Ramon: Reroute fence to exclude 50,000 J’lem Arabs

By David Horovitz September 9, 2005

(With Tovah Lazaroff)

Asserting that Ehud Olmert will prove to have been ‘the last Zionist mayor’ of Jerusalem, Labor cabinet minister Haim Ramon is urging that Israel reroute the security barrier in the south of the city to exclude 50,000-60,000 Arab residents and thus prevent a further deterioration in the capital’s demographic balance.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Ramon asserted that ‘Jerusalem today is not under Zionist control. It’s one third Arab, one third haredi and one third Zionist and it’s getting worse.’

Were eligible Palestinian residents to participate in municipal elections, he said, ‘there’d only be haredi mayors and Palestinian deputy mayors. Ehud Olmert was the last Zionist mayor.’

One way to improve the demographic balance from a Zionist point of view, he said, would be to redraw the route of the security barrier – which Ramon envisages, at least in part, as a future political border – ‘to exclude 50,000-60,000 Arab residents in the south of the city. The same logic that applied in the north of the city should apply in the south.’

Overall, Ramon reiterated a vision for Jerusalem in which ‘all the Jewish areas must be under Israeli sovereignty, including of course the neighborhoods beyond [the 1967 line], Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev and Betar Illit.’ Arab areas, he said, ‘should be under Palestinian sovereignty. For the ‘Holy Basin,’ a special solution must be found. That way Jerusalem can be under a Zionist administration.’

Ramon also urged Labor to adopt his unilateralist approach to the West Bank, calling for a major ‘Disengagement II’ under which only those areas inside the barrier, plus Ariel and the Jordan Valley settlements, would be retained – ‘perhaps 15 percent of the West Bank in all.’

He said: ‘We have to leave the rest of the territory. Some 50,000 Israelis, settlers, will have to evacuated.’

Ramon said he did not believe a final-status accord with the Palestinians was feasible in the foreseeable future, and that he urged a further unilateral pullout because Israel had take its fate into its own hands.

Israel’s governments, he said, had to have the guts to say to those settlers living in areas which Israel could not retain forever that they should relocate to sovereign Israel or to the major settlement blocs, where Israel would insist on asserting sovereignty.

Politicians who are not conveying this message, he said, ‘are lying, just as they lied to the settlers of Gush Katif. If I was prime minister, I’d offer them compensation and get out of there.’

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