Israel Moves to Annexation as the Ultimate Solution

The Israeli Cabinet is set to approve the landmark Greater Jerusalem Bill next week, in a move that will officially see 19 communities in Judea and Samaria that surround Jerusalem become part of the Jerusalem municipality in what critics say amounts to annexation.

The fact is, Israel has been quietly moving towards annexation over the past year. Of course there are levels of annexation and the strategy has been to apply Israeli law when possible to communities in Judea and Samaria. Without fanfare or public announcements, the Israeli government has been quietly using laws available to them to create a defacto change on the ground within communities beyond the “green line.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has already proposed new legislation making Israeli law even for Israelis living beyond the Green Line.  Although slammed as “creeping annexation” by critics, former military advocate general Maj. Gen. (res) Danny Efroni, not seen as a right-wing champion, has come out in support of such legislation due to the practical management of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and the needs of everyday living.

“The challenge,” says Efroni, “is maintaining the status quo while guarding the interests of civilians in the area.”

This seems to be the strategy that Israel is now taking, which is a blend of unilateralism and practical development in a stretvh of land now under Israeli rule for 50 years.  Prime Minister Netanyahu is said to love the Status Quo, but seeing a chance to create irreversible facts on the ground has made moves to create defacto annexation without any big announcements.

By simply applying Israeli laws evenly to Israeli communities regardless of location as well as expanding the jurisdictional control of Jerusalem to those communities closes to the capital, the question of sovereignty can be set aside for a more feasible annexation that seems to keep all sides at the table.

Then again the PLO, despite their intractability has rightly said that the Greater Jerusalem Bill will destroy the 2-State Solution, which makes the passage of the bill a potential a trigger to a broad Arab uprising. Or does it?

Recognizing the Reality

Netanyahu’s game plan has always been about allowing reality to take hold and eventually when reality took hold, the imaginary dreams of the “Palestinian” Arabs would vanish.  The utilization of the status quo as a concept in securing confidence in the Israeli body politic while all the time creating a situation where Jewish life can actually flourish in Judea and Samaria by merely making jurisdictional and bureaucratic changes may seem overly cautious to many on the right, but this strategy is now clearly the best and most balanced approach to ensuring Judea and Samaria remains in Jewish hands.

The cabinet is not altering Oslo (which is long dead), but carefully applying sovereignty within the confines of previously agreed powers. Afterall, the PLO  can complain, but they signed away their rights to what is now Area C the moment Arafat shook Rabin’s hand on the White House lawn.  No where in that agreement, does Oslo prevent Israel from applying its own rules to communities found within Area C.

Why is this point importan?  Because no one can claim Israel is doing anything out-of-bounds since the “Palestinian” Arabs agreed to give Israel those rights.  Let’s remember Area C is between 60% and 70% of Judea and Samaria.

While not annexing the land directly, applying Israeli law and reorganizing the Gush Etzion regional council as well as Givat Ze’ev, Maale Adumim, and others into a Greater Jerusalem block paves a careful path forward in creating normalization without breaking any previous agreements. This cleverly corners the PLO within its own unhinged rhetoric.

Furthermore, the approach now being taken by Israel, recognizes that Jewish communal life is an unquestioning reality in Judea and Samaria. That reality coupled with a “Palestinian” leadership unable to accept basic facts and a willingness to discuss a practical solution means that a new careful approach is necessary.

The Greater Jerusalem Bill, Shaked’s Israeli Law legislation, and other quality of life developments like approving housing for thousands of Jews in Judea and Samaria form the most intelligent approach to legal annexation now on the table.  Is it perfect?  Not at all, but the move are practical and leaves the PLO cornered and on borrowed time.

Oslo at twenty-four – Failing the “crystal ball” test

If Rabin had a crystal ball that allowed him to foresee the terrible trauma and tragedy the Oslo Agreements would cause, there is little doubt that he would have never agreed to its signature.

We have come to try and put an end to the hostilities, so that our children, our children’s children, will no longer experience the painful cost of war, violence and terror. We have come to secure their lives and to ease the sorrow and the painful memories of the past to hope and pray for peace.  – Yitzhak Rabin at the signing ceremony of the Oslo I Accords, Washington, D.C. September 13, 1993.

This September marked the passing of 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Although little is left of the heady—the less charitable might say, “irresponsible”—optimism that accompanied the signing ceremony on the White House lawns on that fateful day in September 1993, the “two-states-for-two-peoples” format it forged, still – inexplicably—dominates the discourse as the sole principle upon which a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict can be based.

Puzzling and Perturbing

Future historians will doubtless find this both puzzling and perturbing—for although the two-state formula has been regularly disproven, for some unfathomable reason, it has never been discredited—and certainly never discarded.

In many ways, the continued “durability” of the Oslowian “recipe” is astonishing.

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine what else should happen, what further disaster should befall both Jew and Arab, for it to be abandoned as the abject failure it has incontrovertibly proved to be.  

After all, when the Oslo process was first instituted there were proponents and opponents –with the former promising sweeping benefits (such as peace, prosperity and a thriving harmonious Mid-East stretching from Casablanca to Kuwait), while the latter warned of dire dangers (such as spiraling terror and pervasive turmoil).

Now, almost a quarter-century later, one might have been forgiven for thinking that “the jury was no longer out”. For one thing is indisputable.  None of the benefits promised by proponents have materialized, while virtually all the dangers warned of by the opponents have befallen the strife-torn region and its unfortunate inhabitants.

Yet stubbornly—indeed, obsessively—two-staters cling to the tenets of their political dogma—no matter what the human cost; no matter how much evidence of their tragic error continues to inexorably accumulate…

Hardly a revolutionary revelation

Sadly, this is hardly a revolutionary revelation. To the contrary, it has long been starkly apparent to anyone with a smidgeon of intellectual integrity.

Indeed, seventeen years ago, just weeks after the Palestinian-Arabs launched their gory wave of violence (a.k.a. the Second Intifada), an article of mine appeared on Israel’s most trafficked Hebrew-language site, YNet.  It was entitled “The Crystal Ball”. The sub-headline read:   “The Oslo process and its basic assumptions have failed the test of reality”.

In it, I wrote: “Up until a few weeks ago, there might have been room for a debate on whether the Oslo process was a success or a failure. Up until a few weeks ago it might have been possible—albeit with great difficulty—to understand those whose faith in the “process” had not yet faded. But now [i.e. November, 2000], the debate is over! Now it is quite clear that the “political process: has totally failed.

When,” I asked “should one conclude that one’s chosen path is mistaken?”; and in response, suggested that:  “As a general rule, one should admit that one’s chosen policy has failed if one would not have chosen it, had the consequences of that choice been known beforehand”.

Failing the test of reality

I then proposed: “… let us imagine that on that fateful day in September 1993, on which the Oslo agreements were signed, the people of Israel and their leaders had at their disposal a crystal ball by means of which they could foresee the future consequences of those agreements. Let us imagine that the architects of those accords, who…promised the nation the dawn of a new era…of ‘days without worry and nights without fear’, could foretell the fate of the country almost eight years after the pomp and ceremony of the occasion of their signature”.

I continued: “Let’s suppose that they would have known that almost a decade after the sweeping concessions that Israel was called on to make…the country would be plagued by fire, hatred and death, and that the guns, handed to the Palestinians, despite repeated warnings not to do so, would be turned against our soldiers, our women and our children. Let’s suppose that they would have known that despite our far-reaching willingness to accommodate our adversaries, our political situation in the world would be at its lowest ebb…”

I therefore, ventured to postulate: “I have no doubt that had the architects of these accords known that events would turn out as they have, they would not have signed them.  I have no doubt that had the public foreseen what has come about it would not have given its support to the process or to its initiators. Accordingly, we can categorically declare that the Oslo process, and the world view on which it was based, have utterly failed the ‘crystal ball test’ i.e. failed the test of reality.

Despite expectations…

In light of all this, I expressed what appeared to be a reasonable expectation: “…that, given the appalling consequences the political processes had precipitated, there would have been a wholesale abandonment of it by its [hitherto] supporters.

“However,” I lamented, “this was not the case. Despite the fact that not even a miniscule trace of any residual success could be found, a significant number of people…still refuse to acknowledge failure or error.  ‘There is still no other alternative’ they recite with dogmatic obstinacy.”

Of course, as I pointed out “, there is in fact no claim more baseless than the claim that there is ‘No alterative’”  Indeed,  as I underscored–“the burden of proof is now on the proponents of the Oslo process rather than on its opponents  to prove that they have a viable alternative…”

Moreover, had the imaginary 1993 crystal ball been able to look further into the future, what it would have revealed to the prospective signatories  of the ill-fated accords would have hardly been more encouraging.  Indeed, if anything quite the opposite is true!

Thus, for the five years after the publication of  the “Crystal Ball” article,  the carnage of the “Second Intifada” raged across the country,  with thousands of Israeli civilians being murdered and maimed—in shopping malls, on buses,  in street cafes and crowded restaurants.

What the crystal ball would have revealed…

Indeed, it was the bloody Passover massacre in March 2002 at the Park Hotel in the seaside resort of Netanya that led to Operation “Defensive Shield”, the first of a series of punitive military campaigns launched by the IDF when Palestinian-Arab terror reached unacceptably murderous levels, which the Israeli military was compelled to quell.

The ensuing decade was replete with recurring bloodshed. Thus, as the savage violence of the Second Intifada petered out in 2005, the very next year, 2006, heralded the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War.

Admittedly, the Second Lebanon War was not directly connected to the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs. However, its roots can definitely be traced to the Oslowian land-for-peace mindset, when in June 2000,  Ehud Barak, capitulated to pressures from left-wing activists and surrendered South Lebanon to the Hezbollah by ordering an ignominious unilateral evacuation of the IDF.

Indeed, this unbecoming retreat has been widely identified as one of the major causes for the Second Intifada three months later (see for example here and here).  Thus, in the words of one punditthe message of weakness transmitted by the retreat from Lebanon encouraged the Palestinians to return to using violent methods.”

Barak’s abandonment of South Lebanon led to Hezbollah’s massive military buildup in the vacated territory, eventually culminating in the costly 2006 Second Lebanon War, whose mismanagement by the Olmert government allowed South Lebanon to become a fearsome arsenal—with over a 100,000 rockets and missiles, trained on Israel’s major civilian population centers and vital infrastructure installations, as well as the additional threat of trans-border attack tunnels.  

From “Cast Lead” to “Protective Edge”

It is of course an open question whether the Second Lebanon War in 2006 was due, at least in part, to another  unilateral  withdrawal—the  so-called “Disengagement” from Gaza in 2005.  There can however be little doubt that the Disengagement did lead to the Islamist takeover of Gaza in 2007, when in the wake of the power vacuum created by the IDF’s departure, the fundamentalist Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave, violently ejecting Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction.

In the wake of Hamas’s ascendance, there was a massive increase in attacks against Israel, with thousands of rockets, missiles and mortar shells being fired at civilian targets.  As a result, Israel was compelled to take action to restore stability and security for its citizens—which resulted in the first of three (and counting) post-Oslo IDF campaigns against Gaza, Operation Cast Lead in December 2008.  As a result of its military response to the ongoing terror attacks Israel was vilified in the international arena, particularly by the notorious Goldstone report , manufactured by a UN “fact finding” mission, which accused Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian-Arab civilians, used by Hamas as human shields.

Continual escalation of terror attacks drew Israel in to two further military campaigns.  

Less than four years after the end of Operation “Cast Lead”, Israel was forced undertake Operation “Pillar of Defense” in November 2012, following an intensification of rocket fire aimed at Israeli population centers.  Then, barely eighteen months later, with the brutal kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths, and indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli civilian targets, Israel was again obliged to use the military to restore calm – this time in Operation “Protective Edge” during which the alarming extent of the terror attack tunnels, excavated by Hamas, was exposed…

On the Palestinian side…

On the Palestinian side, our crystal ball would have swiftly dispelled the rosy predictions of a peaceful, prosperous EU-like Middle East stretching from the Sahara Desert to the Persian Gulf, that the Oslo Accords were supposed usher in.

Setting aside the rape, arson, slaughter and misery that raged across the post-Oslo Middle East as the chill winds of the Arab Spring swept through country after country, the Oslo accords brought scant benefits to the Palestinian-Arabs.

Indeed for the average man in the Palestinian street, Oslo wrought penury, not prosperity; despotism not democracy. After almost a quarter century since the ceremony and fanfare on the White House lawns, all the Palestinian-Arabs have to show is a an untenable    and strife-riven entity, with a dysfunctional polity and a collapsing economy – with a minuscule private sector and a bloated public one, wracked by corruption, and crippled by cronyism, manifestly unsustainable without massive infusions of foreign funds and the largesse of its alleged “oppressor”, Israel. 

In Gaza, where the experiment of Palestinian self-government was first instituted, the situation is particularly dire, with the specter of “humanitarian disaster” hovering over the general population. Awash in untreated sewage flows, with well over 90% of the water supply unfit for drinking, electrical power available for only a few hours a day and unemployment rates soaring to anything between 40-60%, Gazans, too, have good reason to rue the day the Oslo agreements were signed.

If Rabin had a crystal ball…

So if Yitzhak Rabin had had a crystal ball in September 1993,the depressing chain of events that would have unfolded before his eyes as he peered into the milky surface of the glass orb would be this:

A quarter century of spiraling terror  in city streets, buses, and cafes;  thousands of his countrymen maimed or murdered, four (arguably, five) military campaigns with hundreds of casualties, the dramatic enhancement of the quality and quantity of the weaponry of the terror organizations ranged against Israel; the huge cost of the barrier being constructed, high above and deep below, ground, to secure Israeli civilians from terrorist infiltration and tunnels…

So if indeed, Rabin could have foreseen that all this would be Israel’s lot in exchange for the gut-wrenching and perilous concessions the agreements called on it to make, who could doubt that he would never have affixed his signature to them…

Surely then, this—the Crystal Ball Test—is the ultimate indictment of the Oslo Agreements. Surely, it is time, after a quarter-century,  for them—and all that they stand for—to be branded what they indisputably turned out to be –a colossal and tragic blunder  of historic proportions—and to be treated as such.

Israel’s Precursor to Victory

Israel requires a massive strategic public diplomacy offensive to generate the freedom of action required for victory-oriented policy.

Wars usually end when failure causes one side to despair when that side has…accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted its will to fightDaniel Pipes, A New Strategy for Israeli Victory, Commentary, December 14, 2016.

This will be my third and final column in a trilogy addressing the recently established    Congressional Israel Victory Caucus (CIVC). For my previous two columns, see here and here.

To recap briefly

Readers will recall that the CIVC, launched  by Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH), and initiated by the Middle East Forum, headed by its president Daniel Pipes, is an enterprise that departs sharply—and laudably—from the disproven conventional wisdom on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Thus, rather than advocating that the resolution of this conflict is contingent on ongoing and ever-more generous Israeli concessions, CIVC promotes the view that this can only be achieved by an unequivocal Israeli victory—and a commensurate unconditional Palestinian acknowledgement of defeat.

While I warmly commended the initiative’s proposed paradigmatic shift, I laid out several considerations that must be addressed if this welcome enterprise is to be converted from the conceptual to the operational, and transform its benign intention into effective action.  

Pipes correctly diagnoses that the most effective (indeed, arguably, the only) way to end protracted conflict is by inflicting defeat on one side which “exhaust[s] its will to fight”. Elsewhere, specifically referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he aptly observes: “The Oslo Accords and other signed pieces of paper have made matters much worse”, warning: “The farce of negotiations, therefore, needs urgently to end.”

He then asks: “If no more negotiations, then what?”, with his blunt response being to recommend breaking the Palestinians’ will to fight”.

However, in the Israeli-Palestinian context, breaking the will of the Palestinians alone is unlikely to be sufficient for heralding in a more amicable attitude in the future. Indeed, arguably the most crucial point I endeavored to convey was that, given the external centers of agitation in the surrounding Arab countries and in the wider Muslim world, unless further steps are taken to permanently extinguish the resurgence of any future hope of prying loose the Jewish hold on land they consider Arab, the will to resume fighting will probably reassert itself.

“Kinetic” vs. “non-kinetic” routes to victory

I concluded last week’s column by drawing a distinction between two different paths for achieving victory.  The one I deemed “kinetic” and the other “non-kinetic”.

The former entailed the use of naked military force on a massive scale inflicting commensurately massive death and devastation on the Palestinian-Arabs; while the later entailed setting up a comprehensive system to induce large-scale emigration of the Palestinian-Arabs by means of generous material incentives to leave, and commensurately daunting material disincentives for staying.

Pipes appears to acknowledge this sort differentiation in the modes by which victory can be accomplished and defeat imposed. He writes: “Defeat can result either from a military thrashing or from an accretion of economic and political pressures” and points out that “…it does not require total military loss or economic destruction, much less the annihilation of a population”.

I have, of course, no argument with him on this. After all, what Pipes designates “a military thrashing” on the one hand, and “an accretion of economic and political pressures” on the other, correspond closely to my “kinetic” and non-kinetic” routes to victory.  

However, I feel compelled to reiterate that, in the Israeli-Palestinian context, exhausting the Palestinian will to fight will not ensure lasting peace.  Indeed, in any post-victory reality (whether “kinetic” or “non-kinetic”), which does not definitively preclude the emergence of some self-governing state-like (or quasi-state) entity for the Palestinian-Arab collective, tangible and enduring potential for re-kindling “resistance” will always remain.

Hamas’s man in Ankara?

The reason for this pernicious potential is not only the ample centers of external agitation that exist today in the Arab and Muslim world but also the tenuous state of incumbent regimes, particularly Egypt and Jordan, which would immediately border any such entity.

Little imagination is needed to foretell the destabilizing effect a resurgent Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and/or a declining monarchy in Jordan would have on a Palestinian administration, installed pursuant to a perfidious surrender to the “Zionist entity”.

An ominous illustration of the menacing prospect was provided this week by Turkey’s ever-more authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, at the provocatively titled Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Forum in Istanbul. With utter disregard for the recently concluded rapprochement agreement with Israel, Erdogan launched into an inciteful diatribe against the Jewish state, denouncing its control of its capital as an intolerable affront:  “As a Muslim community…each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us”. He urged his co-religionists to flood the city’s holy sites and echoed a call he made several months ago, in which he called on Muslims to support the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem from “Judaization” by Israel.

This is hardly unexpected as Turkey strongly supports Hamas, and even after the reconciliation agreement with Israel—and in gross violation of it—continues to allow the   organization’s military arm to operate within its territory.

Stark imperative

Clearly then, even if Israel imposes unconditional surrender on the Palestinian-Arabs in Judea-Samaria and Gaza, this would not impact the enmity, or the will, of their supporters and sponsors in Ankara, Tehran and Doha—or conceivably, in Egypt and Jordan should ascendant Islamist elements become increasingly dominant.

With regard to the latter, Efraim Inbar warns “…changes within neighboring states can be rapid. Unexpected scenarios, such as a return of the Muslim Brotherhood to the helm in Egypt or the fall of the Hashemite dynasty… might take place.

The crucial nature of this caveat is heightened by the critical strategic significance of the territory designated for any prospective self-governing Palestinian-Arab entity and the dire consequences that would ensue should it fall to hostile elements – see here and here.

Accordingly, there is only one way to ensure that the Palestinian-Arab population will not be subjected to externally sourced influences to reignite their will to fight, and to ensure that they will not be exposed to incitement, agitation and cross-border insurgency.  Put bluntly, this is to ensure that there is no population which can be impacted by all (or any) of these pernicious pressures.

Last week, I raised the question of how this stark imperative is to be best addressed.  Picking up on Pipes’s terminology, is this to be done via “a military thrashing entailing economic destruction, [even] the annihilation of a population” (i.e via the “kinetic” route); or via “an accretion of economic and political pressures” (i.e. via the “non-kinetic” route)?

Victory by “accretion of economic & political pressures”

For well over a decade, I have been advocating adopting the latter course for a variety of reasons – both moral and practical.  I have designated this comprehensive policy prescription The Humanitarian Paradigm. This, as do virtually all other major alternatives to the two-state formula currently being proposed, entails the coercive dismantling of the current Palestinian regimes, while providing individual non-belligerent Palestinian-Arabs the opportunity of a better and more secure life elsewhere.

This latter objective—of inducing large-scale emigration—is, as mentioned above, to be accomplished by means of generous material incentives to leave and commensurately daunting material disincentives for staying.  Such disincentives would include the phased denial of services currently provided by Israel such as water, electricity, fuel, tax collection and so on, while the option of substantial relocation/rehabilitation grants would obviate any humanitarian crisis such denial is liable to precipitate.

In this regard I was greatly heartened to see that Pipes himself explicitly invokes some of the measures I propose—significantly, some of the harsher ones. Thus, in his prescription for victory, he urges that in face of continuing Palestinian violence, Israel should, inter alia, “dismantle the PA’s security infrastructure” and “reduce and then shut off the water and electricity that Israel supplies”. 

A myopic viewpoint

Pipes rightly laments the flaccid attitude that Israel has routinely displayed on the Palestinian issue.  Referring to his proposed measures, he writes: “Of course, these steps run exactly counter to the consensus view in Israel today, which seeks above all to keep Palestinians quiescent”, warning that this is a “myopic viewpoint”. (His view coincides with warnings I have  given repeatedly that: “successive governments have shied away from taking decisive action against the Palestinian-Arabs in an effort to avoid confrontations in which Israel can prevail, thereby precipitating a confrontation in which it may well not.”)

Pipes diagnoses—again rightly—that this myopia is the product of “unremitting pressure from the outside world, and the U.S. government especially, to accommodate the PA.” prescribing that: “The removal of such pressure will undoubtedly encourage Israelis to adopt the more assertive tactics outlined here.”

I concur entirely, with the only question being: How, and by whom, is the said removal of pressure to be achieved? After all, given the scope and momentum of this “unremitting pressure”, its “removal” is unlikely to occur without significant proactive endeavor from Israel itself.

This brings us to the crux of the problem: Israel’s abdication from any effective action in the field of public diplomacy and the international battle for hearts and minds.

Irrefutable “political algorithm”

After all, what is the major obstacle precluding the “adopt[ion] of more assertive tactics? What is the source of “unremitting [international] pressure …to accommodate the PA.”

Little analytical acumen is required to trace the roots of both of these elements to the perceived legitimacy of the “Palestinian narrative”, according to which the Palestinian-Arabs are an authentic national entity—and hence entitled to everything that such an entity merits, including statehood.

Now, as long as this narrative is perceived as legitimate, Palestinian “resistance”  will be seen as a legitimate endeavor to achieve the legitimate objective of statehood—while “assertive” Israel efforts to thwart that endeavor will be seen as “disproportionate” measures to deny that objective i.e. enforce  illegitimate “occupation”.  As long as this (mis)perception prevails, Israel will always be hamstrung in its measures to combat the Palestinian-Arab “resistance”—and international pressure will remain “unremitting”.

Accordingly, it is virtually an irrefutable “political algorithm” that in order to remove the unremitting international pressure and facilitate the kind of assertive measures Pipe’s prescribes, it is essential to discredit the legitimacy of (i.e. delegitimize) the Palestinian narrative.

This is undoubtedly a formidable task, and a necessary condition for its accomplishment is to acknowledge its magnitude—lest efforts to do so prove inadequate.

A diplomatic iron-dome

In this regard, I have long advocated a massive Israeli investment in a strategic public diplomacy offensive (1% of state budget, or a billion dollars annually) to confront, contend and counter international pressures and generate the freedom of action required for measures of the kind Pipes proposes.

The objective of this sizeable (but in no way, unaffordable) investment would be to configure a diplomatic “iron dome”, whose function would be to intercept the inevitable incoming barrages of demonization and delegitimization against Israel, once it adopts an assertive pro-victory strategy.

But beyond its defensive role, such a strategic diplomatic initiative would be tasked with an offensive one: To aggressively undermine, discredit and ultimately de-legitimize the Palestinian narrative, by exposing the mendacious myths that comprise it, and which provide the fuel that drives the assault on the Jewish state and its right to exist. 

Moreover, it should provide and promote a cogent policy alternative for implementation, given the negation of the notion of Palestinian nationhood and the rejection of Palestinian statehood. In this regard, not only is the previously mentioned “Humanitarian Paradigm” the only “non-kinetic” policy blueprint that allows Israel to address both its geographic and demographic imperatives for it to endure as the nation-state of the Jewish people, but it can be shown to be  the most humane of all options if it succeeds, and the least inhumane, if it does not.

Hence, as I did last week, I would urge the authors of the CIVC to adopt it as their preferred victory strategy.


Of course the crucial question for many would be: Can Palestinian nationhood, and the accompanying demand for statehood, be removed from the political agenda? In this regard, allow me to conclude with a quote from Pipes himself, who wrote:  “Palestinian [national identity] is superficially rooted and…it could eventually come to an end, perhaps as quickly as it got started.”

Ensuring such an outcome is essential to achieving the lofty goals of the bold venture he has initiated.

Time for Palestinian Sacrifices, Israel Has Made Enough

One of the oft repeated laments from many world leaders when speaking about the long festering Arab-Israeli conflict is regarding sacrifices.

How many times did former US Secretary of State John Kerry, or former President Obama, or other leaders talk about the need for both sides to make sacrifices for peace? We heard it repeatedly. Yet the truth of the matter is only one side has made sacrifices, while the other side has not made any. One side has continuously demonstrated its desire for peace, while the other side has continuously demonstrated it wants the other destroyed.

The Middle East consists of 22 Arab nations with a combined population of almost 400 million, compared to a little over 8 million in Israel (6.5 million Jews, and 1.5 million Arabs). Size wise Israel is roughly 8,000 square miles, compared to over 7 million square miles for the Arab nations. The Arab population makes up over 98% of the Middle East, while geographically covers over 99% of the land compared to the size of Israel. These facts are merely to provide some perspective. Yet in spite of the overwhelming advantage the Arab world enjoys, the tiny Jewish nation of Israel is considered intolerable by many.

Let’s see if criticism of Israel is justified, by providing proof of what sacrifices have already been made.

List of Jewish Sacrifices

  1.   In the 1947 UN partition of the land west of the Jordan River the Jews were to receive roughly 5,500 square miles of land, while the Arabs were to receive roughly 4,500 square miles. This would have created the 23rd Arab nation in the Middle East. Jerusalem, which has been the ancestral capital of Jewish life for well over 3,000 years was designated as an international city and cut off from a contiguous connection with the Jewish state.

In spite of seeing the creation of yet another Arab state, and not having a physical connection to Jerusalem, the Jews, while furious, made the sacrifice and agreed to the partition plan. However, it was the Arab world which rejected the vote of the UN and attacked Israel in May 1948 one day after its independence. After a protracted war which lasted over a year, Israel was able to secure additional land, including Jerusalem, bringing its size to roughly 8,000 square miles. On Dec. 13, 1949 Prime Minister David Ben Gurion announced Jerusalem would be the official capital of the Jewish state of Israel.

  1.   In June 1967 Israel was forced to defend itself against Syria, Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War. During this decisive Israeli victory the Holy Old City of Jerusalem was captured from the Jordanians, who had been in control of it since the Independence war ended in 1949. The victory reunited the Jewish people with Temple Mount and the Western Wall of the Second Temple compound. Israeli flags flew over their holiest site for the first time in modern history.

At the conclusion of the war Defense Minister Moshe Dayan made a highly controversial decision. Against the advice of the religious and conservative Jews, he made a huge sacrifice in the interest of peace by awarding administrative control of Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust). He ordered Israeli flags removed and he banned Jews from praying on Temple Mount. This remains in effect today.

In the same war Israel captured the Gaza Strip and virtually all of the Sinai Desert.

  1.   On Yom Kippur 1973, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Israel was attacked on two fronts from Egypt and Syria. Caught by surprise many Israeli lives were lost before they were able to turn the tide. After Israel successfully crossed the Suez Canal and had tanks in route to Cairo Egypt summoned the US to broker a cease fire. Six years later in an historic agreement, Israel signed its first formal peace treaty with a sovereign Arab nation. The Camp David Accord was brokered by President Jimmy Carter and signed by Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin on the White House Lawn in March 1979.

In their effort to secure peace Israel gave up the entire Sinai Desert. Later that year Israel also turned over control of the Alma oil field, which had $100 billion in untapped reserves.  Anwar Sadat later lamented “poor Menahcim, I got back the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachim got? A piece of paper.”

  1.   Since Israel’s independence is 1948 ongoing terror attacks had taken hundreds of Israeli lives. In an effort to secure peace with the ‘Palestinians’ in 1993 Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin signed the first of several agreements with Yasser Arafat founder of the PLO terrorist group. This was known as the Oslo Accords. Once again the US played the key role and the formal signing took place at the White House. Just under 1,600 Israeli’s had been murdered between ’48 and ’93. Over this 53 year period that is a sustained average of one murdered every other week.

The accords were designed to provide self-rule for the Palestinians. Israel was willing to give up control over specified areas on the condition the Palestinians stop the terror attacks against innocent Israeli civilians. This was an effort to build trust between the two sides. The longer the Palestinians refrained from terror, the more land Israel would turn over to them. Ultimately if the Palestinians showed good will and stopped the terror, the end game of the Oslo Accords could have given them much of the land they demanded for statehood. All they were asked to do is stop murdering Jews.

However, they did not stop. In 1994 Palestinian terrorists murdered 65 Israelis and another 29 in 1995. Then tragedy struck in 1995 when Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated .

Subsequent to this the terror continued. Between 1996 and 2000 Palestinians murdered another 165 Israelis. The Oslo Accords had all but collapsed because the Palestinians refused to honor their commitment to cease their terror against the Jews.

The Israeli government went into crisis mode and had to come up with something to protect Jewish civilians from being murdered. A highly controversial decision was made to construct a security barrier. The Palestinians and Israel’s critics called it a land grab. However, this reluctant decision had to be made for one simple reason- to protect Jewish civilians from being murdered. It was never intended to be a land grab.

Throughout the first phase of the barrier’s construction the Palestinians not only did not stop the terror, they increased it significantly. During that four year period they murdered 984 Israelis or an average of just under 5 per week!

The sacrifice Israel made by turning over land to the Palestinians was a total bust. Responsibility for its failure rests with the Palestinians.

  1.   Now we come to one of the most gut wrenching sacrifices Israel made in an effort to secure peace. In 2005 after a 38 year presence in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to pull almost 8,000 Jews out of the coast enclave.  Heart breaking images of Israeli soldiers physically dragging screaming families from their homes brought the country to its knees. The tiny Jewish nation came to the brink of civil war. Yet the task was completed and the Gaza Strip was turned over to the Palestinians to establish self- rule.

After Israel vacated the Strip the Palestinian held elections in 2006. They voted the terrorist group Hamas into power. Since then Hamas has fired over 15,000 rockets and mortars into Israel. There havebeen three wars between them. To this day Hamas has been relentless in its effort to deny Israel any peace. It constructs underground tunnels made from supplies designed for humanitarian purposes, while continuing their hateful campaign of Israel’s destruction.

Once again a huge sacrifice by Israel for peace backfired.

Another Sacrifice?

Then there is Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Most world leaders consider Abbas a moderate. Since October 2015 the so-called ‘knife intifada’ has been going on. This has been a series of premeditated attacks by Palestinians who have carried out dozens of stabbings and vehicle ramming’s against Israeli soldiers and civilians. At least 44 Israelis have been brutally murdered. Abbas reacts by praising the murderers, saying “we bless every drop of blood.”  In addition he demonstrates his complete disdain for Jewish lives by meeting with the families of Palestinian terrorists.

He also has said on numerous occasions he will never accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas says Israel is the obstacle to peace because of its ‘settlement’ construction. Sorry Mr. Abbas, if anyone is responsible for lack of progress on the peace front it is you who bless murderers and categorially deny Israel the right to exist as a Jewish state.

Once again world leaders and organizations are pressuring Israel to consider yet another sacrifice for peace by giving up land the Palestinians demand for a state, which Abbas demands must be 100% Jew free. They offer nothing in return, not altering their charters calling for Israel’s destruction, not renouncing terror, not even recognition.

Let There Be No Doubt

It should be exceedingly clear by now who has made the sacrifices for peace. It is Israel. Both land an lives have been sacrificed. What has been asked of the Palestinians? Simple, stop the murder of civilians, and accept Israel as a Jewish state. They offer neither. Yet, in spite of not making a single compromise for peace the Palestinians are not penalized and continue to receive hundreds of millions in aid. Plus, they continue to pay salaries to terrorist who murdered Jews.

How are the Palestinian people ever going to desire peace if not a single one of the leaders speaks about necessary sacrifices it requires? When the Palestinian people hear and see their political and religious leaders is glorify murderers by naming schools and summer camps after them, these become their role models. This makes peace impossible. It’s not to say there aren’t Palestinians who want peace. There are. However, they are in the minority and afraid to speak out because they get threatened by the fundamentalists. I am still waiting to see the first peace demonstration in the streets of any Palestinian city. For peace to have any chance this has to change.

Here’s the list of Palestinian sacrifices: Zero

That says it all.

More of Dan Calic’s articles are on his Facebook Page.

Donald Trump, Naftali Bennett, and the End of the Two-State “Solution”

In a perfect world, Bibi would be in deep conversations with the incoming Trump administration on how best to put the two state solution in the garbage bin.  For Bibi Netanyahu the availed leader of Israel and nemesis of Obama and the EU, the status quo despite its road to nowhere is a far more digestible situation. Yet, Bibi with all of his political prowess and especially astute understanding of the USA has not fully digested the Donald Trump victory.

In steps Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education and the widely successful entrepreneur turned right wing leader.  His position as the head of Jewish Home may not be interesting to Americans, but he represents the future of Israel, which if the current trajectory holds will be led by knitted kippa wearing nationalists who are busy playing the part that the secular kibbutzniks played before the creation of the state.

Naftali Bennett and the National Religious Camp are fast becoming the predominant force in Israel and it was with this feeling of destiny that Bennett reached out to a few of Donald Trump’s associates on the need to get rid of the Two State “Solution.”  After all, Trump is more than the president to be, he is a revolution and earthquake in the world order.  For an Israel constrained by the bygones of Oslo and State Department Arabism as well as Neo-Conservative control, Trump represents the possibility to reach peace without jettisoning Israel’s Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Most Americans assume that Israel is in love with the Oslo accords, but as most of the Israeli street knows, since the Oslo Accords 1000’s of Israelis have been killed and in the same space of time more and more communities have been built in Judea and Samaria.  Young religious Zionists have grown into maturity and taken the reigns of power.  With the “Palestinian” Arabs showing no signs of coming to terms with even one Jew living in the Land of Israel, alternative solutions to Oslo are a must.

This is where Bennett’s outreach to Trump lies.  If Trump really is the anti-globalist President to be, then he understands the need to move on from a conflict entirely manufactured by globalist ambitions in the Levant. It is in  fact the globalists embedded in Foggy Bottom and Brussels that have rewritten the Jewish people’s narrative to exclude them from meaningful attachment to their homeland. For these Arabists, Israel is Palestine and those poor Arabs that found themselves there 100 years ago have really been there the whole time.  Trump understands this is make-believe and it is the Jews that have been their continuous for thousands of years.  He understands that for America to be strong it must support a complete reconstituted Israel.  This is in order to offset the globalist plan to detach humanity from the Almighty.  To do that Soros and his ilk know they must remove the obvious miracle of the Jewish people’s return to their Land.  If there are no miracles, there is no active G-d as far as they are concerned.

Trump and his advisers including Bannon know that the future lies with an Israel that is strong, independent, and in complete control of its Divinely ordained boundaries.  The faster Bibi gets this, the faster Israel will find true peace.

Below is one solution offered. There are many others.



Hillary Clinton Deserves to Lose Tonight’s Debate for this Reason…

There are so many reasons that Hillary deserves to lose tonight’s debate and therefore the election.  She is part of the neoconservative globalist elite whose goal is to destroy nationhood, individualism, and free thought.  Their main aim in doing so is to uproot the people of Israel from their Land, thus rendering the people of G-d non-chosen.  This is their mission.  If they succeed, the tremendous light that was brought into the world upon the Jewish people’s return to their homeland, would be extinguished.

All of these reasons are enough not to support Hillary. Yet, the above video is perhaps the greatest reason of all. In November 1999, Hillary Cinton found herself in Ramallah with the wife of arch-terrorist suddenly transformed into a statesman Yasser Arafat.  After Suha gave a scathing address against Israel, Hillary embraced her.  This singular event should remind everyone who she is.  Arafat was responsible for killing more Jews post Holocaust than anyone else.  He was the architect of the imaginary Palestinians and a KGB agent.

Hillary and her husband Bill knew who these people were and still saw fit to threaten and conjole Israel into an agreement with the leader of a group of heinous individuals languishing in terrorist exile in Tunisia.  Arafat and his number two the current “President” of the Palestinian Authority Abbas came to Ramallah under the Oslo accords and wasted no time wiping out their moderate opposition. After they accomplished this they began a campaign of brainwashing the “Palestinian” Arab youth that still continues today.

The above image should remind voters who they should vote for, because if she can kiss the wife of the father of modern global terrorism, what makes them believe she has a desire to keep America, Israel, and the world safe.


Break the BDS

Bill Clinton: I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state

Bill Clinton tried to show off his pro-Israel bonafides by answering a member of the crowd during a campaign stop. The former President said: “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state.”

Now this could be true, but most Israelis would say that Clinton nearly killed us when he tried to give the Palestinians a state in Israel’s biblical heartland.  At least 1,603 Israelis have been killed since the Oslo Accords were signed. 1,303 of them have been since the failed “peace” initiative of President Clinton’s at the end of his term.

Once again, who has killed who?

Staggering stupidity

We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. – Albert Einstein

One does not have to be an Einstein to grasp that Israel cannot solve the problems created by the endeavor to establish a Palestinian state by continuing the endeavor to establish such a state.

Futile and self-obstructive

Sadly, what should be a simple self-evident truth seems to have eluded Israeli political leaders – who for almost a quarter century have impaled the nation on the horns of an irresolvable dilemma. For by ostensibly accepting the principle of a two-state resolution of the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs, they have, in effect, committed the nation to a policy whose implementation requires concessions too perilous for any responsible government to make.

On the one hand, this necessarily makes Israel appear disingenuous and duplicitous, since it cannot take the actions required to facilitate its alleged political goals. On the other, because of its commitment to Palestinian statehood, Israel must limit its use of military force to levels that cannot eradicate the threat to its civilian population, for fear of eliminating any prospect of negotiations with some as yet unidentified Palestinian interlocutor with whom agreement might be reached.

Little could highlight the futility of the starkly self-obstructive approach, adopted by successive Israeli governments, than three items that made the news this week.

The first was the announcement of the discovery of an underground attack tunnel, extending from somewhere inside the terrorist enclave of Gaza into Israeli sovereign territory.

The second was the report that, having rid itself of the “costly” upkeep of the settlements in Gaza, Israel is about to invest a gazillion shekels in a super-sophisticated barrier, designed to detect any additional tunnels that Gaza-based terrorists might have burrowed or are about to burrow.

The third was an interview with Construction Minister Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, formerly head of Southern Command, in which he reiterated his support for the construction of a port off the Gaza coast that he expressed several weeks before.

Tunnels: Technological breakthrough; policy breakdown?

Following the detection of the terrorist tunnel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed its identification as a “pioneering achievement” and “global breakthrough,” adding that his government has invested a “fortune” in technology enabling discovery and destruction of tunnels.

It is, of course, too early to draw decisive conclusion as to the efficacy/reliability of the new detection techniques, but it might well be that the discovery of the tunnel indeed constitutes an impressive breakthrough technologically.

Sadly, however, it also reflects a grave breakdown of the policy adopted during, and subsequent to, 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.

Apparently dug after that campaign, the tunnel provided conclusive proof – for anyone who felt additional evidence was required – that despite the vast damage inflicted on Gaza by the IDF, the will of the terrorist organizations entrenched there to continue the violence remains undiminished.

The unpalatable conclusion is unavoidable.

Just as with Hezbollah in 2006, and with Hamas in previous engagements in 2008/9 and 2012, so too in 2014 Israel has not achieved genuine deterrence in the sense of breaking its adversary’s will to fight. To the contrary, all it has done is to achieve a ceasefire during which the enemy has not lost its taste for battle, but has utilized the respite to regroup, rearm and redeploy – and to emerge as an even more formidable foe for the next, virtually inevitable, round of violence.

Deterrence diminished despite damage

In a perceptive New York Times op-ed, soberingly titled, “How Hamas Beat Israel in Gaza” (August 10, 2014), Ronen Bergman underscored not only the futility but the detrimental consequences of recurring bouts of inconclusive fighting, despite massive damage inflicted on the Arab side: “If body counts and destroyed weaponry are the main criteria for victory, Israel is the clear winner… But counting bodies is not the most important criterion in deciding who should be declared victorious. Much more important is comparing each side’s goals before the fighting and what they have achieved. Seen in this light, Hamas won.” Indeed, as Bergman states: “For Israel, this round of fighting will probably end… with significant damage to Israel’s deterrence.”

Back in March 2002, about a decade before the start of this INTO THE FRAY series, I wrote aJerusalem Post op-ed piece titled, “Conquer or capitulate.” In it, I warned that in effect “Israel has no acceptable way of diminishing the Palestinian will to attack it, and thus must eliminate Palestinian ability to do so by…decisive conquest of the areas transferred to Palestinian control, the dismantling of all the political and military organizations and infrastructures established since the Oslo Accords, and… reinstatement of effective Israeli sovereign rule from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

I acknowledged: “this is undoubtedly a course of action fraught with many hazards. Its implementation requires meeting many daunting challenges…” However, I pointed out, “if Israel… desires to preserve its national independence and the political sovereignty of the Jewish nation-state, there is no other feasible alternative.”

It is a diagnosis that is as valid today as it was then – but to act on it the government must first extricate itself from its foolish and self-imposed commitment to the folly of two-statism.

Just imagine…

The announcement that Israel was now engaged in a multi-billion shekel effort extending over two years to protect the civilian population in the vicinity of the Gaza strip, should – paradoxically (?) – be enough to give Israelis many sleepless nights.

This sum, together with the cost of the Iron Dome system to intercept the rockets of assorted terrorist gangs in Gaza, the cost of developing a new warning system against mortar fire, reportedly designed to give fleeing civilians seven more seconds to scramble for cover, the direct cost of Operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, Protective Edge, and the indirect cost due to weeks of economic disruption, make a mockery of the claim often raised to justify the 2005 disengagement and the futile and forcible expulsion of the Jewish communities in Gaza: i.e. the allegedly exorbitant cost of securing the thriving pre-2005 “settlements.”

But let us set aside this doleful arithmetic for the moment, and overlook the errors of the past, including the heavy toll of lives/ limbs the unilateral evacuation of Gaza has wrought, and the fearsome arsenal it has allowed the terrorist organizations to accumulate.

Instead, let us focus on the future, and imagine the dread situation that would arise if the IDF withdrew from Judea-Samaria to allow the establishment of a political entity ruled by Palestinian-Arabs – as per the wishes of the international community and Israel’s own commitment to the two-state principle.

Not a 50-km. front, but 500 km.…

In the absence of compelling contrary evidence, there is little reason to believe that what happened in Gaza would not happen in Judea-Samaria, and that the same means required to protect the Israeli population in the South, would not be required on the eastern border.

But unlike Gaza, which abuts sparsely populated, largely rural areas, the “mega-Gaza” that almost certainly will emerge in Judea-Samaria abuts the country’s most populous urban areas. Unlike Gaza, which has no topographic superiority over adjacent Israeli territory, the prospective “mega-Gaza” in Judea-Samaria will totally command the adjacent coastal megalopolis, in which much of Israel’s vital infrastructure (both civilian and military) is located, where 80 percent of its civilian population resides and 80% of its commercial activity takes place. But perhaps most significant, unlike Gaza, which has only about a 50-km. front with Israel, the envisioned “mega-Gaza” in Judea-Samaria would have a front up to almost 500 km….

Now bearing all these daunting facts in mind, if it takes billions of shekels and two years to set up a system to (hopefully) defend civilian populations against the threat of tunnels from Gaza along a 50-km. front, imagine the gargantuan effort, in terms of treasure and time, that would be required to defend civilian populations against a similar threat from a “mega-Gaza” along a 500-km. front…

Anyone still think two-statism is a good idea??

Between moronic and imbecilic

The first time I heard of the appallingly absurd idea of building a potentially retractable port, under Israeli security supervision, on an artificial island off the coast of Gaza, was in a private conversation with someone (whom I shall leave nameless) recently designated as contender for the position of head of the Mossad, just prior to the appointment of the current director.

I remember at the time being taken aback by an idea so patently puerile and perilous being bandied about by someone so senior – but took (false) comfort in the belief that it was so outlandish that it would never be given serious consideration by those in authority.

How wrong I was! Incredibly, at least two incumbent ministers and apparently a number of serving IDF generals have come out in favor of the “idea” – for want of a better word.

Thus, Transportation Minister Israel Katz has come out in favor of constructing such an island, connected to the Gaza mainland by a 4.5-km. bridge, to accommodate a port under Israeli security supervision. The idea was supported by Construction Minister Yoav Galant – who, during Operation Cast Lead, served as head of Southern Command.

Quoted by Bloomberg, Galant declared: “The biggest danger to Israel is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza… If Gaza had the ability to bring ships, and goods, without posing a security problem, that is in everybody’s interest.”

Galant is a man with an impressive career of sacrifice and daring. For that, as an individual, he deserves our esteem. Not so his political prescriptions.

For what he is proposing is little more than a hazardous hallucination, falling somewhere between the moronic and the imbecilic.

Port no panacea for poverty

A port in Gaza will be no panacea for the poverty of the population.

Hamas, and its other terrorist cohorts, are not burrowing tunnels because Gaza has no port. They are burrowing them despite the fact it does not have one.

After all, Gaza does have a modern port, under Israeli supervision, at its disposal barely 35 km. north of it, in Ashdod. Under conditions of peace (or even credible non-belligerency), Ashdod can supply all Gaza’s supervised civilian needs without squandering billions on a fanciful floating island port.

However, under conditions of on-going belligerency, even under the strictest Israeli supervision, there is no way, short of taking control of Gaza, that dual purpose material such as cement, fertilizer and steel will not be used for belligerent objectives.

For example, even if the island port were under tight inspection, how could Israel ensure that the building materials that went to construct the recently discovered tunnels would be used for more benign purposes? One might also ask how Israeli supervision is to be maintained, and the safety of the Israeli personnel secured in the isolated off-shore port, should they, as is far from implausible, be set upon by a bloodthirsty local mob.

Humanitarian solution to humanitarian crisis

The dire economic situation that plagues Gaza will not be alleviated by giving Gaza access to port facilities, which it, in principle, already has available to it.

Israeli restrictions on the flow of goods are not the cause of Arab enmity, but the result thereof. The crippling unemployment, reportedly above 40%, will not be alleviated by transferring Israeli supervision from Ashdod and the Gaza border crossing to an off-shore islet.

There is soaring unemployment because any creative energies that there might be are not channeled by those who rule Gaza toward productive/constructive goals, but into fomenting violence against the hated “Zionist entity.” A port will not change those realities.

Indeed, it is likely to exacerbate them.

The penury of the enclave is not due to lack of resources, but to the preferences/priorities of the brigands who govern it, and as events have shown, the only way Israel can determine who governs Gaza – and who does not – is by governing it itself.

Galant is, of course, right that Israel should defuse the brewing humanitarian crisis in Gaza – which is demonstrably the consequence of the ill-conceived two-state approach and misguided attempts to foist statehood on the Palestinian Arabs.

But it is a humanitarian crisis that requires a genuine humanitarian solution: Generously funded humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population elsewhere, out of harm’s way, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.

That is the only approach that can:

• Provide a durable solution to the problem of Gaza;

• Eliminate the threat to Israel continually issuing from Gaza; and

• Preclude the need for Israel to “rule over another people.”

Happy Passover

But despite all this let me take the opportunity to wish readers a Happy Passover, and hope they can forget, for a few festive days, that the staggering stupidity of some of Israel’s political leaders comprise a peril no less pernicious than those posed by our Arab adversaries.

Originally published here.