Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ending the Arab/Israeli conflict

Daniel Pipes is a well known author and lecturer on Islam and the Middle East and I have enormous respect for him.

Today he posted an ambitious article entitled `How Israel Can Win'

In the piece, Pipes makes the following points:

-That Israel does not enjoy freedom of action because of it's relationship with the American Government

-That Israel should somehow `convince' the Palestinians that they have been defeated

-That an `aggressive' step like "transferring" Arabs out of the West Bank would be counterproductive for Israel, prompting greater outrage, increasing the number of enemies, and perpetuating the conflict.

-That Israel needs only to defeat the Palestinian Arabs, not the whole Arab/Muslim world.

I respectfully disagree..a rarity when it comes to Pipes.

The first point, that Israel does not enjoy freedom of action to pursue victory because of the American government is, I feel , immaterial because of the existential nature of the war, because the Bush Administration is in the process (IMO) of exiting Iraq as soon as possible, and because of the widespread political support for Israel in the American mainstream. I would argue that a significant part of Bush's current political troubles comes from the perception of lessened support for Israel and increased support for Sunni autocracies by a lot of the people that helped elect him.

I've made this point before.

Ultimately, Israel must make its decisions based on its interests..just like any other country.

As for psychologically `convincing the Palestinians they have lost', that is an impossibility because of the Palestinian's usefulness as shock troops by the Arab/Muslim world against Israel, the influence of Islam, and Israel's usefulness as a scapegoat. If Israel had never existed, it would have had to be invented. The Palestinians will thus be maintained, armed and financed by the Islamic world for as long as is feasable.

This relates to Pipes' other point, that Israel needs only to defeat the Palestinians, not the whole Arab/Muslim world. In fact, Israel is merely a front in a wider war. Before there were any `Palestinians' prior to 1967, the Arab/Muslim world still maintained its hostility to Israel. After the Gaza withdrawal (just as after Oslo, Sinai, and every other withdrawal) various commentators, diplomats and politicians maintained that it signified ` a new era' in the Middle East peace process, and that Israel would reap diplomatic benefits from giving up territory.

In each case, that has proven to be a fallacy. In fact, Israel's interests would probably best be served by acting as every other nation does..to preserve its sovereignity, defend its citizens and act in its own self interest.

The reality is that the only way a two-state solution would be possible in such a small area is if the `Palestinians' somehow magically came to their senses, realized how the Arab/Muslim world is cynically using them and understood that the only way for a second Arab Palestinian state to be viable is in lockstep, peaceful cooperation with the Jews. After a generation's worth of indoctrination by Arafat and Hamas, that's about as likely as snow in the Sahara. It's time we admitted it.

Here's how to really solve the conflict, once and for all:

Olmert has only half of the answer, unfortunately, in that he wants to unilaterally define Israel's borders. The parts he doesn't get involve Israel defining those borders properly, seeing that those borders are contigious and defensible and yes...transferring the non-Israeli Arab population out of Israeli territory and any Jews outside the borders into it.

It involves cutting off all contact with the `Palestinian' Authority and those who claim to be its nationals; eliminating any cooperation with NGOs supporting the `Palestinian' cause; taking the steps necessary to ensure that Jerusalem once again becomes what it was before 1948, a majority Jewish city and the undisputed capitol of Israel; and putting the `Palestinians' on notice that any terrorist attacks, even if unsuccessful would be considered a causus belli and lead to harsh and violent reprisals...and be prepared to follow up on it.

No nation except Israel would put up with rockets being fired into its country daily or the sort of terrorist attacks Israelis are subjected to every day.

I would remind anyone to whom this seems counterproductive that King Hussein of Jordan solved his Palestinian problem with Yasir Arafat back in t 1970 by unleashing his army on the dissident Palestinians, killing a number of them and driving their leadership out of his country. That was the last time he had a problem with them.

Only when Israel behaves the way any sovereign nation would when faced with invasion or attack on its territory and neutralizes the Palestinian `value' to the the Arab/Muslim world will there be a chance, after time, for at least a grudging acceptance of its right to exist. And, after a few weeks feeding frenzy, that includes those elements of the media that are characteristically anti-Israel.

The outstanding issues Pipes mentions - Jerusalem, the manufactured `refugee' crisis, and final borders - are all a front for the real outstanding issue..the refusal of Arabs to live next to Jews in peace and security. Only by taking the phoney points of contention off the table in a decisive fashion will the conflict resolve itself over time and Israel be perceived as legitimate, rather than a temporary aberration in dar Islam.


Dan Zaremba said...

In my opinion Pipes' strenght is not in plotting political strategies.
He is an academic, who will analize details, get all the necessary data, draw correct conclussions and then come out with a solution wich has nothing to do with reality.

I again agree with your summary 100%.
Apart from that Israel must be decisive in its actions at the present it lost Palestinian respect as an adversary.
There is no such thing as being reasonable, not in these parts.

Freedom Fighter said...

I agree with you, link.

I would extend that to Islamism in general, no matter where it rears its violent, ugly head.