By EARL COX, JPOST—
A popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things over and over expecting different results. Others call this perseverance. Either way, those who try to solve the same problem using the same method that always ends in failure are left frustrated and unsatisfied; the problem remains unsolved.
The U.S. Secretary of State is in the Middle East for the sixth time since February. Why? To re-launch Israel-Palestinian peace talks. Secretary John Kerry and his predecessors apparently believe placating Palestinians will stop Middle East turbulence. If the goal is to stop Arab-Israeli conflict, to end anti-U.S. terrorism, moderate raging events across the Middle East and elevate U.S. stature in the Middle East, is advancing a Palestinian state at this point the answer?
Even if it were the answer, Israel is always expected to give up land, prisoners, or both. Kerry suggests Israel release 82 Palestinian prisoners, who have Israeli blood on their hands, as a goodwill gesture to start negotiations. Where is a good will gesture towards Israel? Never mind expecting Palestinians to offer one, so why not from the U.S.? Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly requested President Obama to release an Israeli spy from an American prison to aid in persuading his cabinet to agree to the 82-prisoner release. Jonathan Pollard is a convicted spy, but murdered no one and has served almost 29 years. Obama rejected the request. Apparently Obama’s message is, “Don’t do as I do; do as I say.”
The world is watching an implosion of the Middle East. Iran is threatening the return of the 12th Imam via Armageddon as it reaches for nuclear proficiency. The image of a nuclear strike hovers over gulf state leaders, especially Saudi Arabia. Islamic terrorism on the U.S. mainland is an increasing threat as sleeper cells proliferate. Oil-producing regimes favorable to the U.S. are more vulnerable to terrorist subversion. Vital U.S. national security and economic interests are at risk as the formerly pro-U.S. Arab Middle East becomes Islamist. Once pro-U.S. Turkey has switched to anti-U.S. Russia and China are actors on the scene. Are Palestinian talks a solution to any of this mayhem? The answer is ‘NO.’
Piecing together a Palestinian puzzle for statehood is a distraction. Arab states view Palestinians as a subversive element; they defend them with words, but never with resources. As their pawns, the Arab world uses them to keep public opinion slanted against Israel. The raging, violent, out-of-control and unpredictable events across the Middle East are completely separate from the Palestinian issue.
As evidence from the U.S. point of view, the U.S. has pressured Israel for 30 years to give Palestinians what they think they want. Israel awarded the Palestinians with sweeping concessions in 1983; since then, the U.S. (and Israel) have been rewarded with multiple terror attacks: 1993, Riyadh and Khobar Towers; 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; 2000, the USS Cole, followed by the 9/11 attacks.
As evidence from Israel’s point of view, not one Arab-Israel war erupted because of, or on behalf of, the Palestinians. At the end of the 1948 War for Israeli Independence, Jordan and Egypt occupied Judea, Samaria and Gaza. They did not transfer these regions to the Palestinians. When Israel fought Palestinian terrorism in Lebanon in 1982, and fought Judea and Samaria in the 1st and 2nd Intifadas, and Gaza in 2006, 2009, and 2012, no Arab country rallied behind the Palestinians.
Palestinian statehood has consequences. U.S. interests and values would be undermined. The pro-U.S. Hashemite regime (Jordan’s royal family) would fall; Russia, China, North Korea and Iran could access the eastern Mediterranean; Islamic terrorism would flourish as per the encouragement of the hate education of Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO, the model of international terrorism. At the U.N. all Palestinian leaders since the World War II have sided with the likes of the Nazis, Communist Bloc countries, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein and the brutal terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Statehood would add another vote against the U.S. at the U. N. A Palestinian state would shrink an already tiny Israel and make it impossible for her to have defensible borders. Instead of a national security asset and beachhead for the U.S., Israel would be transformed into a national security liability.
The global power projection of the U.S. is presently palpably reduced. Yet, Israel appears as a shining star–stable, strong, democratic and an unconditional ally of the U.S. in the Middle East and beyond. Why would the U.S. stay stuck in the sands of placating Palestinians? Why wouldn’t the U.S. emphasize Israeli-American shared values, mutual commercial endeavors and joint homeland security issues? The implosion of the Arab Street should elevate, not impair Israel/U.S. relations. The so-called Arab Spring has produced an Arab Winter with no thaw in sight.
The U.S. under Secretary Kerry’s leadership may have good intentions to advance peace, but we are putting pressure in the wrong place. America’s leaders fail to understand the Arab mindset. We in the West do not share the same values as the Arab world; nor do we play by the same set of rules. Western leaders mistakenly assume that the entire world is in agreement as to the concepts of honesty, integrity and fairness. We have extended the proverbial olive branch in the form of concessions, but Arabs interpret our actions as weakness. When Arabs sense weakness they are further empowered to become more radical and demanding.
The United States must stand firmly with Israel. To do otherwise will likely only further radicalize Palestinian demands. For example, since 1949, every peace initiative instigated by the U.S. has failed. Over time, the unintended consequences of placating the Palestinians have been to fuel, rather than to extinguish Arab expectations and Islamic radicalism.
It’s time for the U.S. to change course. We must shed our image as a ‘paper tiger.’ Israel is our true friend and ally. We must show our solidarity by standing firmly on her side with dedicated conviction and strength of character. The United States must not waiver in our stance and we must not continue attempting to appease the Palestinians. This has never worked and it never will. As in the past, all we will get in return will be the shedding of more innocent blood.