Israeli victory essential for Middle East peace

Israeli victory essential for Middle East peace, by Daniel Pipes.

The moment is right for fresh thinking to dispatch the old and stale Palestinian-Israeli conflict. With Arabs focused on other issues — the Iranian nuclear weapon build-up, civil wars in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, Turkey going rogue, the Islamist surge and the water drought — hoary anti-Zionist taboos have lost much of their pungency. A prosperous and strong Israel has lost hope in decades’ worth of “peace process”. The cowboy in the White House likes breaking with precedent. And the global left’s turn towards anti-Semitism, exemplified by Jeremy Corbyn of the British Labour Party, adds further reason for urgency; when it eventually holds power, the implications for Israel will be dire.

Conventional wisdom holds that the Arab-Israeli conflict will end only when the Palestinians’ grievances are sufficiently satisfied so that they accept the Jewish state of Israel. This paradigm has reigned almost unchallenged since the Oslo Accords of September 1993; yet that 25-year period also has made clear that Palestinians in overwhelming numbers (I estimate 80 per cent based on scholarship and polling data going back a century) seek not peaceful coexistence with Israel but the brutal elimination of the “Zionist entity”. With such attitudes, it comes as no surprise that every round of much-hyped negotiations eventually has failed.

I shall propose an entirely different approach to resolve the conflict, a reversion to the strategy of deterrence and victory associated with Zionism’s great strategist, Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940): Israel should aim not to please its enemies but to defeat them. Counter-intuitively, I shall show why Palestinians need precisely such an Israeli victory to slough off their current oppression, extremism, and violence, and to become a successful people. …

An important fact often overlooked:

History shows wars typically conclude not through negotiations but through defeat and victory. As military historian Victor Hanson says, “Conflicts throughout history become serial when an enemy is not utterly defeated and is not forced to submit to the political conditions of the victor.” Defeat means giving up war ambitions. Victory means imposing one’s will on the enemy. …

This process will be neither easy nor quick: it requires Palestinians to suffer the bitter crucible of defeat, with its attendant deprivation, destruction and despair. Unfortun­ately, there is no shortcut.

hat-tip Stephen Neil