The West Bank: Mission Critical

HAZEM BADER / AFP/GETTY

FEELING THE STRAIN: Israeli soldiers rest after the eviction of Jewish settlers in Hebron on Aug. 7

A math question: if it took 3,000 Israeli troops and police to evict two families of Jewish settlers from the West Bank city of Hebron, how many would it take to clear out the 275,000 Jewish settlers living inside the Palestinian territories?

Two possible answers: a) it would require nearly every single policeman and soldier on duty in Israel today; b) zero, because it simply won't happen. Despite pressure by the Bush Administration and the rest of the international community for Israel to withdraw many of its Jewish citizens from 220 hilltop settlements and outposts in the disputed...

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