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Strategy vs. Advocacy: The Palestinians and their Way

Reader comment on item: Corbyn, Sanders, and the Need for Israel Victory

Submitted by Ludvikus (United States), Feb 17, 2023 at 07:26

Dear Dr. Daniel Pipes,

One way of understanding your distinction by someone other than yourself (particularly me) is to consider the two concepts as they relate to the forces moving the Palestinians. From the very beginning when the Ottoman Empire rules over what the West (United Kingdom and France in Particular) dubbed Palestine the position was to oppose any Jews creating homes in the area. That position emerged graphically when the Mufti of Jerusalem convened with Hitler as Hitler's Ally. War and violence was the strategy. In this context advocacy was merely a matter of gathering armies and terrorists to do the job of killing and eliminating Jews wherever they were in order to prevent Jews from settling in what was eventually to become "Israel."
Fast forward to the present, we can observe that in every military or paramilitary sense of the word, it is the Jews of Israel who have been victorious. However, on the advocacy level, it appears that the Palestinians have been "victorious," if you permit me to use your work in this way; the UN and the Democratic administration continue to invoke the notion of a "two-state solution" even though Hamas in Gaza wants a "one-state solution (no Israel) and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank pretends to want everything before 1967 while in fact wants what Hamas wants, week Israel without Jerusalem and eventually no Israel.
Now, with a so-called right-wing government installed in Israel it seems the strategy for Israel's victory is on track: after a military conquest the protagonist proceeds to take civil control of the land - that is precisely what is happening by legalizing settlements that is becoming a part of defensible "greater Israel."
It seems that Israel's weakness is in the realm of advocacy, not strategy. If strategy has any meaning it must apply to the kind of policies Israel needs to apply to its conquered Palestinian cohort. The Palestinians are failing economically but growing demographically. When the British ruled over their empire they imposed democratic institutions over their conquered lands and people which eventually lead to a self-governing success story (except in Muslim majority lands). Consider the USA, Canada, India, Israel, etc. as opposed to Pakistan and Egypt, etc. The former are non-Muslim unlike the latter. Obviously, Palestinians, being essentially Muslim, one cannot expect a democratic polity to succeed easily especially when imposed by force. In addition, there are so-called Palestinian "refugees" who will never be able, physically, to "return." So they must be permitted and persuaded to become citizens or subjects of the lands in which they have resided now for at least four (4) generations (as is the case with all other refugees recognized by the UN). I see no strategic alternative but the destruction of Hamas in Gaza and the natural disappearance of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank when the Octogenarian Abbas is no longer in office. Otherwise, the major easier task is for Israel to change its advocacy, particularly emphasizing Palestinian failure in coming to terms with the irrevocable existence of Israel. There can be no alternative to imposing some sort of effective polity upon the Palestinians which, like all polities, concerns itself with the betterment of everyday life. Palestinians, empirically have proven to have failed in that regard. Can Israel turn Gaza into a "Singapore" of the Middle East? Why not, considering all the other fields in which Israel succeeded, and in fact leads the world? But I recall that you do not believe in economic betterment for the Palestinians as leading to peace. However, that's because the alternative, of an Israeli Mandate for the Remainder of Palestine isn't being considered: when the Palestinians show that they can govern themselves and live with Jews all around them in peace, then will Israel end its self-imposed mandate over them. Perhaps, at some point, Israel can seek a UN recognition over such a mandate? After all, Great Britain first conquered and defeated militarily the Ottoman Empire before it sought its mandatory status over Palestine.


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