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Strategic Thinking for Israel (by an Israeli)

Reader comment on item: Does Israel Need a [Peace] Plan?

Submitted by Yirmeyahu Ben-David, Paqid 16 (Israel), Feb 4, 2003 at 11:34

I agree with Prof. Pipes’ analysis with the following exceptions.

Some Israelis would not only like to redirect Palestinian aspirations toward Jordan (a country that, as Prof. Pipes and others have often pointed out, already has a Palestinian majority who should be able to determine their own destiny), a post-war Iraq could be returned to the rightful king whom Saddam Hussein usurped. (Saddam wasn’t born with the last name "Hussein," he adopted it after taking control of Iraq in a coup.)

First in succession to the throne of Iraq is the uncle of Jordan’s king Ab’d-Allah ("Abdullah") – brother of Jordan’s late King Hussein, the former crown prince Hassan Hussein!

Thus, a solution to the Palestinian problem presents itself. The Hashemite kingdom is rightfully Iraq and the Palestinian majority in Jordan should be permitted to determine their own destiny in Jordan. The obstacles are primarily [a] the many opportunist factions of the Iraqi opposition who, though they lack a legitimate right to rule Iraq, are as anxious to usurp the Hashemite throne that belongs to Hassan Hussein as Saddam was and [b] Jordan’s Hashemite king Ab’d-Allah and his supporters who will go to any lengths to preserve his rule over the ‘Palestinians’ in Jordan. The racist thinking that makes Arabs criticize Israel instead of Jordan and Saddam boggles the mind.

Long, and bitter, experience has taught Israel that foreign "peacekeeping" troops, no matter how well intended, don’t prevent terrorist attacks; they only prevent deterrent action against the civilian-garbed terrorists who shield themselves among civilian women and children. Just what Israel needs, American soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza protecting terrorists instead of fighting terrorism, exposing themselves to terrorist attacks and going home in body bags – for which, somehow, Israel will be blamed – and standing every day against Israel – becoming Israel’s enemy – in the process. This is the mother of all brainless ideas!

Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza are two separate issues. It cannot simply be assumed that voluntary departure of a significant number of Arabs from the West Bank is unrealistic. In fact, the opposite has been conclusively demonstrated. Many Arabs have already left voluntarily. Still more are trying to leave but prevented from leaving by Jordan. Still others, in expressing antipathy to Arafat’s rule, have indicated their desire to leave if they had a way.

Arabs should be guaranteed all basic rights in Israel excluding the right to vote. Negative sanctions to dissuade Arabs from living in Israel should be illegal and rigidly enforced. Neither Arabs nor any other minority should be subjected to indignity or disrespect. But purchasing peace through positive financial incentives, such as government willingness to purchase Muslim property at attractive prices coupled with offering subsidies to Muslim emigrants, would contribute immensely to a better life for West Bank and Gaza Muslims as well as for Israeli Jews.

The only reason this won’t work now is because all Arab governments treat ‘Palestinians’ as pariahs, keeping them in squalid "refugee camps," denying them basic rights and even jobs in decent occupations. Arab governments – including Arafat –deliberately keep their "refugees" in unimaginable squalor for the single, Machiavellian, purpose of using them as pawns to gain world sympathy, blaming the Judaic state for their plight, in their coordinated war to eliminate the Judaic state from the middle east. All of these "refugees" living in squalor are the responsibility of their host Arab country. While America has done its share to absorb Arabs displaced by the return of Jews to our ancestral homeland, the U.S. cannot absorb all of them. Thus, a pivotal part of the solution is to impose upon all of the Arab regimes whatever pressures and assistance is necessary – however firm that may be – to convince them to properly absorb the "Palestinian refugees" into their societies as equal citizens. Western countries should publicly keep the blame for the terrible conditions of the "refugees" on the host Arab country in the media – frequently, stridently and ceaselessly. This is a critical element of any solution. And if the plight of these "refugees" is addressed, there would likely be a significant exodus of Arabs into all of the surrounding Arab countries, not only from the West Bank but from Gaza as well.

Change of leadership means nothing until the brainwashing of children, indoctrinating them to die as ‘martyr’ terrorists killing all of the Jews they can, is replaced by indoctrinating their children toward peaceful coexistence. Then there will be a lag time of a generation, while the last crop of terrorist expend themselves killing their share of Jews, before meaningful progress toward peaceful coexistence can be achieved.

While Arab rejection of a sovereign Jewish state in the middle east is central, I respectfully disagree that it’s the heart of the problem. Standing alone, Arab countries could not, and would not, continue their ‘Final Solution’ war to eliminate the Judaic state from the middle east. It is the wrong-headed support by Europe and the United States of their ‘final solution’ war that empowers the Muslim bloc – notably Saudi Arabia, Iran (Muslim but not Arab), until recently Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – to indoctrinate Muslim children to kill Jews and to fund, train and incite Muslims worldwide to conduct the dirty parts of their war against the Jewish state – the closest thing in the modern world to symbolize living Judaism – as the first phase of their general terrorist war for supremacy over the subsequent non-Muslim "infidel" domino: Christianity. Christians, the silent implicit acquiescence of 99% of Muslims coupled with a complete absence of any effective Muslim opposition to this international Muslim movement, attests that, after Judaism is "taken care of," you’re next. Often, they’re not even waiting to take care of the Jews first. To borrow the style of Jay Leno, "It’s the religion, stupid."

The note indicates that this assumption is extrapolated (invalidly) from the reaction of Syria and Iran to Arafat’s pretenses toward peace in 1993-4... which, instead, brought home to Muslim leaders in Saudi-Arabia and other Arab regimes the need to come up with another front against the Judaic state that they could always count on in the event that West Bank and Gaza Arabs might someday betray the Arab world by discontinuing their central role in the coordinated Arab war to eliminate the Judaic state from the Middle East. (Events subsequent to 1993-4 did demonstrate, however, that the likelihood of West Bank and Gaza Arabs overcoming the overwhelming coordinated Arab pressure against making peace with a Jewish state is close to nil.) They found such a back-up paradigm in the terrorist tactics of the Iran-backed Khiz’b-Allah ("Hizballah," party of Allah). It was in the wake of 1993-4 that the international terrorist network of "unconnected" cells sprouted and soon blossomed. While West Bank and Gaza Arabs, oppressed in abject squalor in Arab "refugee" camps, remain a centerpiece of Arab propaganda, they are no longer indispensable to the Muslim war to eliminate the Judaic state. The war to eliminate the Judaic state would proceed, hardly faltering, without them. West Bank and Gaza Arabs aren’t the ones for whom this war is being fought. West Bank and Gaza Arabs are nothing more than pawns of Arab regimes who use them in their propaganda war to gain sympathy. Terrorism will march on without them. Failure to recognize this core element of the war precludes recognizing the solution: bagging all terrorists together and defeating them utterly and by all necessary means.

The pre-1993 period, when the Arab’s first line of attack switched from a frontal attack against a Jewish state in the Middle East to international terrorism againt all non-Muslim (and even "apostate" Muslim) religionists, is forever gone. Extrapolating from the pre-1993 period into the post-1993 world is invalid. The war against terror, including supporters and sponsors of terrorists and those who hide terrorists and provide shelter, assistance and encouragement (including PR and public "demonstrators") to terrorists or collaborate with terrorists, must be utterly defeated using disproportionate means. Here, Colin Powell had it right. Reason demands employing overwhelming force, not aiming for a stalemate that results in an eternal war. Sitting back and waiting for terrorists to blow up citizens while relying on deterrence against an enemy that cannot be identified or has blown himself up, ensures the quick crumbling of free society. Deterrence cannot work against people who value death more than life. Indeed, deterrence is this enemy’s victory.

"...only after the Palestinians definitively and unequivocally, and over an extended period of time, demonstrate that they have made their peace with the existence of the state of Israel as an irreversible fact."

This is short-sighted, and assumes the killing of what has been the heart of every Jew since King David. The existence of the state of Israel isn’t a Judaic state and means nothing whatsoever without the heart of the Jew: the capital of Israel, Jerusalem and Har ha-Bayit (the "Temple Mount"). Fairness demands that Jews give up as much of Jerusalem as Muslims give us in Mecca; as much of Har ha-Bayit as Arabs give us of the Kaab. 3,000 years of experience should demonstrate even to the intellectually challenged that as long as there is a Bible-believing Jew – as much as many in the world would like to be rid of us – an arrangement that excludes exclusive sovereignty in Jerusalem and over Har ha-Bayit ensures the continuation of war. Refusal of the world to recognize this, and especially the U.S. procrastination about recognizing Jerusalem as our capital, has led me to conclude that co-existence with an Arab sovereignty west of the Jordan is impossible. It ain’t just symbolism, Pres. Bush. There is nothing more central to a solution.
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