area into a terrorist hotbed only drew Israel back time and again in order to protect Israelis on the coastal plains.
It is also hard to deny that the IDF withdrawal only strengthened the terrorist elements there, much like the Gaza disengagement turned that enclave into an even greater threat to Israel. Thus, terrorist hotbeds are the direct results one must wonder: perhaps separation is anything but a solution?
The second assumption: any risk that is entailed in pursuing the path of the Oslo Accords was calculated and reversible. . . . What has unfolded in the Gaza Strip over the past few decades—along with the new trends in Judea and Samaria—has been a rude awakening. Just look at how the efforts to reestablish the Jewish settlement in northern Samaria have been met with opposition by Israeli security officials (who are taking their cues from their U.S. counterparts). This shows that as far as the international community is concerned, Israeli withdrawals are irreversible.