Cohen, a political geographer, offers a useful, tightly argued proposal to update the Allon Plan. With an eye toward the territorial compromises Israel might make, he surveys all four regions won by Israel in 1967 and still under its control (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip). Cohen seeks a way for Israel to retain the strategic benefits of the territory without having to rule a large Arab population. At a moment when the Likud and Labor parties' approaches have been discredited, such fresh thinking has special usefulness.
Cohen argues that Israel should retain 48 percent of the Golan Heights, 20 percent of the West Bank, and 19 percent of the Gaza Strip. In addition, he advocates the establishment of five corridors (two in the West Bank, two in Israel, one in Gaza) and a leased security zone for Israel's benefit in the West Bank. These ideas are hardly neat or simple, but their virtue lies in a precision of detail and a careful attention to local circumstance. Indeed, the very complexity of the scheme might help defuse the intense controversy that would inevitably surround it.
But Cohen's proposals raise a question: why stop with territorial adjustments that increase Israel's size? If some heavily Arab portions of Israel proper were also put on the bargaining table, this would stimulate Arab interest while diminishing the Arab population of Israel.