There will never be peace in the Middle East
until the Palestinians change,
and adopt the values of human rights, religious freedom and liberal democracy.
In the absence of that,
Israel addressing their supposed grievances
(ending the "occupation", allowing a "right to return")
will lead to more violence, not less
(as the "Peace Process Intifada" has shown).
The only thing that will bring long-term peace is the gradual adoption of democracy
and human rights
by the Palestinians.
pro-Israel demo, June 2007.
Israel is the front-line state of the West,
facing the enemy before we have to.
In the 2000s, we discovered to our surprise that the
disgusting suicide bombings we saw in Israel in the 1990s
were not just Israel's problem.
They were a glimpse of our future,
in the rest of the West.
They show what the future will be like, in Madrid, London
and all western cities,
which will have to live now
for the next few decades
under the constant threat of jihadi suicide bombing.
Israel's fight is our fight - the fight to preserve democracy,
freedom of religion, free speech and
human rights against our totalitarian enemies.
Note how the killing by Palestinians massively escalates
after Israel tries to do a deal with them.
Unlike in Northern Ireland
- where the peace process
led to a vast reduction in deaths
- here, the peace process has made the conflict far worse.
To reduce deaths, it seems unavoidable that Israel
should abandon the peace process
and give war a chance again.
Until the Palestinians change, it seems there is nothing else
the Israelis can do.
4,000 people died because Israel tried to make peace with Arafat.
It was a terrible strategic and moral error by Israel.
Bush Destroyed a Dictator. Clinton Installed One.
Which of our last two presidents made the world safer?
- Ruth R. Wisse, 15 Jan 2009, casts a cold eye on the 1990s Clinton "Peace Process",
which vastly increased terrorism and oppression.
"Mr. Bush removed the most ruthless dictator of his day, Saddam Hussein, thereby offering Iraqi citizens the possibility of self-rule. Bill Clinton's analogous achievement in the Middle East was to help install Yasser Arafat, the greatest terrorist of his day, as head of a proto-Palestinian state.
This so-called peace agreement rewarded terrorist methods as fail-safe instruments of modern warfare, and accelerated terrorist attacks on other democratic countries. Though Mr. Clinton did not foresee these consequences
To be fair, Israel's role in this self-deception was, if anything, even greater. The Oslo Accords made Israel the first country in history ever to arm its enemy with the expectation of gaining security.
The Oslo "peace accord" made the world more dangerous and subjected Palestinian Arabs to a rule of violence, corruption and intimidation.".
To explain Arafat's disgusting betrayal of the Peace Process, the left invented a bizarre theory that the
Second Intifada was actually caused by
Angry at Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, the proud Palestinians
apparently had "no choice" but to start suicide bombing women and children in buses and cafes.
I'm not sure if this theory actually shows the Palestinians in a good light,
but that's the left for you.
The BBC as at 2013 is still promoting the idea that the Sharon visit was the cause of the intifada.
Of course in reality the intifada was planned in advance.
"Arafat was trying to stop terror attacks"
Another mad theory of the left was that the appalling terror attacks in the Second Intifada
were by some unexplained groups, and
Arafat was trying to stop them.
Of course in reality, Arafat was behind the terror attacks.
Israel eventually learns how to defeat the intifada,
using military means and the life-saving wall.
Violence finally returns to pre-peace process levels.
The tragedy of the "peace process".
No one imagines that things could get worse.
Just like revolutions should make a country better, not worse,
so a "peace process" should lead to less violence, not more.
How Arafat destroyed Palestinian prosperity:
The GDP per capita of the West Bank and Gaza over the last few decades.
Stats from Angus Maddison.
Note above how the Palestinians were prospering under Israeli "occupation",
with a growing economy linked to Israel and Israeli settlements.
GDP per capita was, in 1990 dollars,
$ 1,790 in 1967,
$ 5,312 in 1999.
That is, the Israeli occupation made the "oppressed" Palestinians 3 times richer.
Then Clinton helped the thug Arafat set up a terrorist state,
Arafat launched the unprovoked intifada,
and the Palestinian economy collapsed.
And they didn't even win the intifada, but were soundly defeated.
If Palestinians are "poor" today, blame Arafat, Fatah and Hamas, not Israel.
is reacting to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying the Israelis are richer than Palestinians
(and other Arabs) because of their superior culture.
(Which is just obviously true.
Even Palestinians agree.)
says: "Per capita income in Israel is over $31,000; in the Palestinian territories it is closer to $1,500. Those aren't the kinds of numbers that divide industrious Protestants from happy-go-lucky Catholics.
... You don't get those kinds of divisions because of cultural differences.
The reason most Palestinians have low third-world income levels is that they are born into impoverished towns or refugee camps inside the gerrymandered Bantustans of the Palestinian Authority, where border crossings are controlled by Israeli military authorities
[Etc. It's all Israel's fault]
But without the occupation they might have been as wealthy as, say, Jordanians, who have a per capita income (purchasing-power-adjusted) of $6,000."
But this is nonsense. We can see clearly above that
without the intifada
they would have a GDP of $6,000.
They were doing well under "occupation" before the intifada.
(Or at least as well as other Arabs.)
It was their choice
to wreck it with Arafat's useless intifada.
never explains why Israel is at $31,000 and Jordan is at $6,000!
He treats that as normal.
But what on earth is that about if not superior "culture"?
In fairness, his main motivation is probably just to attack Romney to boost his man Obama,
so no wonder he didn't do the research.
If Obama had said it
(and he pretty much did)
this author would be defending it.
Study of aid to Palestine, reported Nov 2012, finds Palestinians have received more aid than almost anyone in history, and it has all been wasted.
"since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1995, the Palestinian Authority has been the recipient of 25 times more financial aid per capita (considering current inflation) than the citizens of Europe received under the Marshall Plan following World War II."
"For those who know their history, the Marshall Plan financially enabled Europe to successfully rebuild following the most devastating war in history.
And yet, having been handed 25 times more cash and resources than post-war Europe, the Palestinian Authority continues to complain of unemployment, a faltering economy and destitute living conditions."
""Poverty in the Palestinian areas could have been eradicated years ago," wrote JIJ founder and director Calev Myers on his Facebook page. "The Palestinian people should be outraged by this. So should Americans and Europeans.""
The left wants Palestinians to be poor.
If the Palestinians decided to ignore jihad, and worked to become prosperous and peaceful,
they would no longer serve any psychological function for the left.
The Guardian and the left loves poor and desperate foreigners who blame their ills on the white man.
They have little interest in poor but peaceful foreigners
who work hard to improve their lot.
Palestinian leaders want Palestinians to be poor.
If the people lost interest in jihad
and became interested in prosperity,
these leaders would lose all their power.
The Peace Process installed precisely those Palestinian leaders who will keep the Palestinians
poor and desperate,
and removed older leaders who had made the Palestinians richer.
The western left, and their own leaders, are enemies of the Palestinian people.
I need to do a later version of the above graph, which would show that
the end of the intifada,
and the building of the wall,
has helped Palestinian prosperity.
What I think Palestinians should do:
"Palestinians should pursue getting rich. Not land, blood, honour."
So Palestinians should just "get over it" and move on?
Yes, exactly, I reply.
At least, if they want to be happy.
If they want to wallow in misery, they should carry on what they are doing.
that the left for 50 years has encouraged Palestinians to ruin their lives.
We can argue about the details, but broadly speaking
Singapore is rich and peaceful because it wants to be.
Gaza and many other
places in the world don't want to be rich and peaceful. They want other things.
The intifada is over, and the left was wrong.
All through 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003,
as the Palestinian intifada raged against Jewish civilians,
we heard again and again from
the western left
that Israel's response was all wrong.
That a tough Israeli response
would just encourage more hatred and violence,
and breed more terrorists.
That Sharon was a disaster.
Israel attacking its enemies
has made them weaker, not stronger.
The Fear Factor
by Bret Stephens
"In 2003, the number of Israeli terrorist fatalities declined by more than 50% from the previous year,
to 213 from 451. The overall number of attacks also declined, to 3823 in 2003 from 5301 in 2002,
a drop of 30%."
Why is this?
How on earth could Israel attacking its enemies have made them weaker?
As Barry Rubin
"it is strange to read everywhere in the West that Israel's policies,
including the killing of Hamas leaders, have failed. Since figures
show that the number of Israeli casualties in 2003 were half those in 2002
and that those so far in 2004 ..
are half those in 2003, everyone should be discussing
the success of Israel's counterterrorism effort.
But, unfortunately, we live in an age where political agendas often
determine the analysis of events rather than the other way around."
The failure of Arafat's intifada
by Charles Krauthammer,
June 21, 2004
- "While no one was looking, something historic has happened in the Middle East. The Palestinian intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost.
The overall level of violence has been reduced by more than 70 percent. How did Israel do it? By ignoring its critics and launching a two-pronged campaign of self-defense."
Attacking your enemy may not make him stronger.
It may make him weaker.
Further big drop in terror in 2004
- "In 2004 ..
117 Israeli civilians and soldiers and a handful of foreigners were killed
and 589 were wounded in Palestinian terror attacks. That compares with 214 killed
and 1,004 wounded in 2003
The ISA credited the controversial security fence as a key tool in thwarting terror attacks."
Israel's unexpected victory over terrorism
by Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael B. Oren, Sept 20, 2004
- Much to everyone's surprise (including the Israelis),
it turned out that
a military solution was the answer to the Palestinian intifada.
Against howls of protest around the world,
Sharon implemented a military solution.
And it worked.
The intifada stopped.
And, oddly enough, the world has stopped complaining.
Some people believe that if Israel ends the occupation of the West Bank,
and ethnically cleanses all the Jews there,
then finally there will be peace,
and the Palestinians and Arabs and Iranians will finally stop trying to destroy it.
But it is as clear as it could possibly be
(short of actually doing the experiment)
that this will not happen.
Withdrawing from the West Bank will simply make the enemy stronger,
and the war will carry on.
Given this record, it is clear that Israel withdrawing from the West Bank
will not bring peace.
So it might as well keep some of the West Bank,
and any other territory it thinks it needs as a buffer zone.
This is not a solution.
I am saying that nothing Israel does can bring a solution.
It just needs to hunker down and
wait for the Palestinians (and the Islamic world) to change.
"Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:
The war with Israel is over.
You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children."
"you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine,
but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948
is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967,
which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years.
At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip
into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan.
It isn't going to get better."
"You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction
and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation.
Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins.
Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide,
while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations."
"The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?"
Victor Davis Hanson
nails the solution to the Palestinians' problems:
"I was in Palestine 2 years ago, and nothing I saw on the West Bank
changed my previous opinion nor the Palestinians I talked to:
had they simply ignored Israelis, crafted a civil democratic society
and engaged in nonviolent peaceful protest, they would have their state
and the world's support."
The Israelis, like normal westerners
who live in a society of constant criticism, tend to blame themselves,
and think logically and ask what they can do to solve it
(give money to the Palestinians, withdraw from Gaza).
They are in danger of not
realising there is nothing they can do to solve it.
The Palestinians, like normal members of a
traditional honour-shame culture,
tend to blame others.
There is no room in their society's discourse for people who suggest the
Palestinians may have to change.
Their society is largely uninterested in compromise and debate.
They do not really
want to build a modern, free and rich Palestinian country,
or they would have done so long ago.
Rather, they are driven by honour, shame, pride and revenge.
And Palestine can fall into ruins and poverty and chaos for all they care
- so long as honour is avenged.
In summary, the conflict will never end until
the Palestinians change their entire culture.
Why the Arab World Is Lost in an Emotional Nakba, and How We Keep It There.
Richard Landes, June 24, 2014,
says that only an understanding of honour-shame culture
explains why Israeli concessions have led to more, not less, aggression.
"The policy implications here are grave. The “rational” model assumes that the ’67 borders (’49 armistice lines) are the key and that an Israeli withdrawal will satisfy rational Palestinian demands, resolving the conflict. Attention to honor-shame culture, however, suggests that such a retreat would trigger greater aggression in the drive for true Palestinian honor, which means “all of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” Recently, military historian Andrew Bacevich, expressing the logic of win-win conflict resolution, wrote that only by leveling the playing field between Israelis and Palestinians, by weakening the too-dominant Israelis, could negotiations really work. By ignoring “strong-horse” Arab political culture and its deep grievance with the “Zionist entity,” he never even raises the possibility that parity would produce more conflict".
explains how the occupation is not the cause of the conflict.
Ending the occupation will not bring peace.
explains the basic problem.
Doing what the Palestinians want will bring more, not less war.
Is there any more optimistic note I could end on?
It is the Palestinians that must change if there
is ever to be peace.
The Palestinians must abandon Islamofascism and
adopt the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion
and human rights.
If they ever do so,
with Israel next door,
there will be peace and
prosperity beyond their dreams.
In the meantime,
while we wait for the Palestinians to change,
it seems that a military/security solution
is the way forward.
Peace? No chance
by Benny Morris
- argues that nothing can be done with
the current generation of Palestinians.
a rare example of a different kind of Palestinian.
Until there are more like him,
there is no hope for the Palestinians.
Telling the Truth about the Palestinians
Khaled Abu Toameh.
He says there is no free speech under Arafat
and "Palestinian journalists ..
were freer to write what they wanted under Israeli occupation
before the PLO returned from exile."
Palestinians Do Not Need Another Tyrant
by Natan Sharansky
- Peace will never come until the Palestinians
"It was Andrei Sakharov, the foremost dissident in the Soviet Union,
who taught me that regimes that do not respect the rights of their own people
will not respect the rights of their neighbors."
Natan Sharansky, 23 Nov 2007,
on the pointlessness of the
Annapolis peace conference,
because nothing has changed in Palestinian society:
"Annapolis is doomed to failure not because we or the Palestinians have not made enough concessions - it is doomed to failure because it is built on distorted reasoning to the effect that it is possible to move ahead and make a deal with some leader and totally ignore what is really happening in Palestinian society."
If these all become democracies, the wave of change
may finally arrive at the Palestinians.
This is not utopian.
This could happen in the next couple of decades
(look at how the Soviet world has totally changed since 1985).
In a very real sense,
the road to peace in Israel
runs through Baghdad and Tehran.
Michael Scott Doran, January/February 2003:
"Now, as in 1991, if a road to a calmer situation in Palestine does in fact exist,
it runs through Baghdad."
Jack Kelly, June 4, 2003:
"the road to peace between Israelis and Palestinians goes through Baghdad and Riyadh."
In summary, there will be no peace in the Middle East
until the Islamic mind changes, and embraces the Enlightenment
and the modern world.
This will take decades, but it could happen.
A Muslim in Kosovo
sums up the entire problem with Palestinian and Iraqi Muslims
- that in both countries majorities or large minorities preferred
tribe, religion, hatred, honour, pride, revenge and glory
to the less glamorous job of making their countries prosperous and successful:
"Kosovo is a success because we wanted a change.
We are not like Iraqis or Palestinians who don't want change and seem to enjoy living in poverty.
Here everyone is thinking about progress and the future."