Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Romney’s Realism on the Palestinians

September 21, 2012 11:46 am 1 comment

Mitt Romney speaking before a backdrop of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Governor Romney’s Sept. 18, 2012 assessments of the Palestinian issue — opposing the “two state solution” — highlight the battle between data-driven realism and desire-driven wishful thinking.

Data-driven realists are cognizant of the linkage between the increasingly anti-American seismic “Arab street” on the one hand, and the nature of the proposed Palestinian state on the other hand. The more radicalized, unpredictable, violent, terrorist-ridden and anti-U.S. the “Arab street,” the more terror-oriented the proposed Palestinian state. The latter would be led by Palestinian organizations, which have been the role model of international terrorism since the 1960s. They were supporters of Bin Laden (whose mentor was a Palestinian — Abdullah Naji from Jenin), staunch allies of Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, the Soviet Union and the ruthless East European regimes. Their predecessors — e.g., Haj Amin Al Husseini — were Nazi Germany collaborators.

Track record-driven realists recognize the devastating impact of the proposed Palestinian state on vital U.S. economic and military interests. For instance, a Palestinian state would produce a tailwind for internal terrorism in Iraq, the Gulf and Jordan, providing training and indoctrination bases for international terrorists. It would add a feather to the cap of the Muslim Brotherhood (Mahmoud Abbas was expelled from Cairo in the 1950s due to his key role in the Palestinian cell of the Muslim Brotherhood). A Palestinian state would doom to oblivion the already shaky pro-U.S. Hashemite regime in Jordan, creating an anti-U.S. axis from Iran to Gaza. It would constitute a diplomatic, intelligence and operational military East Mediterranean anti-U.S. beachhead for North Korea, China, Iran and Russia (Russian-speaking Mahmoud Abbas has had intimate ties with Moscow since his graduation from KGB courses and his role as Arafat’s emissary to Communist capitals). A Palestinian state would add another anti-U.S. vote at the U.N., rewarding the Palestinian Authority, which has forced the flight of Christians from Bethlehem, Beit Jallah and Ramallah.

Experience-driven realists are aware of the linkage between the tectonic nature of the Middle East, in general, and Jordan, in particular, on the one hand, and the indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria for Israel’s survival on the other hand. The more unstable, unpredictable, inconsonant and savage the Middle East, the higher the threshold of Israel’s security. The current predicament of the Hashemite regime could rapidly transform Jordan into an anti-U.S. radical arena, further intensifying the critical role of Judea and Samaria for Israel’s defense. The realists are aware of the demographic bogey, that Jewish demography surges, that Arab demography has been Westernized, and that the Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel is solid, with the power to expand.

Evidence-driven realists assess the prospects of Israeli-Arab/Palestinian peace against the backdrop of 1,400 year of no intra-Arab comprehensive peace, non-compliance with most intra-Arab agreements, non-ratification of all intra-Arab borders and not a single Arab democracy. They have studied the litany of Jewish territorial concessions since the 1920s, and the recent Palestinian rejection of unprecedented concessions by Israeli Prime Ministers Olmert, Barak, Peres and Rabin. Realists conclude that the Palestinians are not concerned about the size — but the very existence — of the Jewish State.

Documentation-driven realists are mindful of the meltdown of the Oslo Process and its derivatives (e.g., the “two state delusion”), which have dramatically intensified Palestinian hate-education, terrorism and noncompliance. They are aware of the immorality of the Land-for-Peace formula, which penalizes the intended victim (Israel), rewards Arab belligerence, whetting its appetite, thus bringing the region close to war and farther from peace.

Fact-driven realists are alert to the non-centrality of the Palestinian issue, as reaffirmed during the last two years of the stormy “Arab Winter.” It is not the core of regional turbulence, not the cause of anti-Western Islamic terrorism, not the crown-jewel of Arab policy-making and not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Detail-driven realists comprehend that the U.S. is the top target for Iran, and that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities in order to intimidate the U.S. and dominate the Persian Gulf. A nuclear Iran would devastate the supply and the price of oil; would subordinate Iraq; would trigger a meltdown of pro-U.S. regimes in the Gulf and Jordan; would accelerate nuclear proliferation; would bolster Iran’s military presence in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and possibly Mexico; would provide a tailwind to global terrorism, including sleeper cells in the U.S.; and would severely constrain U.S. military, economic and diplomatic maneuverability. Realists know that Saudi Arabia and most Arab states yearn for a U.S. preemption, which would spare them calamity. They also know that did not prevent the nuclearizaton of North Korea, that Russia, China, Japan and India do not cooperate with the sanctions policy and that sanctions provide Iran with additional time to obtain nuclear capabilities.

Wishful thinking has dominated Western policy in the Middle East. It has been effectively leveraged by enemies and rivals of Western democracies. The national security of Western democracies would be well served by enhanced realism and by dramatically reduced wishful thinking.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

1 Comment

  • Philip K. Hitti’s “The Middle East: Yesterday and Today” while quite dated, could serve as an excellent primer for Western politicians whose reality is grounded in radical wishful thinking. American pols who live in denial need a few years of living in de Nile to get their priorities straight!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Blogs Features Pioneers/Philanthropists ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit

    ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit – Forbes magazine announced Tuesday that it will host its Under 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Summit in Israel for the first time in April 2016. The conference is expected to bring together some 600 young entrepreneurs, with 200 from Europe, 200 from the U.S., and 200 from Israel. The summit has been hosted in Philadelphia for the past two years. It will include presentations, speeches, a pitch competition, and cultural immersion opportunities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Food Spirituality/Tradition ‘Pastry Secrets’ Arrive Just in Time for Rosh Hashanah

    ‘Pastry Secrets’ Arrive Just in Time for Rosh Hashanah – Babka. Strudel. Stollen. Danish pastry. Not to mention Gugelhopf and Charlotte. The names set the mouth to watering and conjure up lovingly concocted pastries that feed the body and comfort the soul. If you didn’t have a grandmother who baked these delicacies, you wish that you had. George Greenstein was never a grandmother, but his life as a baker provided his children and grandchildren with memories infused with the smell of fresh baked bread and rugelach. His daughters, Julia […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Fusing Israeli and Holocaust History, Novel Offers a ‘Middle Eastern Western’

    Fusing Israeli and Holocaust History, Novel Offers a ‘Middle Eastern Western’ – There is a game that all of us have played at some time in our lives. We ask ourselves: What would my life be like if I had gone to this school instead of that one, or if I had married this girl instead of that one? In their newly published book The Ambassador, authors Yehuda Avner and Matt Rees play that game with modern Jewish history. Avner — who died earlier this year, and was a speechwriter, secretary and adviser to […]

    Read more →