But it's hopelessly naive to think that Israel has the power to unilaterally determine its permanent border. A border by definition has (at least) two sides. So long as the Arabs refuse to accept our self-declared border, it will remain up for grabs.
Take the Golan Heights, for example. Or eastern Jerusalem. No country recognizes Israel's sovereignty over them, despite decades of formal annexation to Israel. And no country will until our enemies do. Until such time, they're on the negotiating table, whether we like it or not.
Unilateral withdrawals, aside from destroying Israel's military deterrence and undermining those among the Arabs who support a negotiated agreement, simply cannot achieve the objective of finalizing Israel's borders. The Arabs do not recognize the Israel-Gaza boundary as an international border, and, following them, neither does the United Nations or any individual nation.
2. Haaretz, Wednesday, April 26, 2006:
Sources: U.S. won't view pullout line as final Israel-PA border
By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent
WASHINGTON - The United States will not recognize a border created after a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank as Israel's permanent frontier, senior U.S. administration members said in unofficial conversations.
However, a number of sources said unofficially that they believed the administration would probably support such a withdrawal, but would not recognize it as one "after which there would be no more need for negotiation," according to one source.
One official said he believed the U.S. would agree to see the post-withdrawal line as a temporary border, "which would become permanent, obviously with slight changes, following future negotiations between Israel and the PA."
If the Israeli withdrawal receives the blessing of the international community, "it will be assuming that any reduction of the occupation is good for both sides, but it certainly won't be support for a new border," a source in Washington said.
Any reasonable interpretation of international law, a legal expert said Tuesday, "cannot allow recognition of a border that was determined unilaterally."
Indeed. A "unilateral border" is an oxymoron. "Following future negotiations between Israel and the PA" means the Arabs have a veto over any international recognition. Israel simply will not have "permanent borders" until our enemies agree to them. And there's no prospect of that happening without a major geopolitical upheaval.
If Olmert thinks we have a compelling national interest in destroying more Jewish communities, let him make that case. But don't try to sell us fantasies about "setting Israel's permanent borders".