Olmert tries to avoid compensationI know that there are a lot of people out there who believe that Ehud Olmert is trying to leave the revenants of Judea and Samaria high and dry. He's trying to get them to leave their homes 'voluntarily' without any compensation. To do that, he is ready, willing and possibly able to make their lives so miserable that they will leave of their own accord. By the way, the same thing could happen to the Jews of Sderot in the not-too-distant future. They're pretty miserable too, and I'm sure some of them are thinking of moving out of Kassam range.
It's that desire to avoid compensation that you're starting to see in some of the items in today's news. Since the Jews in Judea and Samaria are pretty tough, and are unlikely to just up and leave, Olmert is trying a new strategy to avoid the compensation issue. This week, there was a gathering of Nobel laureates at Petra in Jordan. At the gathering, Hebrew University Professor Yisrael Aumann asked Olmert if he really intended to revisit on a larger scale the Gush Katif fiasco in which 8,000 Jews were forcibly evicted from their homes in Gaza last summer. Aumann said that doing so would be a crime against humanity.
Olmert answered: “Each and every one of the settlers who live in territories that stand to be evacuated will need to decide whether to live in a Jewish state, the state of Israel, or in a Palestinian state.”
Justice Minister Haim Ramon responded: “What is right is that ultimately two nations will live side by side, not one inside the other. This will ultimately drag Israel back into the territories,” he said, adding that he did not believe Jews would want to become Palestinian citizens. Why it's okay for Arabs to be Israeli citizens but not for Jews to be 'Palestinian' citizens is a separate issue for another day. But clearly, if Jews have an "option" to stay in a 'Palestinian state,' Olmert would not have to compensate them for leaving them there. And there are some Jews who might even wish to stay there. Apparently, Ramon needs to be told to get with the program.
Another person who needs to get with Olmert's 'program' is 'PA Minister' Sheikh Nayef Rajoub. Rajoub said today that it was 'unrealistic' to think that Jews could live in the 'Palestinian Authority.' Rajoub, the waqf and religious affairs minister in the Palestinian Authority, said "We don't want them, and I'm sure that they, considering their arrogance and violence, don't accept the idea either. The only solution is therefore that they leave us and our land alone."
The point here isn't whether Jews ultimately live in a 'Palestinian state.' The point is for the offer to be made so that Olmert can avoid paying billions of Shekels in compensation. If people like Ramon and Rajoub start to play along, Olmert may be able to carry out his 'plan' and save his government a lot of money.