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A very different take

Reader comment on item: Reading Sharon's Mind

Submitted by Philip Jackson (United States), Dec 23, 2003 at 11:21

Dear Mr. Pipes,

I must say I strongly disagree with your analysis, not of Sharon's possible motivation about which I know little, but of the message sent by his proposed actions and the result of those actions.

You write that his actions will "delay a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict," but I view them rather as a recognition that no such resolution exists within any current framework. One party by itself cannot end a conflict, except by annihilating the other; this is a step that Israel rightly refuses to take.

Israel's proposed action changes the rules, and hugely raises the stakes. It takes the situation out of the realm of wishful thinking, delusion, and bad faith, and grounds it squarely in geopolitical reality. By unilaterally declaring its borders and ceasing any action or interference in the remaining WB or Gaza (including return of refugees), Israel fulfills its requirements under UN242; and I suspect that the US will formally recognize this fact and also persuade its allies to do so. Any attacks across those borders from neighboring states then become acts of war, not "resistance to the occupation;" and in the event, I again suspect, declaration of war will be swiftly forthcoming from the Knesset.

The rules of war are very different from those of occupation, and are universally understood to be so. Israel, within the parameters of just warfare, will be in a position to utterly destroy those individuals and groups who have so long sought her own destruction, and have incited others to do the same.

In short, Israel's action rejects the delusion that ongoing warfare is really "a roadmap to peace," and instead offers the choice: real peace, or real war.

Regards, Philip Jackson
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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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