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The Biggest 'Wishful Prediction'?

Reader comment on item: Rethinking the Egypt-Israel "Peace" Treaty

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Nov 22, 2006 at 09:26

"multiple fallacies and wishful predictions " "draw the appropriate lessons"

This is an interesting and well-reasoned piece. It is particularly good as a geo-political piece, strongly implying that the United States ought to immediately taper off military aid to Egypt, or replace it with entirely non-military aid, since a huge Egyptian military can have no other use than as a danger to israel.

But by the clear logic of this piece, the biggest example of all of Wishful Thinking about the Middle East should also be abandoned.

This is the idea that there can ever be a Palestinian State living "side by side in peace" with Israel.

It is astonishing that apparently everybody in the American Defense Establishment and the great majority of Israelis remain - I can't think of any other word - slaves to this idea. What that idea means in practice is that the Palestinians in particular, and the Arabs and Moslems in general, retain both a veto power over any meaningful peace and an actual incentive to perpetuate hostilities and their lunatic sense of victimhood.

We are the enablers, or co-dependents of all, even after the only plausible justification for the policy of advocating a State for the Palestinians, the risk of nuclear conflict between the Us and the USSR, disappeared.

It is particularly incongruous that Daniel Pipes, otherwise so clear-headed and willing to think outside conventional wisdom, as with this piece, still thinks that merely 'staying the course' will lead to the Palestinians somehow just tiring out and giving up their wish to destroy Israel.

It is remarkable to recall that in the 1960's we had three small backward political entities that held positions of world influence because of how they might affect the actions of the two Superpowers - Cuba, North Vietnam, and the Palestinians. Well, after 1962, Cuba steadily receded in influence, if not notoriety

By 1975, Vietnam began its descent into near oblivion on the international stage.

But we still have the Palestinians as players on the world stage. Why?

Well, at least half the reason is the Israeli, American, and European decision to continue to view this people and its leaders as worthy of some sort of redress of alleged injustice NO MATTER HOW THEY BEHAVE.

No doubt another reason is our willingness to be intimidated by what we think the rest of the Middle East will do and how it will react if we just say, Enough - the Palestinians are incapable of renouncing violence and incapable of reconciling themselves to the existence of Israel. So we need to offer them, if anything at all, some sort of financial help and aid to move somewhere else.

Of course there will be some sort of emotional explosion in the Arab world.

But if anyone, including Daniel Pipes, is serious in their talk about winning this struggle, then surely they must drop what may be the greatest example of irresponsible wishful thinking in the world today.

There is a new book out, The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister, Three Who Changed the World. It is about how Ronal Reagan, John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher, did what almost nobody thought remotely possible when they came to power, which was to not only contain but actually defeat the Soviet Union. Or more accurately, to stand up to it with such a firm will, and moral and verbal clarity, that it collapsed from within.

Whether we want to or not, we are facing such a choice towards the Moslem World, or at least that part of it encompassed by the Middle East. If we continue to self-censor our words, and even I'm afraid our inner thoughts, we can only expect the sense of reckless and demented empowerment among a growing body of Islamic radicals, who take our present stand of seeking a State for the Palestinians as proof of inner spiritual weakness, to increase and lead to ever more violent and finally world-endangering actions.

I suggest this is the appropriate lesson we draw from the failed or failing "peace treaty" betwen Israel and Egypt.

Ron Thompson


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Daniel Pipes replies:

"It is particularly incongruous that Daniel Pipes, otherwise so clear-headed and willing to think outside conventional wisdom, as with this piece, still thinks that merely 'staying the course' will lead to the Palestinians somehow just tiring out and giving up their wish to destroy Israel."

I don't recall advising to stay the course. I do repeatedly advise defeating the Palestinians, crushing their will to continue to fight.

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