Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sederot, the obstacle to peace

Sederot threatens our existence as a Jewish, democratic state, weakens the security of Israel, drains our economic resources and prevents Israel from reaching peace with the Palestinians. As such, Sederot today poses an existential threat to the future of Israel.

Sederot weaken our security because each Sederot resident, each school, and each supermarket requires protection by the Israeli military.

Beyond stretching Israel’s defense capabilities, Sederot costs Israeli taxpayers many millions of dollars in extra nonmilitary spending each year.

The cost of sustaining and protecting Sederot is draining Israel's resources; it limits Israel's ability to provide vital social services, build a stable economy, and ensure peaceful coexistence between the Jews and the Arabs of Israel.

Sederot is located on land that many Palestinians regard as part of their future state. While some past Palestinian leaders have stated they might not insist on the removal of every resident of Sederot as a precondition for peace, Palestinian public opinion holds that the existence of Sederot in any form prevents the full realization of justice for wronged Palestinians.

While the existence of Sederot does not justify terrorism, it is important to recognize that terrorism is directed at Sederot due to legitimate Palestinian grievances related to the existence of Sederot, and the removal of Sederot would contribute to the the removal of those grievances.

How long can we tolerate the whole of Israel being held hostage to the demands of Sederot?

It is time to consider the dismantlement of Sederot and the transfer of the land it is on to Palestinian control.

And if anyone thinks that replacing the word "Sederot" with "settlements" would transform this argument from outrageous to fully legitimate, then I suggest they examine on what moral basis they are willing to discriminate between one group of civilians and another.

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