There is something improper and infuriating in the series of fearful questions that those supporting the second redeployment present to the public: What will happen to us if, heaven forbid, the second redeployment is not implemented? What will happen to the Palestinian pressure cooker which is about to explode? To the personal security of all of us? To terrorism? To settlements in Judea and Samaria? There is nothing wrong with these questions, but at the same time other necessary questions are noticeable by their absence: What will happen here after the second redeployment? What will happen to personal security? Will terrorism resume? And what about that same "bubbling Palestinian pressure cooker?" Will it cease bubbling after the redeployment, or will it in fact boil over? And the bottom line -- is it possible that in several important spheres in our life we will actually not benefit, but lose, from implementation of the second redeployment?
MK Shlomo Ben-Ami recently related that, in a discussion he held with Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Authority's Preventive Security Apparatus, Rajoub assessed that the waves of terrorism would resume after the second redeployment is carried out. IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak also assessed to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (on 9 June, 1998), that "from a security standpoint, we will live in a much, much more difficult reality that the one currently prevailing... when larger portions of territory are not under Israel's responsibility and the ability to control areas around some of the roads and some of the settlements becomes more difficult or impossible," while the dialogue with the Palestinians becomes even more difficult and slower than today.
Last weekend, the PA showed us an example of what could happen in Judea and Samaria if the second redeployment is implemented, succeeding in a matter of minutes in paralyzing the lives of 10,000 Jews. About 170,000 Jews live in Judea and Samaria, and one does not need a developed imagination to paint the same scenario when it is implemented along the length and breadth of hundreds of kilometers of roads in Judea and Samaria.
The transfer of additional territories to the PA will, undoubtedly, also damage the ability to foil terrorist attacks and reduce the possibilities of intelligence collection in these areas. It will increase, even further, Israel's dependency on Palestinian intelligence and will fix the circle in which Israel is trapped today: Unceasing high payments to the Palestinians in exchange for intelligence and security, which they are supposedly obligated to supply to us under the agreements with them, without any payment. It is enough if we note in this connection that of the 2,000 Hamas members that Israel arrested in 1997, and of the 100 terrorist attacks that the GSS foiled in that same year, most were in six villages and towns currently located in Area B (Palestinian civilian responsibility and Israeli security responsibility): Bir Zeit, Halhoul, Yatta, Tzurif, Dahariya and Dura. The second redeployment would turn them into Area A and the ability to prevent attacks organized in these locations would be severely damaged.
Major General Moshe Ya'alon, until recently head of IDF Intelligence and today OC Central Command, stated last week that Yasser Arafat is fostering Hamas' terrorist infrastructures, making sure to maintain the potential to resume the attacks, and that he will not even hesitate to use it, as he has done in the past, the moment that negotiations get caught up in a truly serious crisis. Such a crisis is anticipated with the beginning of discussions on the final status agreement: The refugee problem; the right of return; Jerusalem; the status of the settlements; the Jordan Valley; greater Jerusalem, and evidently even before -- when it becomes clear that Arafat does not accept Netanyahu's interpretation of a minimal third redeployment and continues to avoid carrying out obligations he assumed in the Hebron Accord. The prime minister and the defense minister hear these assessments in far greater intensity, but they do not share them with the public and are not even willing to admit, at least publicly, that the planned redeployment in Judea and Samaria is entirely the result of American pressure and that -- in the current situation -- it does not contain any real or clear interest for Israel.
The comparison that Arafat makes between the agreement with Israel and the Hudeiba agreement which Muhammad made with the Qureish tribe, an agreement that Muhammad broke after two years and which was recognized in Islam as being legitimate tactics and cunning -- also does not set off the necessary alarm bells among us. Even Arafat's clarification in several interviews recently of the 1974 doctrine of stages passes quietly, as does the constant sharpening of terminology of senior PA officials against Israel, now referred to as "Satan." All of these writings, and many others, are currently on the wall. The failure to decipher them is built into the incorrect question, which is still captive to the Oslo conception. The dangers present in the absence of a redeployment pale in comparison to the dangers which would result after it, and if things are bad today, after the redeployment they will apparently be worse.