Aluf Benn writes in Haaretz,
This is the time to tell the Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) settlers: You have failed. Your grandiose project, which is about to be dismantled, has registered a triple failure. The first failure was in achieving the ultimate goal. The settlers did not succeed in attracting enough Jews to the hilltops of Samaria and cliffs of Judea to establish irreversible facts on the ground and prevent return of the territories. They did not even succeed in approaching demographic parity with the Palestinians, which would have led to an imposed coexistence.
The second failure was in the settlers’ disengagement from the public, through their sense of superiority over the hedonists from the center of the country. Even during the days of the British Mandate, which the settlers like to recall with longing, only a few people joined the “wall and stockade” settlements (which were established overnight in the country’s peripheral areas), and the majority remained in Tel Aviv. But the settlers who set out to establish facts and expand the area of Jewish settlement came from the consensus and remained within it. The hilltop settlers were and remain on the margins, as the orange days of summer demonstrated. Opponents of the evacuation remained in their isolation from one demonstration to the next, and the majority only wanted the nightmare to end.
The third failure was security related. The settlements did not bring quiet, and when the war broke out, they proved to be irrelevant. The Palestinian suicide bombers bypassed them on their way to blowing themselves up in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Netanya, and they remained in isolation on the hilltops like the turrets of the Maginot Line. Only the fence, which heralded the end of the settlements, stopped the terror. Even opponents of Olmert’s withdrawal, members of the “security-oriented right,” such as Likud chair Benjamin Netanyahu and former chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, are now assigning the settlements only the humiliating role of “negotiating chips” and convenient targets for Hamas. The human price to be paid by the settlers does not interest them.