The Way to Peace: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Defeat

Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy sadly fits the classic description of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The identical assumptions – land-for-peace and the two-state solution, with the burden primarily on Israel – stay permanently in place, no matter how often they fail. Decades of what insiders call “peace processing” has left matters worse than when they started, yet the great powers persist, sending diplomat after diplomat to Jerusalem and Ramallah, ever hoping that the next round of negotiations will lead to the elusive breakthrough.

The time is ripe for a new approach, a basic re-thinking of the problem. It draws on Israel’s successful strategy as carried out through its first 45 years. The failure of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy since 1993 suggests this alternative approach – with a stress on Israeli toughness in pursuit of victory. This would, paradoxically perhaps, be of benefit to Palestinians and bolster American support.

I. The Near Impossibility of Compromise

Since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Palestinians and Israelis have pursued static and opposite goals.

In the years before the establishment of the new state, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, articulated a policy of rejectionism, or eliminating every vestige of Jewish presence in what is now the territory of Israel.[1]It remains in place. Maps in Arabic which show a “Palestine” replacing Israel symbolize this continued aspiration. Rejectionism runs so deep that it drives not just Palestinian politics but much of Palestinian life. With consistency, energy, and perseverance, Palestinians have pursued rejectionism via three main approaches: demoralizing Zionists through political violence, damaging Israel’s economy through trade boycotts, and weakening Israel’s legitimacy by winning foreign support. Differences between Palestinian factions tend to be tactical: Talk to the Israelis to win concessions from them or not? Mahmoud Abbas represents the former outlook and Khaled Mashal the latter.

On the Israeli side, nearly everyone agrees on the need to win acceptance by Palestinians (and other Arabs and Muslims); differences are again tactical. David Ben-Gurion articulated one approach, that of showing Palestinians what they can gain from Zionism. Vladimir Jabotinsky developed the opposite vision, arguing that Zionists have no choice but to break the Palestinians’ intractable will. Their rival approaches remain the touchstones of Israel’s foreign-policy debate, with Isaac Herzog heir to Ben-Gurion and Binyamin Netanyahu to Jabotinsky.

These two pursuits – rejectionism and acceptance – have remained basically unchanged for a century; today’s Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Labor, and Likud are lineal descendants of Husseini, Ben-Gurion, and Jabotinsky. Varying ideologies, objectives, tactics, strategies, and actors mean that details have varied, even as the fundamentals remained remarkably in place. Wars and treaties came and went, leading to only minor shifts. The many rounds of fighting had surprisingly little impact on ultimate goals, while formal agreements (such as the Oslo Accords of 1993) only increase hostility to Israel’s existence and so were counterproductive.

Palestinian rejection or acceptance of Israel is binary: yes or no, without in-betweens. This renders compromise nearly impossible because resolution requires one side fully to abandon its goal. Either Palestinians give up their century-long rejection of the Jewish state or Zionists give up their 150-year quest for a sovereign homeland. Anything other than these two outcomes is an unstable settlement that merely serves as the premise for a future round of conflict.

The “Peace Process” That Failed

Deterrence, that is, convincing Palestinians and the Arab states to accept Israel’s existence by threatening painful retaliation, underlay Israel’s formidable record of strategic vision and tactical brilliance in the period 1948 to 1993. Over this time, deterrence worked to the extent that Israel’s Arab state enemies saw the country very differently by the end of that period; in 1948, invading Arab armies expected to throttle the Jewish state at birth, but by 1993, Arafat felt compelled to sign an agreement with Israel’s prime minister.

That said, deterrence did not finish the job; as Israelis built a modern, democratic, affluent, and powerful country, the fact that Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and (increasingly) the left still rejected it became a source of mounting frustration. Israel’s impatient, on-the-go populace grew weary with the unattractive qualities of deterrence, which by nature is passive, indirect, harsh, slow, boring, humiliating, reactive, and costly. It is also internationally unpopular.

That impatience led to the diplomatic process that culminated with the handshake confirming the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in September 1993. For a brief period, “The Handshake” (as it was then capitalized) between Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin served as the symbol of successful mediation that gave each side what it most wanted: dignity and autonomy for Palestinians, recognition and security for Israelis. Among many accolades, Arafat, Rabin, and Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The accords, however, quickly disappointed both sides. Indeed, while Israelis and Palestinians agree on little else, they concur with near-unanimity on Oslo having been a disaster.

When Palestinians still lived under direct Israeli control before Oslo, acceptance of Israel had increased over time even as political violence diminished. Residents of the West Bank and Gaza could travel locally without checkpoints and access work sites within Israel. They benefited from the rule of law and an economy that more than quadrupled without depending on foreign aid. Functioning schools and hospitals emerged, as did several universities.

Yasir Arafat promised to turn Gaza into “the Singapore of the Middle East,” but his despotism and aggression against Israel instead turned his fiefdom into a nightmare, resembling Congo more than Singapore. Unwilling to give up on the permanent revolution and to become the ordinary leader of an obscure state, he exploited the Oslo Accords to inflict economic dependence, tyranny, failed institutions, corruption, Islamism, and a death cult on Palestinians.

For Israelis, Oslo led not to the hoped-for end of conflict but inflamed Palestinian ambitions to eliminate the Jewish state. As Palestinian rage spiraled upward, more Israelis were murdered in the five years post-Oslo than in the fifteen years preceding it. Rabble-rousing speech and violent actions soared – and continue unabated 23 years later. Moreover, Palestinian delegitimization efforts cost Israel internationally as the left turned against it, spawning such anti-Zionist novelties as the UN World Conference against Racism in Durban and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement.

From Israel’s perspective, seven years of Oslo appeasement, 1993-2000, undid 45 years of successful deterrence; then, six years of unilateral withdrawals, 2000-06, further buried deterrence. The decade since 2006 has witnessed no major changes.

The Oslo exercise showed the futility of Israeli concessions to Palestinians when the latter fail to live up to their obligations. By signaling Israeli weakness, Oslo made a bad situation worse. What is conventionally called the “peace process” would more accurately be dubbed the “war process.”

The False Hope of Finessing Victory

Why did things go so wrong in what seemed so promising an agreement?

Moral responsibility for the collapse of Oslo lies solely with Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the rest of the Palestinian Authority leadership. They pretended to abandon rejectionism and accept Israel’s existence but, in fact, sought Israel’s elimination in new, more sophisticated ways, replacing force with delegitimization.

This said, the Israelis made a profound mistake, having entered the Oslo process with a false premise. Yitzhak Rabin often summed up this error in the phrase “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.”[2] In other words, he expected war to be concluded through goodwill, conciliation, mediation, flexibility, restraint, generosity, and compromise, topped off with signatures on official documents. In this spirit, his government and all its successors agreed to a wide array of concessions, even to the point of permitting a Palestinian militia, always hoping the Palestinians would reciprocate by accepting the Jewish state.

They never did. To the contrary, Israeli compromises aggravated Palestinian hostility. Each gesture further radicalized, exhilarated, and mobilized the Palestinian body politic. Israeli efforts to “make peace” were received as signs of demoralization and weakness. “Painful concessions” reduced the Palestinian awe of Israel, m­­ade the Jewish state appear vulnerable, and inspired irredentist dreams of annihilation.

In retrospect, this does not surprise. Contrary to Rabin’s slogan, one does not “make [peace] with very unsavory enemies” but rather with former very unsavory enemies. That is, enemies that have been defeated.

This brings us to the key concept of my approach, which is victory, or imposing one’s will on the enemy, compelling him through loss to give up his war ambitions. Wars end, the historical record shows, not through goodwill but through defeat. He who does not win loses. Wars usually end when failure causes one side to despair, when that side has abandoned its war aims and accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted its will to fight. Conversely, so long as both combatants still hope to achieve their war objectives, fighting either goes on or it potentially will resume.

Thinkers and warriors through the ages concur on the importance of victory as the correct goal of warfare. For example, Aristotle wrote that “victory is the end of generalship” and Dwight D. Eisenhower stated that “In war, there is no substitute for victory.” Technological advancement has not altered this enduring human truth.

Twentieth-century conflicts that ended decisively include World War II, China-India, Algeria-France, North Vietnam-United States, Great Britain-Argentina, Afghanistan-U.S.S.R., and the Cold War. Defeat can result either from a military thrashing or from an accretion of economic and political pressures; it does not require total military loss or economic destruction, much less the annihilation of a population. For example, the only defeat in U.S. history, in South Vietnam in 1975, occurred not because of economic collapse or running out of ammunition or battlefield failure (the American side was winning the ground war) but because Americans lost the will to soldier on.

Indeed, 1945 marks a dividing line. Before then, overwhelming military superiority crushed the enemy’s will to fight; since then, grand battlefield successes have rarely occurred. Battlefield superiority no longer translates as it once did into breaking the enemy’s resolve to fight. In Clausewitz’ terms, morale and will are now the center of gravity, not tanks and ships. Although the French outmanned and out-gunned their foes in Algeria, as did the Americans in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan, all these powers lost their wars. Conversely, battlefield losses suffered by the Arab states in 1948-82, by North Korea in 1950-53, and by Iraq in 1991 and 2003 did not translate into surrender and defeat.

When a losing side preserves its war goals, the resumption of warfare remains possible, and even likely. Germans retained their goal of ruling Europe after their defeat in World War I and looked to Hitler for another try, prompting the Allies to aim for total victory to ensure against the Germans trying a third time. The Korean War ended in 1953, but North and South have both held on to their war goals, meaning that the conflict might resume at any time, as could wars between India and Pakistan. The Arabs lost each round of warfare with Israel (1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982) but long saw their defeats as merely transient and spoiled for another try.

II. The Hard Work of Winning

How might Israel induce the Palestinians to drop rejectionism?

For starters, a colorful array of (mutually exclusive) plans to end the conflict favorably to Israel have appeared through the decades.[3] Going from softest to toughest, these include:

Trouble is, none of these plans addresses the need to break the Palestinian will to fight. They all manage the conflict without resolving it. They all seek to finesse victory with a gimmick. Just as the Oslo negotiations failed, so too will every other scheme that sidesteps the hard work of winning.

This historical pattern implies that Israel has just one option to win Palestinian acceptance: a return to its old policy of deterrence, punishing Palestinians when they aggress. Deterrence amounts to more than tough tactics, which every Israeli government pursues; it requires systemic policies that encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism. It requires a long-term strategy that promotes a change of heart.

Inducing a change of heart is not a pretty or pleasant process but is based on a policy of commensurate and graduated response. If Palestinians transgress moderately, they should pay moderately; and so on. Responses depend on specific circumstances, so the following are but general suggestions as examples for Washington to propose, going from mildest to most severe:

When Palestinian “martyrs” cause material damage, pay for repairs out of the roughly $300 million in tax obligations the government of Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) each year. Respond to activities designed to isolate and weaken Israel internationally by limiting access to the West Bank. When a Palestinian attacker is killed, bury the body quietly and anonymously in a potter’s field. When the PA leadership incites to violence, prevent officials from returning to the PA from abroad. Respond to the murder of Israelis by expanding Jewish towns on the West Bank. When official PA guns are turned against Israelis, seize these and prohibit new ones, and if this happens repeatedly, dismantle the PA’s security infrastructure. Should violence continue, reduce and then shut off the water and electricity that Israel supplies. In the case of gunfire, mortar shelling, and rockets, occupy and control the areas from which these originate.

Of course, these steps run exactly counter to the consensus view in Israel today, which seeks above all to keep Palestinians quiescent. But this myopic viewpoint formed under unremitting pressure from the outside world, and the U.S. government especially, to accommodate the PA. The removal of such pressure will undoubtedly encourage Israelis to adopt the more assertive tactics outlined here.

True peacemaking means finding ways to coerce Palestinians to undergo a change of heart, giving up rejectionism, accepting Jews, Zionism, and Israel. When enough Palestinians abandon the dream of eliminating Israel, they will make concessions needed to end the conflict. To end the conflict, Israel must convince 50 percent and more of the Palestinians that they have lost.

The goal here is not Palestinian love of Zion, but closing down the apparatus of war: shuttering suicide factories, removing the demonization of Jews and Israel, recognizing Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and “normalizing” relations with Israelis. Palestinian acceptance of Israel will be achieved when, over a protracted period and with complete consistency, the violence ends, replaced by sharply worded démarches and letters to the editor. Symbolically, the conflict will be over when Jews living in Hebron (in the West Bank) have no more need for security than Palestinians living in Nazareth (in Israel).

To those who hold Palestinians too fanatical to be defeated, I reply: if Germans and Japanese, no less fanatical and far more powerful, could be defeated in World War II and then turned into normal citizens, why not the Palestinians now? Moreover, Muslims have repeatedly given in to infidels through history when faced with a determined superior force, from Spain to the Balkans to Lebanon.

Israel enjoys two pieces of good fortune. First, its effort does not begin at null; polls and other indicators suggest that 20 percent of Palestinians and other Arabs consistently accept the Jewish state. Second, it need deter only the Palestinians, a very weak actor, and not the whole Arab or Muslim population. However feeble in objective terms (economics, military power), Palestinians spearhead the war against Israel; so, when they abandon rejectionism, others (like Moroccans, Iranians, Malaysians, et al.) take their cues from Palestinians and, over time, will likely follow their lead.

Palestinians Benefit from Their Defeat

However much Israelis gain from ending their residual Palestinian problem, they live in a successful modern country that has absorbed the violence and delegitimization imposed on them.[4] Surveys, for example, show Israelis to be among the happiest people anywhere, and the country’s burgeoning birth rate confirms these impressions.

In contrast, Palestinians are mired in misery and constitute the most radicalized population in the world. Opinion surveys consistently show them choosing nihilism. Which other parents celebrate their children becoming suicide bombers? Which other people gives higher priority to harming its neighbor than improving its own lot? Hamas and the Palestinian Authority both run authoritarian regimes that repress their subjects and pursue destructive goals. The economy in the West Bank and Gaza depends, more than anywhere else, on free money from abroad, creating both dependence and resentment. Palestinian mores are backward and becoming more medieval all the time. A skilled and ambitious people is locked into political repression, failed institutions, and a culture celebrating delusion, extremism, and self-destruction.

An Israel victory liberates Palestinians. Defeat compels them to come to terms with their irredentist fantasies and the empty rhetoric of revolution. Defeat also frees them to improve their own lives. Unleashed from a genocidal obsession against Israel, Palestinians can become a normal people and develop its polity, economy, society, and culture. Negotiations could finally begin in earnest. In all, given their far lower starting point, Palestinians would, ironically, gain even more from their defeat than the Israelis from their victory.

That said, this change won’t be easy or quick: Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair as they repudiate the filthy legacy of Amin al-Husseini and acknowledge their century-long error. But there is no shortcut.

The Need for American Support

Palestinians deploy a unique global support team consisting of the United Nations and vast numbers of journalists, activists, educators, artists, Islamists, and leftists. No obscure African liberation front they, but the world’s favored revolutionary cause. This makes Israel’s task long, difficult, and dependent on stalwart allies, foremost the U.S. government.

For Washington to be helpful means not dragging the parties back again to more negotiations but robustly supporting Israel’s path to victory. That translates into not just backing episodic Israeli shows of force but a sustained and systematic international effort of working with Israel, select Arab states, and others to convince the Palestinians of the futility of their rejectionism: Israel is there, it’s permanent, and it enjoys wide backing.

That means supporting Israel taking the tough steps outlined above, from burying murderers’ bodies anonymously to shuttering the Palestinian Authority. It means diplomatic support for Israel, such as undoing the “Palestine refugee” farce and rejecting the claim of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. It also entails ending benefits to the Palestinians unless they work toward the full and permanent acceptance of Israel: no diplomacy, no recognition as a state, no financial aid, and certainly no weapons, much less militia training.

Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy is premature until Palestinians accept the Jewish state. The central issues of the Oslo Accords (borders, water, armaments, sanctities, Jewish communities in the West Bank, “Palestine refugees”) cannot be usefully discussed so long as one party still rejects the other. But negotiations can re-open and take up anew the Oslo issues upon the joyful moment that Palestinians accept the Jewish state. That prospect, however, lies in the distant future. For now, Israel needs to win.

This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication. See the original post here.

Did France Get The Memo?

Imagine this news story:

“Last week, Israel convened representatives of 20 countries from across the world for an international conference to discuss what to do about the escalating security situation in France.

“‘Israel has no vested interest but is deeply convinced that if we don’t want to let the ideas of the Islamic State group prosper in this region, we must do something,’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said when asked why he was pushing for the conference despite France’s vehement protests. Netanyahu put special emphasis on the fact that ‘the international community feels there is an urgent need to find a solution to the spread of Islamic State in Europe, especially in France, which has the largest Jewish population on the continent.’

“‘We are not giving up, and neither are our partners,’ said the Israeli prime minister.

“Discussions at the meeting will be based on a new groundbreaking peace proposal under which France will give up large swathes of the south of France as well as the entire Ile-de-France in return for a permanent peace agreement with Islamic State in order to create ‘a just solution’ to the conflict. An Islamic State spokesman told reporters that unlike the French, they welcome the Israeli initiative.

“‘We wish Israel and its efforts success because the Israeli efforts are the only ones on the ground now, and could eventually result in giving the political process a good push forward at this stage,’ the Islamic State spokesman said.

“‘The aim of the conference is to prepare an international summit in the second half of 2016, which would include French leaders and leaders of Islamic State. The second conference would take place ‘sometime in the fall,’ said a spokesman for Netanyahu.”

Of course, the above scenario is fake. I have produced it here merely to make a point. Israel is not convening any conferences on the future of France, nor is it meddling in its affairs. There is a principle of international law called sovereignty, but in France and the rest of the European Union, that principle has been gradually usurped by a new principle, that of supra-nationalism.

Unfortunately, and despite the fact that Israel is not a member of the European Union, France and company appear to be unrelenting believers in the extension of this principle all the way across the Mediterranean to the Middle East.

What is not fake, however, is that this exact scenario is indeed taking place, but instead of Israel hosting a conference about France’s out-of-control problems with Islamist terrorism, which are indeed affecting French Jews in the most appalling ways, France is hosting a conference about the future of Israel’s territorial borders.

Thus, despite Israel’s protests, France has convened an international conference for May 30, consisting of ministers from 20 different countries who will presume to lord it over Israel’s future. Clearly, France and company did not get the memo about decolonization, or rather France and company seem just fine with exhibiting colonial behavior toward only one nation in the entire world, namely obstinate Israel, which still refuses to dance to the tune of the Europeans.

While the aim of the French initiative is to “encourage” bilateral negotiations, let no one be fooled: This is really about pushing an agenda down Israel’s throat, namely that of the 2002 Saudi peace initiative, which asks nothing less than Israel’s withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines and a “just” solution to the refugee issue without specifying what that means.

In other words, the initiative makes very serious demands on Israel concerning its existential issues, while being extremely shady on what Israel is supposed to receive in return. Also why drag this long-dead rabbit out of the old hat now, when the Palestinians have shown no sign whatsoever of letting up in the terror war against Israeli civilians and soldiers through ramming, stabbing and shooting attacks? All this conference does is reward terrorism.

What is, of course, conspicuous, is the timing. It is scheduled at a time when Europe is coming apart at the seams with the terror threat from Islamic State and the infighting in the European Union between the European Commission and the central and Eastern European members of the EU, whom the EU’s executive branch is threatening with huge fines for each migrant that these countries refuse to receive.

One cannot help but think that Israel, once more, is proving to be a very useful diversion (and scapegoat) for all the unrelated problems of the Western world.

The Silent Intifada Weekly Report [May 6, 2016]

There were over 110 terror attacks this past week in Israel and 10 Jews were injured as a result.

This week as almost every week there were dozens of terror attacks of varying severity not reported in most major media outlets. We report on these silenced events to present a fuller picture of the reality in Israel and balance the picture presented to innocent readers abroad. We hope that by reporting these incidents we can raise awareness so that actions can be taken to rectify this problem and improve reality in the Jewish State.

This past week (Friday April 29th- May 5th) there were 119 terror attacks in the Silent Intifada updates on Hakol Hayehudi. Ten Jews were injured in these attacks.

On Sunday May 1st three Jews were injured when Arabs threw stones at their vehicle near Efrat. Among the three injured lightly was a baby.

On Monday Mar 2nd, an Arab stabbed an elderly Jewish man in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Lions Gate. The victim suffered from stab wounds in his upper body. He was taken to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in moderate condition but his condition has since improved.

On Tuesday May 3rd, an Arab rammed into IDF soldiers near the Parsa Junction close to Dolev in Binyamin. Three soldiers were injured, one seriously. He currently remains unconscious in the Sheba Hospital. The two other victims were taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem with light injuries.

In the village of Kadum and in East Jerusalem, two soldiers were injured from stone throwing by Arabs during riots.

Also near the Gaza region Arabs carried out attacks. One was a shooting at IDF soldiers near the northern part of the Gaza Strip. In addition, there were at least 6 incidents of mortar fire at IDF bases all along the Gaa border.

Beyond these there were many incidents of throwing of stones and firebombs at vehicles, property and homes throughout Israel.

Full List of Attacks:

Thursday May 5th

  • Arabs throw firebombs at the town of Pesagot.
  • Arabs throw stones in Al Arub.
  • Arabs throw stones in Nazlat Zid.
  • Arabs throw stones in Route 443.
  • Arabs throw stones near Beit Ur Al Fuka.
  • Arabs throw stones near Beit Umar.
  • Arabs throw stones in Silwan.
  • Arabs throw stones in Issawiya.

21:30- Arabs throw stones at Anatot.

20:53- Arabs throw stones at vehicles in Hawara.

17:25- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Beit Umar in Gush Etzion.

15:11- Arabs throw stones at a bus in Hawara.

14:36- Mortar fire: Arabs from Gaza fire mortars at soldiers near the Gaza border.

11:21-An IDF soldier is injured lightly from stone throwing by Arabs in East Jerusalem.

11:06- Arabs throw smoke grenades at soldiers near riots in Yado.

Wednesday May 4th

  • Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Tapuach Junction.
  • Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Beit Umar in Gush Etzion.
  • Arabs throw stones in the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Arabs throw a pipe bomb at IDF forces in Yavad.
  • Arabs throw firebombs in Issawiya.
  • Arabs throw stones near Karmei Tzur.
  • Arabs throw stones near Maale Amos.
  • Arabs throw stones near Tekoa.
  • Arabs throw stones in Shuafat.
  • Arabs throw stones in Ras Al Amud.
  • Arabs throw stones in Beit Anun.
  • Arabs throw stones in Beit Anun.
  • Arabs throw stones in Zeit Raanan.
  • Arabs throw stones in Nazit Zid.
  • Arabs throw stones in Yatma.
  • Arabs throw stones in the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Arabs throw stones in Qalandiya.

23:27- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Hizme in Binyamin.

22:32- A fire breaks out near Neve Tzuf as the result of a firebomb thrown by Arabs.

21:58- Attempted stabbing: An Arab woman is caught with a knife on the way to an attack in the Old City of Jerusalem.

21:36- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near the Beitot Junction causing damage.

21:05- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near the Karnei Shomron gas station.

19:24- Arabs riot in Sayir in Har Hevron.

19:18- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Turmus Aya in Binyamin.

19:04- Arabs from Gaza fire mortars that land inside the Strip.

18:39- Arabs riot in Issawiya in Jerusalem.

18:25- Arabs riot in Al Arub in Gush Etzion.

18:20- Arabs riot in Katana.

17:05- Arabs throw stones at a bus in Hawara.

17:00- Arabs throw firebombs at the fence of the town of Pesagot.

16:35- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Maale Amos.

16:30- Mortar fire: Arabs fire mortars towards Nahal Oz from Gaza.

14:44- Arabs throw stones near Beit Umar causing damage to a bus.

9:40- Mortar fire: Arabs from Gaza fire mortars at IDF forces.

8:05- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Binyamin.

Tuesday May 3rd

  • Arabs throw stones at a bus in Nazareth.
  • Arabs throw stones in Salam.
  • Arabs throw stones in Issawiya.
  • Arabs throw stones in Silwan.
  • Arabs throw stones on the Mount of Olives.
  • Arabs throw stones in Shuafat.
  • Arabs throw stones near Beit Umar.
  • Arabs throw stones in A-Kara.
  • Arabs throw stones near Beit El.
  • Arabs throw stones in Dura.
  • Arabs throw firebombs at the fence of Atil.
  • Arabs throw stones at the light rail in Jerusalem.
  • Arabs riot in Shechem.

21:55- Arabs throw stones at vehicles in Hawra.

19:00- Vehicular attack: Three soldiers are injured when Arabs ram into them near Dolev. One remains in critical condition as of Friday.

13:58- Arabs throw stones at a bus near Beit Umar.

7:02- A Jewish driver is injured lightly from stone throwing by Arabs in Hawara.

Monday May 2nd

  • Arabs riot in A-Ram near Jerusalem.
  • Arabs riot in Al-Giv.
  • Arabs attack IDF soldiers in Beit Ur A-Tahta.
  • Arabs throw stones in Silwan.
  • Arabs throw stones near Har Adar.
  • Arabs throw stones in Malach.
  • Arabs throw stones in Wadi Goz.
  • Arabs throw stones near Tekoa.
  • Arabs throw stones in Dahit Al Barid.
  • Arabs throw stones on Route 443.
  • Arabs throw stones in Hevron.
  • Arabs throw stones in Shuafat.

22:18- Stabbing: An elderly Jewish man is stabbed by an Arab in the Old City of Jerusalem.

14:15- Arabs riot in Katana.

Sunday May 1st

  • Arabs throw stones in Shuafat.
  • Arabs riot in Ramallah.
  • Arabs riot in Balata.
  • Arabs throw firebombs in Abu Sanina in Hevron.
  • Arabs throw stones in Ras Al Amud.
  • Arabs throw stones in Issawiya.
  • Arabs throw firebombs in Um Salmona.

22:50- Arabs throw stones at the light rail in Shuafat causing damage.

22:15- Arabs riot in Naalin in Binyamin.

20:42- Arabs throw firebombs at vehicles near Hevron.

18:42- Arabs throw stones and a pipe bomb at the town of Pesagot.

14:15- Three Jews are injured after Arabs throw stones at their vehicle near Efrat.

14:03- Arabs throw stones at vehicles in Uja in the Jordan Valley.

9:50- Arabs riot in Bethlehem.

6:24- A ready firebomb is found on the road to Maale Shomron.

00:10- Arabs throw firebombs in Qalandiya.

Shabbat April 30th

  • Arabs throw firebombs in Al-Ram.
  • Arabs riot in Kadum.
  • Arabs riot in Harat A-Sheikh.

21:06- Arabs throw stones at vehicles at 206 Junction.

Friday April 29th

  • Arabs riot in Jalazun.
  • Arabs riot near Nahal Oz.
  • Arabs riot near the Erez Crossing.
  • Arabs riot near Nabi Saleh.
  • Arabs throw firebombs near Hizme.
  • Arabs throw firebombs in Qalandiya.

22:43- Arabs throw firebombs at IDF soldiers on Mount Scopus.

19:34- Arabs riot near the Ofer Camp.

17:26- Arabs riot near Bitunia.

16:21- A soldiers is injured from stone throwing near Kadum.

16:00- Arabs riot on the Temple Mount.

Trump: “Man, would that be a beauty.”

Today’s Daily Quote is from Republican front  runner and consummate deal maker, Donald Trump who was quoted as saying the following on reaching an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal: “I am going to try and make that deal just because – man, would that be a beauty – if you like deals. I like deals. I do deals. That would be great.”

Trump continued: “I’ve never met a person from Israel that didn’t want to make the deal. But it is just a very hard deal to make because it’s years of — of whatever. But I’d love to be able to make that deal.”

Israelis are tired of foreign governments trying to push them into a dangerous peace deal. It would be wise for Donald Trump to leave us alone.  This is one deal he won’t be able to make.

The Silent Intifada Weekly Report [April 28, 2016]

There were over 100 terror attacks this past week in Israel.

This week as almost every week there were dozens of terror attacks of varying severity not reported in most major media outlets. We report on these silenced events to present a fuller picture of the reality in Israel and balance the picture presented to innocent readers abroad. We hope that by reporting these incidents we can raise awareness so that actions can be taken to rectify this problem and improve reality in the Jewish State.

This past week (Friday April 22nd- Thursday April 28th) there were over 100 terror attacks recorded in the ‘Silent Intifada’ updates on Hakol Hayehudi. Among these were throwing of explosives (IEDs), attempted stabbings, and a number of incidents of throwing of stones and firebombs at individuals, homes, and vehicles.

At the Qalandiya checkpoint, an Arab man and woman attempted to stab border police officers. The officers called on the pair to stop, but when the pair failed to stop the officers opened fire on them.

There were four incidents in Gush Etzion and in the Shomron where Arabs through IEDs at IDF forces.

Full list of attacks:

Thursday April 28th

  • Arabs riot in Bitunia.
  • Arabs riot in Yavad in the Shomron.
  • Arabs rio tin Al-Hadr in Gush Etzion.
  • Arabs riot in Issawiya in Jerusalem.

12:43- Arabs throw firebombs at vehicles on Route 443.

12:42- Arabs riot in Shuafat in Jerusalem.

12:39- Arabs throw stones at the light rail in Shuafat in Jerusalem causing damage.

11:13- A pipebomb placed by Arabs is found near the fence of Arka.

10:51- Arabs set fires in the valley between Pisgat Zeev and Shuafat.

1:48- Dozens of Arabs riot on Aman Street in Shechem during a Jewish visit to Joseph’s Tomb.

Wednesday April 27th

  • Arabs riot in Dahiya.
  • Arabs riot near Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem.
  • Arabs riot in Issawiya in Jerusalem.
  • Arabs riot near Beit El in Binyamin.
  • Arabs riot in Hizme in Binyamin.
  • Arabs riot in Sayir in Har Hevron.

22:37- Arabs throw firebombs at IDF forces in Nahlin in Gush Etzion.

22:15- Arabs throw stones at the light rail in Shuafat in Jerusalem.

21:46- Arabs throw firebombs at the fence of Beitar Illit.

18:38- Arabs throw stones at vehicles in Abu Tor in Jerusalem.

18:23- Arabs throw stones at vehicles in Ras Al Amud in Jerusalem.

18:04- Arabs throw firebombs at vehicles on the Husan Bypass Road.

15:35- Arabs throw stones at the fence of Kiryat Arba.

11:37- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near the Avraham Hasno Junction in Har Hevron.

10:49- Attempted stabbing: Two Arabs attempt to stab border police officers at the Qalandiya checkpoint.

Tuesday April 26th

  • Arabs riot in Beit Fajar in Gush Etzion.
  • Arabs riot in Abu Dis.
  • Arabs throw firebombs in Reches Shuafat.
  • Arabs throw stones in Al-Ram.
  • Arabs throw stones in Sultan Saliman.
  • Arabs throw stones in Tekoa.
  • Arabs throw stones in Abu Sanina.
  • Arabs throw stones in Tut Tarak.
  • Arabs throw stones in Ras Al amud.
  • Arabs throw stones in Yavad.

22:36- Arabs throw firebombs at vehicles on Route 446 near Shukba in Binymin.

21:24- Arabs throw stones at the light rail in Shuafat in Jerusalem causing damage.

15:07- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Azun in the Shomron.

12:41- Arabs throw stones at a bus near Nazareth.

11:52- Arabs riot near Ofer Prison.

Monday April 25th

  • Arabs throw an IED at IDF forces.
  • Arabs throw stones in Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem.
  • Arabs throw stones in Hevron.
  • Arabs throw stones in Hawara.
  • Arabs throw stones in Sebastia.
  • Arab throw firebombs in Shuafat.
  • Arabs throw stones in Wadi Fuchin.
  • Arabs throw stones in Hizme.
  • Arabs throw stones in Dahit Al-Barid.

23:07- Arabs riot near the Zeitim Crossing in Jerusalem.

23:06- Arabs throw firebombs near Maale Adumim.

22:44- Arabs throw firebombs at security forces in Al-Azariya.

22:25- Arabs riot in Ras Al Amud.

22:20- Arabs riot in Abu Dis.

21:39- Arabs throw stones at vehicles on Route 443.

21:35- Arabs throw stones at vehicles in the Jordan Valley near Uja.

20:50- Arabs riot in Qalandiya.

20:45- Arabs throw stones at vehicles on Route 443 near Beit Horon.

19:02- Arabs throw stones at the security fence of Kiryat Arba.

15:25- Arabs riot in Issawiya.

13:10- Arabs throw stones at vehicles on Route 443 near Beir Horon.

Sunday April 24th

  • Arabs throw firebombs in Harbat Tzafa.
  • Arabs throw stones in Issawiya.
  • Arabs throw stones in Al-Hadr.
  • Arabs throw firebombs near Har Bracha.
  • Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Halhul in Har Hevron.
  • Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Al-Hadr Junction in Gush Etzion.

20:43- Arabs throw an IED at IDF forces near Rachel’s Tomb.

10:06- Arabs throw stones at vehicles near Ikul Hamaayan in Gush Etzion.

Saturday April 23rd

  • Arabs riot in A-Ram in Binyamin.
  • Arabs riot in Bir Naballah.
  • Arabs throw firebombs at police in A-Tur in Jerusalem.
  • Arabs riot in Silwad near Ofra.
  • Arabs throw stones near Beit Umar.
  • Arabs throw stones in Kadum.
  • Arabs throw stones near Al-Hadr.
  • Arabs throw firebombs at security forces in A-Tur.

22:00- Arabs throw an IED at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.

Friday April 22nd

  • Arabs riot in Naalin.

17:16- Arabs throw stones at Turmus Junction.

12:59- Arabs throw stones near Kedumim.

10:50- Arabs throw stones at vehicles on the road to Halamish causing damage.

(Originally published on Hakol Hayehudi)

Two-statism – The slim chance of success; the grim cost of failure

… in our founding statement [we announced] that we would be artisans and partisans of the two-state solution. We adamantly refuse to drift with those who through a failure of nerve, a lack of political seriousness or a sectarian maximalist agenda are exiting the paradigm of two states for two peoples. – The editors, Spring 2016 edition of Fathom magazine, published by BICOM (Britain Israel Communications and Research Center)

…I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning. – Jibril Rajoub, deputy secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, to Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV channel, April 30, 2013.

Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim – George Santayana, Life of Reason, 1905

As readers will recall, last week I took issue with the editor of Fathom magazine, Alan Johnson, who decided to withdraw an invitation for me to submit an essay because of my position on how Israel should deal with the predicament it faces regarding the Palestinian-Arabs – i.e. by providing the non-belligerent population the chance of building a better life elsewhere out of harm’s way in third countries, by means of generous relocations/rehabilitation grants.

Political prudence & moral merit

To be more precise, what Johnson took umbrage at was the harsh response he inferred I would prescribe, should, for some reason, the generous relocation grants offered the Palestinian- Arabs be rejected. True, if the initial package of incentives for leaving/ disincentive for staying is not effective, then measures may well have to be taken to make the former more tempting and the latter more daunting. This admission seemingly horrified Johnson’s delicate sensibilities, deeming my policy proposal a blueprint for “starving the Palestinians out of the West Bank.”

However, as I pointed out last week, Johnson, and two-staters in general, while challenging proponents of alternative paradigms to provide and justify an acceptable “Plan B,” should their original intentions not be fulfilled, feel little obligation to do the same themselves.

This is of course entirely inappropriate.

After all, given the inherent uncertainty of the political decision-making environment, when assessing the practical prudence and/ or moral merit of any course of action, apart from the desired outcomes the policy is designed to attain, two additional factors should be appraised: the chances of success and the cost of failure.

No matter how enticing the projected outcomes a given policy might be, if the chances of attaining them are remote and/or the cost of failing to do so is exorbitant, political prudence and moral merit may well dictate abandoning it, and compel a search for more plausible and less hazardous alternatives.

Exasperating pigheadedness; infuriating arrogance

Yet this is a calculus that two-staters never seem to undertake – nor feel any need to. As I have emphasized several times in the past, despite the fact that the two-state dogma has been regularly and repeatedly disproven, somehow it has never been discarded or even significantly discredited. Impervious to reason and reality, two-staters cling, with exasperating pigheadedness and infuriating arrogance, to a political credo that has wrought untold tragedy to Jew and Arab alike.

The obdurate refusal of two-staters to admit any possibility of error, or even to concede that such possibility exists, reveals more than a hint of ideological fanaticism and intellectual dishonesty.

After all, if Johnson and other two-staters were compelled to consider the realities that foisting statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs might precipitate, they would rapidly realize that these would be far more cataclysmic than those that would result from an initial rejection of relocation grants, and the responses called for to contend with them, far more drastic.

As I suggested last week – and promised to elaborate on this week – “my proposed Humanitarian Paradigm for the resolution of the Palestinian predicament will be the most humane of all currently debated options if it succeeds, and result in the least inhumane realities, if it does not.”

But more than that, for many Palestinians it would provide a solution for precisely the predicament the ill-fated two-state endeavor has created for them.

The ravages of two-statism

After all, for many, the ravages of two-statism are no longer a matter of speculation, but of empirical fact. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the place where the ill-conceived enterprise began almost a quarter-century ago: Gaza, the scene of tumultuous jubilation at the triumphant arrival of Yasser Arafat in the summer of 1994.

Compare and contrast the giddy euphoria of then with the dismal despair of now. It is despair that is, demonstrably and indisputably, the direct consequence of the attempt to establish Palestinian self-determination in the Gaza Strip – despite massive international financial aid and political support.

Ironically, for many Gazans, beset by devastating unemployment, awash in flows of raw sewage and under the yoke of theocratic tyranny, the most immediate desire is to leave.

If we are to believe the ever-more frequent reports from Arab and left-leaning sources, generous grants to facilitate their emigration would be no less than a blessed fulfillment of their most fervent dreams.

This is not difficult to understand, since more than a decade after Israel evacuated Gaza, it has become an unsustainable entity, with over 45 percent of the workforce unemployed and 80% of the population dependent on foreign aid.

Gaza ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020?

Even the most doctrinaire advocates of two-statism such as Gershon Baskin was recently forced to confess: “The internal conflict between Gaza and the West Bank is not close to resolution. Gaza remains in ruins with nearly two million people living in total poverty. A majority of Gazans would leave if they had any place to go. (Jerusalem Post, March 2) This assessment echoes those of numerous other sources.

For example, a report published (September 2015) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by the end of the decade. Al Monitor (September 24, 2015) in a post headlined “Gazans consider the Strip ‘uninhabitable’ now,” cited the predicament of a mother of five from Beit Hanun in the north of the Gaza Strip, who admitted, “I always think about emigrating, and I am constantly looking for a safe place for my family and myself.”

In similar vein, Electronic Intifada (October 2014), not normally my preferred source of information, in a scathing, dismissive critique of the reconstruction efforts, lamented: “Young Palestinians in Gaza, facing unemployment rates as high as 60%, have lost hope and are putting their lives in the hands of smugglers in a bid to reach Europe and a future.”

Fleeing despair and desperation

Thus, well before the current wave of Muslim migrants engulfed Europe, the lengths some Gazans are prepared to go to extricate themselves from the fruits of the unfortunate two-state experiment are vividly conveyed in several media outlets.

Thus, Haaretz quoted one Gaza resident as declaring: “It’s better to die at sea than to die of despair and frustration in Gaza.”

An Al Jazeera article, headlined, “Palestinian Migrants Fleeing Gaza Strip Drown in Mediterranean Sea,” described how Gazans increasingly turn to smugglers to escape economic privation and deadly conflict. The New York Times wrote of Gazans “Fleeing Gaza, only to face treachery and disaster at sea,” and Ynet reported that “Scores of Gazans die at sea in attempt to flee…”

Now, imagine that an orderly mechanism had been established to help nonbelligerent Gazans extricate themselves from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques that have (mis) led them, time and time again, into penury and disaster, and provide them the resources to build a better life for themselves and their families elsewhere, not as penniless refugees but as relatively affluent immigrants? Surely that is a far more humane approach than insisting they remain tethered to tyranny, in the forlorn hope that a formula that has failed so dismally before, will suddenly magically succeed.

Slim chance of success

Of course, there is little reason to believe that if the IDF were to evacuate Judea-Samaria (as was the case in Gaza) and all trace of Jewish presence were obliterated (as was the case in Gaza), that the same fate would not befall the Arab population that resides there.

Those who might invoke quarantines, security barriers and recurring military campaigns to account for the Palestinians’ socioeconomic plight, should be brusquely reminded that all of these are products of the post-Oslowian two-statism. They are the consequence of post-Oslowian Arab terrorism, not the cause of it.

Indeed, after decades of bloodshed and broken pledges, it seems that the entire “rationale” for continuing to cling to the two-state creed is the quasi-messianic belief that somehow the Palestinians, as a collective, will not only change, but miraculously morph into something, not only different from what they have been for decades, but into the antithetical opposite.

But furthermore, for the two-state construct to be not only momentarily feasible, but sustainably durable, this envisaged metamorphosis cannot be limited to any one particular pliant Palestinian interlocutor, who, whether by ballot or bullet, may be removed by a more radical successor (as was the case in Gaza), eager to repudiate all the perfidious pledges of peace made to the hated Zionist entity.

Slim chance (cont.)

Of course, such hope for a benign sea change in the collective Palestinian-Arab psyche has always been wildly fanciful, but at least in the heady days immediately following the signature of the Oslo Accords there may have been a reason, however flimsy, to succumb to the allure of naïve optimism.

But a gory two-and-a-half decades later, there can be no such excuse – particularly in the post Arab Spring ascendancy of jihadism, sweeping across the Mideast, menacing the Jordanian monarchy and challenging Egypt’s control of Sinai.

It seems inconceivable that under such conditions, and given our experiences, anyone with a modicum of concern for the future of the Jewish state could still adhere to such a patently perilous and implausible paradigm.

Sadly, it seems that obsessive two-staters have failed to internalize the lesson of the Golan Heights, which many land-for-peace adherents urged be handed over to Bashar Assad, then a reputedly moderate, Western- educated reformer. Imagine the dread that would prevail today if affiliates of al-Qaida and ISIS were deployed on the heights overlooking the Galilee and the city of Tiberias.

Now imagine forces of a similar ilk deployed – whether with compliance, or in defiance, of some Palestinian-Arab regime in Judea-Samaria – on the heights overlooking Israel’s coastal megalopolis, within mortar range from its only international airport and tunnel reach of its Trans-Israel Highway (Route 6).

Then, draw your own conclusions as to the prudence and morality of the harebrained two-state scheme.

Grim cost of failure

However, suppose for a moment that a Palestinian state were established on the strategic heights commanding Israel’s most populous and prosperous region – the narrow Coastal Plain.

Suppose, if, as is far from implausible, and irrespective of the purported goodwill of any initial Palestinian regime, control is taken over by a more inimical successor, which began to carry out terrorist attacks along the 500-km. front and from the commanding topographic territory, adjacent to Israeli population centers and infrastructure installations, whether overhead rocket salvos, underground tunnel attacks, or small arms ambushes on transport arteries.

Clearly, the consequences for the civilian populations on both sides of the new frontier would be severe. Israel, faced with recurring disruption of its socioeconomic routine and attrition of its population, would have little option but to retaliate harshly – far more so than in the previous Gaza operations, on a far wider front, with far greater topographical inferiority and far greater exposure of its urban hinterland. Extensive collateral damage among Palestinian-Arab civilians – and commensurate international censure of Israel – would be inevitable…

Moreover, if the regime in Amman were to veer Islamist, the IDF could well find itself embroiled in battle against Jordanian regular military forces, with the consequences unclear but certainly dire…

I could go on, but I think the issue of the grim cost is reasonably clear.

Intellectual cowardice?

Given the starkly slim chances of success and the gruesomely grim cost of failure, the refusal of two-staters such as the folks at Fathom to foster discussion on competing alternatives, likely to produce more humane outcomes, if they succeed, and less inhumane ones, if they fail, is, to say the least, disappointing.

Could it be that two-staters are no longer able to defend their position by rational debate and therefore need to fall back on avoiding debate?

More unforgiving souls might consider such avoidance nothing less than intellectual cowardice.

(Originally Published in the Jerusalem Post)

Here Come the French

The French always know how to make noise for themselves.  The world is engulfed in multiple proxy wars, radical Islam is spreading, and migrants threaten to destabilize Europe, but never mind all that. The French remain obsessed on finding a “solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The French originally floated a proposal after Bibi Netanyahu won in the last elections.  This proposal would essentially force the contours of a solution on the two sides if they did not come to an agreement themselves. In recent days conversation has bubbled up that the French are once again ready to table this proposal. In response Prime Minister Netanyahu stated:

“You certainly heard of the proposal being raised in certain quarters in France, to convene an international conference with the threat at the end that if it is unsuccessful, then France will – to a large degree – adopt the Palestinian position. This will be an incentive for the Palestinians to come and not compromise. The substance of negotiations is compromise and the French initiative, as it has been reported, in effect gives the Palestinians in advance reasons not to do so.”

The French, like the other Western nations believe that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is similar to a border dispute in Western Europe. There is no similarity between the two. When Jewish freedom fighters struggled to defeat the British Empire, paving the way for Jewish sovereignty to be reinstated in the Land of Israel, they were not struggling over a border dispute. The fact is, as long the ruling Israeli political class keeps flirting with negotiations with the PA, the World will keep on insisting on dividing the Land.

Israel is indivisible.  Jewish fighters against Britain or any other occupying power that controls a piece of the Jewish homeland, are no different than the Jewish fighters that attempted to push out Rome. The only way the Jewish people will remove the growing international pressure is to insist on rectifying the national injustice that Rome perpetrated against the Jewish people nearly 2000 years ago. To do this, the world must accept that the entire Land of Israel belongs only to the Nation of Israel.