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I suggest another reason for these changes:

Reader comment on item: Israel's Wayward Prime Ministers

Submitted by Ilana (Israel), Jul 7, 2004 at 08:50

As an Israeli, I truly hope that all these prime ministers also came to see that withdrawing from some or all territories was not only necessary, but also advisable, for the following reasons:
1. Controlling another people by force is not "passive resistance". It is corrupting our youngsters who are becoming used to harassing and mistreating people who are dependent on them for permission to move around.
2. How quickly people forget the huge losses Israel suffered in Lebanon, before the withdrawal. When was the last time someone was killed on the northern border?
3. Israel's huge potential is being squandered on the vast security efforts INSIDE the territories. (It is notable that whenever there seems to be some hope for progress, the Israeli economy surges: investors are keen to invest in Israel, as long as the situation seems secure.)
4. Meanwhile pressing social and other problems are neglected: the widening gap between rich and poor, the abandonment of the Negev project, planning the water economy, etc.
5. Last but certainly not least: the security fence looks set to provide Israel with the breathing space to get on with building its own country, while the Palestinians decide whether or not they are finally ready to make the right decision.

We know that ultimately the land has to be divided, so why waste so many resources on propping up settlements? Not to mention the lives put at risk. The people relocated from Yamit in Sinai became a byword in Israel for the generous compensation they received, as luxury villas suddenly multiplied. How many settlers in Gaza are waiting for similar offers? And how many others would like to leave now but are unable to sell their homes there?
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