As an l octogenarian Jew living in the Diaspora, I hate, as I always did, reading pessimistic or bad news or negative predictions about the future of the country made by a member of the incumbent government.
The most recent such prediction is that of Defence Minister Benny Gantz who is reported “ to have responded to questions about the threat of an Arab takeover of Israel, by stating that “the danger is real unless Jews settle in massive numbers in the Negev and in the Galilee…the future of the country is at stake. If we don’t invest in the Galilee and Negev, we will in essence end up with an agreement to divide the country.”
As the report’s headline put it: Israel may not continue to exist beyond the center of the country .”…Gantz acknowledged the essential truth.” Batya Jerenberg, WIN May 16 inst reporting the Israel Hayom’s news of May 15 inst.
The foregoing assertions of Gantz lead to the following four questions:
First: If Gantz’s is right, then why did the preceding successive Israeli governments established Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and the current one enables the increase of the populations of the existing settlements in the same area when the population is desperately need to settle in the Negev?
Second, why does Gantz’s government not only refrains from removing the illegal settlements of the P.A Arabs in Area “C’ which under the terms of the Oslo Accord is to be exclusively under Israeli control with respect to all matters pertinent to it, while also affording the same people the opportunity to build some 1000 housing units?
Third, with respect to the population problem Gantz identified for the Negev, why has his government been leaning backwards to accommodate the demands of Ra’am to protect promote and increase the land rights of the Bedouins in the Negev?
Finally, in the light of Gantz’s dire predictions, what has his government done and planning to do to insure the distribution of the Jewish population across the whole of Israel’s current territories in a manner that meets the security requirements of the country?
I fear the current government will be hard put to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the anxious listeners both in Israel and in the Diaspora.