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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish New York Giants Guard Plans to Fast on Yom Kippur

    Jewish New York Giants Guard Plans to Fast on Yom Kippur

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz said on Wednesday that he will not eat anything between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday in observation of Yom Kippur, ESPN reported. “If I was playing, I wouldn’t fast, because I’ve got to be able to fuel myself to play,” said the Jewish athlete, who is on short-term leave due to a toe injury. “But it’s not that tough, really. I’ll eat dinner at 5:00 Friday, then I’ll go to services and I’ll just [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.