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 *

More...

  • Food Jewish Identity Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    JNS.org – Several Viennese Jews have made a lasting impact on the world. Sigmund Freud’s investigations changed the face of modern psychology. Composer Arnold Schoenberg’s innovations in atonal music changed the face of music. These days, even more Jews — in particular, Israeli Jews — are changing the face of Vienna’s culinary scene with innovations in…the art of the pita. Freudians may find a psychoanalytic motive for the local appeal of the Israeli eateries popping up in the Austrian capital. Walk […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    The two bullet casings are already beginning to rust. Sheikh Nasser Pasha plucks them from the ground. “Look, one is from an AK-47, one from an American M-4.” The casings are strewn on the ground atop a long mound of dirt with a few bits of white sticks on it. It would appear unremarkable if one were walking by it. A closer look, however, reveals the white objects are pieces of human bone: arms, legs, and a single human skull. […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →