The first failure, he writes, was in achieving the ultimate goal. The settlers did not succeed in attracting enough Jews so that demographic parity with the Palestinians could be approached.
The second failure was in the settlers' disengagement from the public.
And the third failure was in the field of security as "The settlements did not bring quiet, and when the war broke out, they proved to be irrelevant".
Most people, of course, are quoting this piece by Ari Shavit,
entitled: Olmert's Arrogance which includes these gems:
The history books will record Olmert's unconditional withdrawal as the unconditional surrender of Zionism. No, it will not be the end. But it will be the beginning of the end. While relying on big money on one side and big journalism on the other, Olmert will lead the country to the beginning of the end.
...the Olmert plan has a small flaw: It has no Palestinians. This is a plan whose logic is simplistic and patronizing. This is a plan for Israelis only, which ignores its ramifications on Israelis. It takes an extreme unilateral position to the point of absurdity, totally ignoring the fact that the conflict is bilateral and the political reality is multilateral...What Olmert plans to do in the next few years is to establish an armed Hamas state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
...Olmert's Hamas state [will be transformed] into one that will endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.
...But it is not just the stability of Israel that Olmert is endangering. He is also endangering the regional stability. A Hamas state will accelerate Jordan's collapse...Egypt will also be threatened...His radical unilateral process will disrupt the American strategy in the area and will bury U.S. President George W. Bush's dream of stability and democracy in the Middle East.
...the Hamas victory has made a two-state solution more distant and more complicated. Olmert's convergence plan makes it impossible. Therefore, if the public gives him the chance to carry out his arrogant plan, then March 28, 2006, will go down in history. History will remember it as the day that did not bring peace and did not bring security, but began the end.
Now, let's go back to Benn.
A. Considering the opposition we in Yesha faced, a good deal from people like Benn, over a quarter million Jews across the Green Line is not a failure. There are approximately 20% Jews in Yesha and there are 20% Arabs in Israel. Is that not enough to demand at least the equality of rights Arabs enjoy in Israel? And does Benn think that that 20% Arab population will not present a demographuc threat sometime in the future if his own prognosis is correct?
B. True to an extent, our enthusiaism and activism, based on religious fervor, was not perceived as akin to the original Zionist pioneering spirit. But, again, that is as much the fault of Israel's left-wingers and the school educational system that downplayed Zionism as not relevant to modernity as it is anyone else's.
C. This is ridiculous. The kibbutzim on the borders in the 1950s and 1960s didn't prevent war, fedayin terror or other hostilities. So, they should have been disbanded and Israel turned into a military garrison state? Communities are the essence of Zionism and if they have a secondary purpose, fine.
Benn is nitpicking and doing it badly.
(I might come back to this)