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A Palestinian state? What could possibly go wrong?: Picturing the possibilities

Here are the Israeli strategic targets that a hostile sovereign neighbor will be able to see through a gunsight

If a Palestinian state is established, it will be armed to the teeth. Within it, there will be bases of the most extreme terrorist forces, equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft shoulder-launched rockets, which will endanger not only random passers-by, but every airplane and helicopter taking off in the skies of Israel and every vehicle traveling along the major traffic routes in the coastal plain…Shimon Peres, “Tomorrow is Now” (Keter publishers), pp. 232, 255.

Israel, small and exposed, will neither be able to exist nor prosper if its urban centers [and] its vulnerable airport…are shelled…this is the terrible danger involved in the establishment of a third independent sovereign state between us and the Jordan River.Amnon Rubinstein, ‘The Pitfall of a Third State’, Haaretz, Aug 8, 1976.

These two citations convey, with chilling accuracy, the grave perils to which Israel would be exposed if a Palestinian state were ever established on the commanding hills overlooking the country’s heavily populated coastal plain, where about 80% of the country’s civilian population and commercial activity are located

Location from which photographs were taken

These dangers are dramatically illustrated by the following series of photographs shot from locations inside the territory designated for any future Palestinian state.

All taken on January 31, 2018, using a Canon 7D Mark II camera, fitted with a Sigma Sport 150/600 lens, from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis and Al-Lubban, located about 5 km across the pre-1967 “Green Line” (see map), they vividly convey how vulnerable and exposed Israel would appear through the binoculars of any Palestinian “intelligence officer” (a.k.a. terrorist) perched on those heights.

Ben Gurion Airport hopelessly exposed

The ensuing four photographs depict how utterly exposed the installations and aircraft – both on the ground and in the sky – would be to any hostile forces–even lightly armed–deployed on the highlands east of Israel’s coastal heavily populated coastal plain.

Above: Israel’s only international airport, Ben Gurion – as seen from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban (see buildings in foreground) showing new control tower, the passenger terminal, the duty-free area and planes docking for embarkation/ disembarkation

Above: Israel’s only international airport, Ben Gurion – as seen from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban showing numerous civilian planes on the tarmac

Above: A plane taking off from Ben Gurion, Israel’s only international airport – as seen from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban.

Above: Arkia airliner taking off from Ben Gurion airport – taken from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban. (Camera: Canon 7D Mark with Sigma Sport 150/600 lens.

A tempting target: Israel coastal urban sprawl

The next five photographs convey starkly what a tempting target the office buildings, prestigious apartment blocks the teeming recreational and entertainment centers and central transport arteries (rail and road) would be if the IDF were to evacuate areas earmarked for a future Palestinians state

Above: Tel Aviv skyline showing the iconic Azrieli high-rise complex, adjacent to the Ministry of Defense and IDF’s GHQ, the trans-Tel Aviv Ayalon Highway and the busy HaShalom railway station; also seen is Kirya (Ha-Yovel) Tower, with 28 of its 42 floors occupied by government offices, and the nearby Azrieli Sarona Tower, the tallest building in Tel Aviv – as seen from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban.

Above: Enlarged: The Azrieli high-rise complex, adjacent to the Ministry of Defense and IDF’s GHQ, the trans-Tel Aviv Ayalon Highway and the busy HaShalom railway station; also the Kirya (Ha-Yovel) Tower, with 28 of its 42 floors occupied by government offices, & the Azrieli Sarona Tower, the tallest building in Tel Aviv

Above: Tel Aviv skyline showing the luxury apartment complex Park Tsameret, adjacent to the trans Tel Aviv (Ayalon) highway and the busySavidor Central railway station – as seen from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban

Above: Enlarged: North Tel Aviv skyline showing the luxury apartment complex Park Tsameret, adjacent to the trans Tel Aviv (Ayalon) highway and the busy Savidor Central railway station

Above: North Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak sky-line showing the Reading Power Station chimney, adjacent to the Tel Aviv Port recreation area , and the 4 BSR Towers, which house many upmarket law firms, medical facilities, hi-tech offices and numerous busy restaurants– as seen from just east of the Palestinian-Arab villages of Rantis & Al-Lubban.

A Palestinian state? What could possibly go wrong?

So next someone tries to downplay the mortal risks entailed in establishing a Palestine state, they should be pressed to answer one question: Who do you believe – politically correct claptrap…or your own eyes!

About the Author
Dr. Martin Sherman is founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He served in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment. for seven years, and was a ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir's government. Sherman also lectured for 20 years at Tel Aviv University in Political Science, International Relations and Strategic Studies. He holds several university degrees: a B.Sc. (Physics and Geology), an MBA (Finance), and a PhD in political science and international relations. He was the first academic director of the internationally renowned Herzliya Conference and is the author of two books and numerous articles and policy papers on a wide range of political, diplomatic and security issues. Sherman was born in South Africa and has lived in Israel since 1971.
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