Israel: Why Land Matters, Part II


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Editor’s note: To read Part I of this three-part article series, click here

Conceding Israeli control of the 34-mile-wide area known as Judea and Samaria to any of Israel’s actual or even potential enemies means a return to the pre-1967 nine-mile waistline across Israel’s coastal strip and a security border of 223 miles to patrol and defend. Retention of said territories means a mere 62 miles of security border to patrol and defend. It also means Israeli control of vital mountain passes, the 4,200-foot high ground overlooking the Jordan Rift Valley, and the minimal strategic depth between the Jordan River and Israel’s highly populated and industrialized coastal plain.

To comprehend why this is so important to Israel’s security, it is necessary to understand the difference between Israel before mass mobilization and afterwards.

When Israel fights a war, it must take into account many factors: weapons technologies, tactical knowledge, motivation and education of the soldiers, etc. However, the prime factor is still numbers. The best equipped and most superiorly trained army cannot win if it is hopelessly outnumbered. This has always been an issue for Israel.

The IDF, as every responsible army, must be prepared for every eventuality. Israel cannot afford to lose a war. According to reports, the latest annual IDF General Staff exercises dealt with various combinations of possible attacks from different fronts including south (Gaza and Egypt), north (Lebanon and Syria) and east (Iran). Other possibilities were also taken into account, but those were the major ones.

In each of these possibilities, strategic depth is a critical factor. In the south, Israel has already given up its strategic buffer areas, and if the IDF were to fail to take the battle into enemy territory (basic IDF doctrine), the fighting would be within easy range of major Israeli population centers.

In the north, the Golan Heights are, as always, critical, and in the northeast and east, Judea and Samaria are not only vital for defense, but would also serve as passage ways for mobilization and logistics. (The Cross-Samarian Highway, for example, was originally planned by the IDF General Staff following the 1967 Six Day War as the major connecting artery to the Jordan Valley from the coastal plain.)

Despite the immense security risks Israel faces, the Jewish State’s small population means it doesn’t have the security of a large standing army despite the immense security risks it faces. For that reason, soldiers who have completed their mandatory service, continue in the reserves – especially in combat units – well into their forties, contributing up to over a month or more of service each year for both training and active-duty assignments. In short: the army reserves constitute the backbone of the IDF’s manpower needs.

IDF doctrine encompasses a number of basic security truths. Among them are that Israel cannot afford to lose a single war, we must have a credible deterrent posture including territorially, and that the outcome of war must be determined quickly and decisively. Proper preparation means Israel’s small standing army must be equipped with an early-warning capability, coupled with an efficient reserve mobilization and deployment system.

Israel, prior to mobilization, is basically a relatively weak country militarily in terms of all out war with more than one front involved – which is a distinct possibility that the IDF planners seriously take into account. Post-mobilization Israel, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.

Israel has the potential to mobilize hundreds of thousands of reserves which more than triples the manpower of the Israeli army. This considerably alters the ratio against the enemy. While exact figures are classified, suffice to say the combined Arab armies outnumber Israel’s standing army by a ratio of approximately 15 to 1. Whereas after a full scale call-up of Israel’s reserves, the ratio is reduced to less than 4 to 1.

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  • http://www.mondoweiss.net Eva Smagacz

    Is Israel planning to remove natives from Area C (60% of West Bank) only or from entire West Bank? Will they be shipped to Jordan in cattle tracks or similar?
    Is Israel planning to remove all natives from Area C (60% of West Bank) and enclose them in Ghettos/Bantustans for ever?
    Is Israel planning to give natives in Gaza and West Bank a vote, or keep them forever in a religion determined separate legal system from Jewish Israelis?

    • Zionista

      Eva – stick to scrubbing other people's toilets – that IS your business – says so on your websites.

    • stern

      You make a huge – and, I'm sure, very deliberate – error in referring to the Arabs in Judea and Samaria as "natives". They are not "native" to this area – and many, in fact, were newcomers after the arrival of the early Zionist pioneers. But of course, admitting that would mean admitting that you are hopelessly biased against israel.
      So who are the true natives? Well, look at the name of this part of the world, as found in the Bible. Judea – Jew-dea. Yup, I'm afraid that kind of – well, totally – destroys your argument.

    • ziontruth

      "Is Israel planning to remove natives…"

      The Jews are the natives. It is the Arab imperialists are planning to remove natives.

      "Will they be shipped to Jordan in cattle tracks or similar?"

      They're free to take their pick among over a score of already available Arab states. The only place their freedom ends is the Land of Israel, which belongs to the one and only true Palestinian nation—the Jewish nation. There the Arab colonists have no legitimate claims; they are land-thieves and must evacuate the lands they are stealing.

      The Sudeten-Arabs are a pretext for imperialist appropriation of Jewish lands and that pretext must be defused.

    • moshe

      The only natives in Judea and Samaria are Jews and Samaritans. Due to centuries of Arab invasion, aggression and land theft, there are only a few thousand Samaritans left nowadays. The Jews, however, are doing much better.

  • H&R_ Barack

    The Arabs and/or Muslims of today control 22 nations… 99½ percent of the ENTIRE Middle East land mass while Israel occupies only a 1/2 of 1 percent speck of the region.

    But that's still too much land for the Arabs to spare.

    Israel first became a nation in 1312 B.C. two thousand years before the rise of Islam!

    The Kingdom of David and Solomon: 1077 – 997 BC http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/Isra

    Kingdom of Herod- 30 BC to 70 AD http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/Isra

    Jewish Communities in the Land of Israel -7th-11th Centuries http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/Isra

    The Jewish People have one of the most legitimate Birth Certificates of any nations in the world. Every time there is an archaeological dig in Israel, it does nothing but support the fact that the Jewish People have had a presence there for well over 3,000 years.

    Islam wants it all.

    • oldtimer

      And also theSan Remo conference set aside this land to be a Jewish state. They Arabs want the whole world, history shows us that, that is why the victors of WWI disbanded the Ottoman empire, sadly, only to let it rear it's ugly head again.

  • H&R_ Barack

    Israel first became a nation in 1312 B.C, two thousand years before the rise of Islam!

  • Marty

    The enemies of Israel are also the enemies of the whole of western civilization. No further concessions should be offered to them. Even some palestinians occupying parts of Judea and Samaria occasionally plead with the Israeli government not to leave them to the tender mercies of the palestinian authority in any final peace settlement. Can't blame them. Israel is a democracy and no democracy should try to appease any autocracy with territorial concessions or with beneficial trade agreements. There won't be any reciprocity on the part of muslims who view assistance as the weakness of dhimmis. We have to recognize that the mindset of most muslims is thoroughly contaminated with hatred, anti-semitism, and envy. There is nothing there to work with in a producitve fashion.

  • Schlomotion

    There are a lot of extraneous details in this article meant to obscure and exhaust the Main Idea. The main idea is that Israel can only "survive" by stealing the West Bank. That is still Mr. Atlas' thesis.

    • stern

      From who? Considering that:
      1) The San Remo conference designated the area for “close settlement” by the Jewish people
      2) The principles of San Remo are still valid and the UN is still obligated by them
      3) Despite 1)_ and 2) above, Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria from 1948 until 1967
      4) Jordan lost Judea and Samaria to Israel after declaring war and attacking Israel in 1967
      5) The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to negotiate a settlement with Israel

      …. it would be impossible for Israel to “steal” Judea and Samaria when, in fact, Israel has the best claim to those territories

      • Schlomotion

        Except that people already live there. So the operative word there is "claim." Israel can claim it all they want. Like when carjackers claim your car or muggers claim your wallet.

        • ziontruth

          "Except that people already live there."

          I don't see that preventing you anti-Zionists from calling for all Jewish inhabitants to be removed from Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights. "People already live there" too, but in this case it's, "Doesn't matter. They must leave, because the injustice of colonization can't stand." Nothing like a fresh cup of double standards in the morning!

          "Like when carjackers claim your car or muggers claim your wallet."

          Good description of Islamic imperialists everywhere. Not just in Israel—look at Western Europe, Nigeria, the Sudan region, India and Thailand. I could go on listing examples of your friends' noble "resistance campaigns" worldwide.

          • Schlomotion

            The people who build settlements there illegally should leave. Other than that, who cares if all the Jews that can't live peacefully in a diaspora choose to live 5,500 miles away? Go to it. Enjoy yourselves.

          • ziontruth

            "The people who build settlements there illegally should leave."

            Right. And I hold all Arab population centers to be illegal settlements, therefore they should leave.

            "Other than that, who cares if all the Jews that can't live peacefully in a diaspora choose to live 5,500 miles away? Go to it. Enjoy yourselves."

            So it's "Palestinians can't compromise on living on their homeland" for the Arab colonists in Palestine, but when it comes to Jews, it's "Let them live elsewhere." I'm liable to get a double standards overdose if this keeps up. Nice to see, though, the old idea that Jews should just wander and wander and wander.

          • Schlomotion

            No. I didn't say you shouldn't live in Israel. You don't hear or read right because you are a psycho. By all means, live in Israel. When I say all the Jews who can't get along with people should live 5,500 miles away, I mean away from me, in Israel. It's a great idea that all the obnoxious subset of the Jewish community have a place to call home that is not in anyone else's country. But unlike you, I don't think that murder and ethnic cleansing are OK, so no, you people should figure out how to share that area.

          • ziontruth

            "You don't hear or read right because you are a psycho."

            Do people hire you for presentations? You make an excellent projector.

            "But unlike you, I don't think that murder and ethnic cleansing are OK,…"

            If you really thought that way, you'd be pro-Israel and against her Islamic imperialist aggressor enemies.

            "…so no, you people should figure out how to share that area."

            First of all, I'm again amazed (or perhaps more amused) at how self-professing Buchananite Paleocon isolationists regularly take such an interventionist stance as this. You call for withdrawing all aid from Israel, that's your right as a sovereign nation, but what the heck is this "you people should figure out how to share" stuff?! What's it to you? Do you mouth about Sri Lanka that way too? About Georgia (in the Caucasus)? About Northern Ireland? For isolatiionists, you Paleocon Islam-appeasers are pretty good interventionist busibodies when it comes to all things Israel.

            Secondly, if you just took a tiny peek at a map, you'd realize the area is too small to be shared by multiple nations. And, since the "Palestinian nation" is a fraud, a cover-up for Arab imperialism, and the Arab nation is in no shortage of land, the just and logical conclusion is that the Land of Israel entirely should be given to the Jews to possess. To take away the tiny belongings of one nation to be added to the huge possessions of another is rank injustice. The Arabs know this full well, which is why they cooked up the whole Phakestinian fraud.

          • johnnywoods

            Hey Schlock, Go suck an egg you ignoramus.

        • Sage on the Stage

          People already live in England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden, but you don't ever talk about the Muslims co-opting the legal systems of those countries; demanding that Sharia law be the recognized law of the land in those countries. And as far as the West bank is concerned, Israel's claim extends back, at least, to the time of King David; 1500 BC. This is not just a spur of the moment claim, as you portray it above.(which you well know) Thus Israel hasn't stolen anyone's land, and the one Jewish country in the world gets to survive. Get used to it.

          • Schlomotion

            The "one Jewish country in the world" should stop adding prerequisites to its survival.

          • moshe

            The only prerequisites to Israel's survival are Divine favor and unlimited will to kill the likes of you in the billions. Sadly, the latter is now lacking

          • Schlomotion

            Tell me more about that last part. That sounds really interesting.

          • ziontruth

            "The 'one Jewish country in the world' should stop adding prerequisites to its survival."

            The idea that a state should be politically exclusive to its indigenous nation—The State As Its Nation's Castle—is a prerequisite for national survival not just for the one Jewish nation in the world and its state, but for all nations and their states. Sage's cited example of Muslims co-opting the European nation-state's legal system is a graphic illustration of this.

            What a hoot it'll be if this professing Paleocon Schlockmotion is revealed to be a proponent of the Marxist anti-nationalist stratagem of multiculturalism!

          • Schlomotion

            I like your thesis on the necessity for Jewish racial purity. You should elaborate on that more.

          • ziontruth

            "I like your thesis on the necessity for Jewish racial purity."

            Nice try—I get this from the Leftists all the time—but no, it's not about racial purity. Jewishness isn't racially defined, and I as an Orthodox Jewish believer can in no way view the world through the lens of genetic determinism.

            This is about national safety and security. Nations are variously defined, some by biological descent alone, some as a linguistic commonwealth (like the Arab nation) and some by a hybrid criterion (like the Jewish nation: Matrilineal descent + the possibility of outsiders joining through conversion), but as long as a nation has positive characteristics to show for its nationhood (in contrast to the faux-Palestinian nation, which has none), it'll serve. A nation is entitled to a state, and the state has the duty of protecting the nation. It does so by making political rights exclusive to members of the nation. Non-nationals can enjoy the same rights by being on their own nation-states. This way, the treasonous multiculturalist situation of a nation being stateless on its own land is prevented.

            The Arab nation too is entitled to a nation-state where people like me have no political rights. But this must not encroach on the Jewish nation's right to such a state, which is the situation right now with Arab/Islamic imperialism (albeit deceptively masked as a "Palestinian national struggle") striving to take away the Jews' nation-state.

            I believe the Jewish nation needs to be an exclusive democracy, and in the name of fairness—though it is of course none of my business—I would reply that I have no problem with the nation-states of Europe, for example, being the same. In fact, it is because of my observation of the effects of multiculturalism, the results of having no safety measures in the face of demographic encroachment, that I advocate this position for Israel. Lebanon can be brushed off as part of Mideast turmoil, Yugoslavia as an example of old Balkan feuds, Rwanda as African tribal conflict, but the situation in Western Europe cannot be so explained away. Ergo, multiculturalism is a failure, and the nation-protecting democratic nation-state is the wave of the future, because nations that adopt it are the only ones that are going to survive.

            As an American you may beg to differ, but remember: America is anomalous. Most nation-states, Israel included, are not proposition nations, where disparate groups of people have come to the same land and formed a national identity on that basis, but states built around a previously existing national reality (the Jewish nation, in Israel's case).

          • Schlomotion

            You are fond of saying there are no such thing as Palestinians (except the Jews). Alas, it turns out, there are no such thing as Israelis either:
            http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/16/

            Israel does not recognize Israelis. In short, they run the same garbage on one another that they run on Goyim.

          • ziontruth

            "…it turns out, there are no such thing as Israelis either"

            Correct. The name of the nation is "Jew." The term "Israeli" means "a resident of the state of Israel," not a national group. Various proposals (as far back as the 1930s) to fuse the Jews and Arabs of Palestine and later of the state of Israel into a single "nation" have all been rejected, by Jews and Arabs alike. As I said, the American proposition nation model can't be applied to Israel.

          • Schlomotion

            Aren't you guys special. You may not have gotten the memo, but the idea that Jews can't be measured or categorized in any way shape or form is stupid.

    • ziontruth

      "The main idea is that Israel can only 'survive' by stealing…"

      By definition, Jews and their state can't be stealing anything as long as it's within the bounds of the Land of Israel. You are apologist scum for Islamic imperialism wishing to steal lands from the Jewish nation.

      • Schlomotion

        Eliyahu, you are a thief. You are an evangelist for thieves. If a thief calls me scum, what do I care?

        • ziontruth

          You are an accessory to Islamic imperialist aggression against the Jews and their state. What do I care what an accomplice in jihad calls me?

          • Schlomotion

            It's funny how you just whip out the Communism like that.

          • ziontruth

            "It's funny how you just whip out the Communism like that."

            Funny you should mention Communism. The one thing an ostensibly right-winger like you can't be distinguished from a true-red Commie is your anti-Israel, pro-Arab position. On any average Commie website, there's a section of anti-Zionist articles that make exactly the same points as you do in your comments.

            If you Buchananite Paleocons met up with Marxists and confined your talk to Israel, you'd make bosom friends.

          • Schlomotion

            It's not my fault everyone hates you. You could just be odious. I'm simply making the good point that ethnic cleansing is despicable.

          • Ghostwriter

            Yeah,like the Palestinians want to ethnically cleanse every Jew from Israel. Get a life,Schlomotion,and a brain.

          • ziontruth

            Exactly. All those anti-Zionists who harp on about "the evil of ethnic cleansing" were consistently silent about the ethnic cleansing of all the Jews of the Gaza region in August 2005.

            They would reply, of course, that "It's not ethnic cleansing if colonists are removed." But it is ethnic cleansing—we are now, to paraphrase that joke about W.C. Fields and the lady, discussing prices, moral justifications. Ethnic cleansing, call it whatever they may, is perfectly OK with the anti-Zionists as long as Jews are on its receiving end, because they believe Jews in Israel are colonists. Very well: I believe it is the Arabs who are colonists in Israel, therefore they need to be removed or whatever you want to call it.

    • moshe

      It's not possible to steal what is already yours. The ARABS stole Judea and Samaria.

  • stern

    have you noticed how schlockmeister always has to get in the last word? Even if it's an utter inanity, he/she/it cannot bear to leave a thread on a positive note.

  • Indioviejo

    Israeli leaders should have thought long and hard before returning their Biblical lands to the Islamonausea. They can't buy peace from satanic cultist.

  • johnnywoods

    Any one who thinks Israel stole land from Arabs should go to a library and spend the day studying M.E. history. I read too many comments that are astonishingly ignorant on this site. I stand with Israel because Islam sucks.

    • intrcptr2

      With ya, johnny!