Until Saladin comes, or the Messiah comes, Israelis must tend to their security in the real world. While Israel has no clear right to the West Bank, nor does it clearly lack such a right. Control of the West Bank is crucial to Israeli security in a military sense, and it is at best unclear that ceding the territories to a Palestinian state would provide diplomatic and political security to compensate. Therefore, the most logical and reasonable course for Israel is to maintain control of the West Bank.
As Jewish immigration into Palestine continued, predominantly Jewish and Arab areas came to form a patchwork throughout the region. In the course of the rising struggle, Jews were driven out of some areas, notably Hebron, where they had previously lived since biblical times. In 1947, the U.N. partition plan for Palestine called for both Jewish and Arab states, separated by an elaborately drawn border that more or less separated the chief areas of settlement. The Jewish Agency, the nascent Israeli state, accepted the partition plan, though it produced a very hard-to-defend border and greatly complicated even normal state administration. It also placed many of those areas most linked to Jewish history -- such as Hebron itself, and above all the Old City of Jerusalem -- in the Arab sector (Johnson, 1987, p. 532).
gration had already led to tensions by 1920, but the critical turning point was the rise of Haji Amin as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the city's chief Sunni cleric, in 1921. Haji Amin mobilized an explosive combination of Arab nationalism and what would now be called Islamic fundamentalism (Johnson, 1987, pp. 438-39). The current of Islamic fundamentalism, totally inflexible and rejecting all compromise, is one that continues to run through Palestinian Arab politics.
In the wake of the 1967 war, however, it was Israel that reunified "historic Palestine" under its own control. It should be re-emphasized here that in occupying these territories, Isra