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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Uzi Dayan and Tafnit have a plan. For now, that may be more than Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Kadima allies can say.
Prevailing wisdom suggests that, despite ambiguous declarations by party leaders, if Kadima wins the next elections, Olmert will move to further unilaterally disengage from the West Bank.
However, the party presumed to win on March 28 has not spelled out the exact shape such a disengagement would take.
That is not the case with Tafnit, the newly formed party headed by former national security adviser Dayan. Predicated on demography, the Tafnit plan, which Dayan would implement unilaterally if negotiations failed, spells out to the last detail every inch of land Israel would relinquish.
"The road map is a dead end, and everyone knows it," Dayan told The Jerusalem Post. "We need separation."
Flanked by his son and two advisers, Dayan spoke at length about the need for elected officials to level with the voters about their true intentions. "I came to the conclusion that [the government's] roots were rotten," Dayan said, explaining his transition to politics after a lifetime in the military. "We have no idea where we are headed."
While Dayan has plans for fighting the global war on terror, keeping Iran in check and providing assistance to Israel's poor, the centerpiece of his campaign platform is his version of a West Bank disengagement. In it, Israel would retain about 30 percent of the territory, including the Jordan valley, while relinquishing 32 settlements and removing 21,000 people. It would maintain control of Jerusalem in its entirety.
The plan also calls for the completion of the separation barrier so that the vast majority of the three main settlement blocs - Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion - would fall on the Israeli side. That includes the "finger" and "fingernail" areas around Ariel and all of the E-1 zone east of Jerusalem, but not the Gush Etzion towns of Tekoa and Nokdim.
"We don't have Greater Israel," Dayan said, "but now we don't have peace."
Calling the 1967 borders unworkable, Dayan said he would unilaterally separate from the Palestinians not out of deference to the international community or as a peace overture to the Arabs, but as a means to fight terror more effectively.
"Israel is stronger without these parts than with them," he said, adding that his plan would also allow Israel to exist as "a democratic, Jewish state."
In drawing up the plan, Dayan relied on demographics, trying to maximize the number of Jews west of the fence and the amount of territory Israel can hold on to while still providing the Palestinians with a viable state, should they chose to declare one once Israel has left.
The result is a Palestinian entity in the West Bank severed into two by an Israeli corridor which extends east from Jerusalem all the way to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. Jericho would become an isolated in a sea of Israeli land.
However Dayan proposes free movement for the Palestinians through a host of transportation projects. He would build a road around, or a tunnel under E-1; operate convoys or a train between Gaza and the West Bank; and continue to allow Palestinian sovereignty over the Rafah crossing with Egypt (though he opposed relinquishing the Philadelphi route when the decision was made last year).
Given the geography, a Palestinian state according to Tafnit's plan would likely be economically dependent on Israel, but Dayan supports allowing the Palestinians to continue working here. "It is better for us to have a Palestinian entity which is economically strong," he said. "I would rather have the Palestinians working in Israel than all the foreign workers. But if the terror continued, it would make it very difficult."
After the disengagement, the separation fence would serve as Israel's "de facto border," Dayan said, until there was a partner to talk to on the other side about a real peace.
Selling the plan to the international community would be difficult, he said, but was doable and very important in order to settle its legitimacy. "What I want from the US is to understand that
this is the best we can do given the alternatives we have now," Dayan said.
In exchange for the withdrawal, Dayan would also seek for Israel to be granted the status of a major non-NATO ally.
During the interview, Dayan also boasted of his security credentials and said that neither Likud, Labor, nor Kadima had comparable levels of leadership in that field. "In the coming years, we need people that are really generals," Dayan said, drawing a distinction between his military background and the leaders of the three major parties: Binyamin Netanyahu, Amir Peretz, and Ehud Olmert respectively.
Where Iran is concerned, Dayan said Israel should push hard for economic sanctions. Were those to fail, it should seriously consider a military option.
He also spoke of the need to cut defense spending by 10 percent to free up funds for education programs, the current reform of which he said amounted to "expensive afternoon babysitting."
Job creation and strengthening the periphery were also important, Dayan said. "A man who works hard, full time, should not be poor," he said.
Dayan, who served as national security adviser to Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, shared warm memories of the comatose prime minister, describing him as only reluctantly taking his advice on unilaterally leaving Gaza. But he criticized the method in which Sharon carried out the withdrawal and characterized the platform he laid out for Kadima as "a lie" of which the public was well aware.
He also claimed to have advised Barak before Camp David not to offer Yasser Arafat an all-or-nothing deal. "I told him it wouldn't work because the guinea pigs wouldn't continue running around happily once" the wheel stopped spinning.