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Need for Clarification

Reader comment on item: Peace Process or War Process?

Submitted by David ML (United States), Sep 24, 2009 at 22:15

Great article, excellent summary, thanks. Very helpful. But there is one area of disagreement, or perhaps a need for clarification:

you wrote: "...To survive, Israelis eventually must return to their pre-1993 policy of establishing that Israel is strong, tough, and permanent. That is achieved through deterrence — the tedious task of convincing Palestinians and others that the Jewish state will endure and that dreams of elimination must fail......(and further on in the article).....Israel does enjoy one piece of good fortune: It need only deter the Palestinians, not the whole Arab and Muslim populations. Moroccans, Iranians, Malaysians, and others take their cues from the Palestinians and with time will follow their lead. Israel's ultimate enemy, the one whose will it needs to crush, is roughly the same demographic size as itself.

The above statements imply that when the Palestinians perceive that Israel cannot be defeated, Israel will have won and the conflict will be ended. However, my understanding of the history of the conflict and the history of Islam leads me to conclude that:

a.) the need for deterrence goes way beyond the Palestinians; onward/outward to some of the key players in the Arab and non-Arab Muslim world (Arabia, Iran, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt), and…..

b.) there is no military solution to this conflict because of "a".

When Israel defeated the PLO in Lebanon in 1982, it took the Ayatollah Ruholla Khoumeini only a few months to found, recruit, nurture, train, arm, expand and deploy Hizb'allah....and less than a year to turn it in to a formidable international terror force.

Now that the Saudis feel threatened by Iran and have withdrawn some support from Hamas, Iran happily fills that void and Hamas continues to grow in strength of arms and manpower, allied with Hizb'allah, and waiting for the next "right moment" to renew terrorism or renew qasams, or perpetrate more kidnappings.

Israel's recent Lebanon war resulted in a bigger, stronger (albeit more cautious) Hizb'allah which is now on the verge of taking over Lebanon....all thanks to Iran and Syria.

From the early 1950s to this day, Arab terrorism against Israel has been fed and incited and armed and supported and protected by various Arab nations and Iran (and sporadically other non-Arab Muslim nations).

As long as there are a few powerful and/or oil-rich Arab/Muslim states whose political situations and religious ideologies benefit from the conflict, there will be endless oil money to support the conflict, and there will be as well endless political backing to legitimize the terrorism in international circles and within international institutions.

Powerful as it is, Israel is not able to bludgeon in to unconditional surrender every belligerent Arab and/or Muslim state. And even if it were possible to do so, and Israel did so, how long would it take before a new generation of Jew-hater/Israel-hater Arab/Muslim leaders would arise and build from the ashes of their defeated predecessors a new coalition to renew Jihad and re-launch the war against Jihad's most consistently central and primary target? How long did it take for Hitler to build the third Reich on the ashes of the 2nd?

The success with Germany as a post-WW2 ally arose largely from the Allied forces willingness and ability to not only bring Germany to its knees, maintain the war until the surviving German leadership agreed to unconditional surrender, and crush Nazism, but also to manipulate into power a post-ww2 German leadership committed to peace with its former enemies and to the de-legitimization and repression of the former Nazi idealogues and ideology. Who in the West could put an end to the Islamic religious ideology of Jihad and of its theology of "Islam uber Alles" once Israel has brought about some sort of massive military victory?

The above is why Michael Oren says that there is no way that any military victory, no matter how conclusive, can end the conflict. There is no military solution.

There are enough Jihadist-terrorist-supporting Arab/Muslim states and enough money (thanks mostly to petroleum) to provide the support for a continued war (full scale war per Iran, terror war per Hamas and Hezb'allah, and political-social-intellectual-propaganda war per the PA's PASSIA funded by Arabia), until Israel's resources (human and material) are exhausted and Israel loses. As the Arab representatives at the Rhodes conference in 1949 said: "We Arabs can lose 40 wars. Israel can lose only 1."

There is enough of a culture of hatred, Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred, in much of the Arab, and some of the Muslim, world to provide the manpower for that continued war.

It will take generations, perhaps centuries, to undermine, attenuate, and ultimately reverse the Muslim tradition of Jew-hatred.....if it can be done at all (and given the current PC and pre-emptive dhimmi attitudes of western leaders, it does not seem likely that anyone will be committing much, if any, resources to initiate that task).

It is improbable, in my opinion, that any force in the West will be able to bring about reform in Islam, in order to replace the 1,375 year-old ideology of Jew-hatred and Kafir-hatred. So, the only real long-term effective way to end the conflict is to take away from the Muslim world its ability to put that ideology in to action.

Only by inventing or discovering a low-cost, efficient, clean, naturally renewable substitute for petroleum can the West bankrupt the oil-rich Jihadist Arab and non-Arab Muslim states.

The bankrupting of these states will not completely end the jihadist mentality of some significant part of the Muslim world....but terrorism is expensive; and the loss of oil revenue will make it much more difficult for the jihadist states to finance the jihad against Israel and the global jihad against western civilization. That will render the terrorist war much more manageable.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (47) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
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the method [304 words]Charles B. CohenSep 29, 2009 15:40162315
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In response to Alex Revai [264 words]DillahSep 28, 2009 16:31162192
Settlements convince Palestinians [60 words]Joakim FörarsSep 25, 2009 20:13162123
Need for Clarification [959 words]David MLSep 24, 2009 22:15162059
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The Muslim problem... [46 words]donvanSep 23, 2009 21:36161972
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A splendin article Dr. Pipes and well put [192 words]Seamus Dafydd Dives MacNemiSep 23, 2009 16:27161969
Well Said, Mr. MacNemi [194 words]Rebecca MouldsSep 24, 2009 17:53161969
Quotations carry risks [64 words]Hans GuggenheimSep 22, 2009 17:21161929
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You're right [58 words]Abu NudnikSep 22, 2009 02:08161886
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UNRWA, considered [247 words]Solomon2Sep 21, 2009 15:27161854
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Great article [72 words]Joan NeelSep 21, 2009 12:10161844
PEACE PROCESS OR WAR PROCESS [96 words]Kenneth S. PerlmanSep 21, 2009 11:11161841

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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