'Gaza lessons to aid future pullouts'

The lessons learned from the Gaza disengagement will help the government prepare for the future dismantling of settlements in Judea and Samaria, Prime Minister's Office Director-General Ra'anan Dinur said Wednesday. At the same time, Dani Dayan, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said that comparing the evacuation of 8,600 settlers from Gush Katif to the expulsion of 100,000 settlers from Judea and Samaria is like comparing a minor flood in south Tel Aviv to a tsunami. Dinur and Dayan took part in a conference held Wednesday at the Israel Democracy Institute to discuss a recently published research paper, "The Political and Social Ramifications of Evacuating Settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip," by journalist Yair Sheleg. Dinur pointed out that the right wing had a vested interest in not cooperating with the government, in order to create the misconception that it would be impossible to make future territorial compromises involving the evacuation of Jewish settlements. Dinur said that was part of the reason it was taking so long to resettle families evacuated from Gush Katif. Dayan, however, warned that while it was theoretically possible to implement additional evacuations of settlements, it would also cause irreparable damage to the country. "It would be tantamount to breaking the backbone of Israeli society," said Dayan. "The only way the government could accomplish such an act would be to demonize the entire settlement community. The Israeli society would not survive it," said Dayan.