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The War That Cannot End

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/29/08

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How can Israel defeat the Palestinians if she is unwilling to do what is necessary to defeat them?

The foreign policy scholars and collegiate experts and seasoned diplomats have written millions, if not billions, of pages about this half-century long, seemingly insoluble problem, but it’s really far simpler than they think. There are two, and only two, problems, and they are diametrically opposed:

  1. The Israelis want to live in peace and security, in a Jewish state that they control, in part of the Levant, a part which must contain Jerusalem; and
  2. The Palestinians believe that they have an ancient and modern right to live in and control all of the Levant.

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. In our liberal Western concept, we see a natural split-the-differences solution: the Israelis pull back from the land that they seized in the 1967 war, and the Arab nations grant the Israelis peaceful recognition. Makes perfect sense, right?

Except to the Arabs, that is defined as losing! That kind of rational-in-Western-minds two-state solution means that Israel wins on goal number one, which means, necessarily, that the Palestinians and the larger Arab community have lost on goal number two. It doesn’t matter where the compromise line is set, it still winds up an Israeli victory as far as the Arabs are concerned.

Our oh-so-sensible diplomatic solutions — regardless of the minor variations that attend each particular diplomat’s suggestions — are all contingent upon one thing, upon the Arabs accepting a military defeat that hasn’t been inflicted upon them yet. Right now, the Isreali government is trying, once again, with half and not even half measures, to inflict a little more pain on the Palestinians, to kill a few more of the most determined terrorists, but no one is seriously trying to actually defeat the Palestinians. That would involve the killing of maybe a hundred thousand people and the uprooting and deportation of some five million Palestinians. And no one is willing to do that.

The Palestinians cannot defeat the Israelis: the Israelis have too many weapons, too much discipline, and, in the end, nuclear weapons. But the Israelis have no national will to defeat the Palestinians. Israel can’t lose this war, because to lose is to lose their nation. And the Palestinians aren’t willing to surrender, because victory, impossible as it is, is still valued more than peace by them.


This article originally appeared on my own site, and I had not considered submitting it to OpEdNews.  However, a commenter named Amy added a couple of comments to a completely unrelated article, which did reference OpEdNews, in which she complained about Rob Kall's article wondering what the US would do if Mexicans were lobbing rockets into California from just south of our border.   Her words concerning our host here were somewhat less than charitable, and even though I disagree with Mr Kall on the vast majority of things, I did defend him here: he tried to take an even-handed approach, noting that it was Hamas which refused to extend the truce and it was Hamas which allowed rockets to be launched into Israel.  He said:

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Israel's response is stupid, but probably the same that ANY nation would take -- ANY, if rocket bombs were fired into it from another nation. 

Exactly.  But I wish to pose the question to OpEdNews readers, readers who are largely more liberal than mine: Are we not fooling ourselves in thinking that there really is a diplomatic solution to the Arab-Israeeli dispute?

We in the West, whether liberal or conservative in either American or European terms, are still part of a culture which tells us that there is a very easy solution to the problem, and, quite frankly, we can't see why the two sides don't see the same thing we do.

Yet it's painfully obvious that the two sides don't see things the way we do, and that they are willing to fight, to die, and to kill for their own self-interests.

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Editor of Common Sense Political Thought, mostly Republican (but not always), mostly conservative (but again, not always), always interesting.

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