Powered by WebAds

Friday, May 19, 2006

Convergence Consolidation Surrender plan shrinks

In an item that was probably leaked to the JPost this morning by someone in the Kadima Achora party, it is reported that fewer than the anticipated 70,000 revenants are going to be expelled from their homes under Ehud Olmert's convergence consolidation surrender plan and that the cost will be less than the NIS 80 billion that is commonly believed.

As to the number of revenants to be expelled, 70,000 corresponds to the number of revenants who now live beyond the planned route of the 'security fence.' This means that the 'security fence' is going to be moved eastward (possible but not likely) or that a number of revenants will be allowed to stay in their homes hung out to dry beyond the 'security fence' boundary.

As to the cost, there are several reasons why the cost could be less than anticipated:

First, the Post says (and this is correct) that it ought to cost less on a per capita basis than the Gaza expulsion because there are fewer agricultural installations for which revenants will have to be compensated, and (I add) because many revenants in Judea and Samaria commute to work in one of the major cities.

Second, the Post claims that the convergence consolidation expulsion is to be spread out over four years and the cost will also be spread out over four years. I find this hard to believe. In fact, when the Gaza surrender was first proposed, it was also to be spread out over a number of months, which would have allowed the revenants to shift from place to place as required and tie down huge numbers of troops and security force resources. On the other hand, while Gaza was a small enough area that all the Jews could be expelled in a matter of days, Judea and Samaria is twelve times as large and a mass expulsion in a short period will be impossible. All of which says that the government has no clue how it is going to expel people who will not leave willingly. And in fact, at the end of the article, Otniel Schneller raises the possibility that people will leave voluntarily. That also seems unlikely, because most of the towns with populations that are considered more moderate (e.g. Oranit, Alfei Menashe) are within the area from which Jews are not to be expelled anyway. Moreover, Olmert has said publicly that he wishes to implement the convergence consolidation expulsion plan before George Bush leaves office in January 2009. That's a lot less than four years from now.

Third, the government believes it will save money on housing costs because it will build 'permanent' housing rather than forcing people to live in caravillas as was done with those who were expelled from Gaza. This makes the claim that the convergence consolidation expulsion will start before the end of this year laughable. It takes three years to build a neighborhood in this country (I know - I bought on paper).

The fourth possibility - not mentioned in the article - is the one David Bedein suggested to me the other night: that Olmert's strategy is to force people out without compensation by making it as uncomfortable as possible to remain in Judea and Samaria. If that's really Olmert's strategy, we really could be heading for a civil war R"L.

Finally, the issue that is not dealt with: It's been at least thirty years since a government in this country lasted four years. Even if Olmert starts expelling the Jews from their homes - R"L - he may not last long enough to finish it.


At 10:23 PM, Blogger Batya said...

They do want us to leave at our own expense. Tzippi Livne has said that. And the housing they plan won't need the infrastructure of the caravillot. If they really want to prepare housing, we'll see a few crowded developments going up in places like Ariel and Neve Yaakov.
Remember, they want to take away our road and make our lives impossible. That's stage one. and the people who should be screaming and protesting are silent.


Post a Comment

<< Home