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January 4, 2017 6:52 am

This Is the Moment for an Israeli Victory

avatar by Daniel Pipes

Email a copy of "This Is the Moment for an Israeli Victory" to a friend
 Israeli flags. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli flags. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” began in December 1988, when Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat met American conditions and “accepted United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, recognized Israel’s right to exist and renounced terrorism” (actually, given Arafat’s heavily accented English, it sounded like he “renounced tourism”).

That peace process screeched to an end in December 2016, when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334. Khaled Abu Toameh, perhaps the best-informed analyst of Palestinian politics, interprets the resolution as telling the Palestinians: “Forget about negotiating with Israel. Just pressure the international community to force Israel to comply with the resolution and surrender up all that you demand.”

As 28 years of frustration and futility clang to a sullen close, the time is nigh to ask, “What comes next?”

I propose an Israeli victory and a Palestinian defeat. That is to say, Washington should encourage Israelis to take steps that cause Mahmoud Abbas, Khaled Mashal, Saeb Erekat, Hanan Ashrawi, and the rest of that crew to realize that the gig is up, that no matter how many UN resolutions are passed, their foul dream of eliminating the Jewish state is defunct, that Israel is permanent, strong, and tough. After the leadership recognizes this reality, the Palestinian population at large will follow, as will eventually other Arab and Muslim states, leading to a resolution of the conflict. Palestinians will gain by finally being released from a cult of death to focus instead on building their own policy, society, economy, and culture.

While the incoming Trump administration’s Middle East policies remain obscure, President-elect Trump himself vociferously opposed Resolution 2334 and has signaled (for example, by his choice of David M. Friedman as ambassador to Israel) that he is open to a dramatically new approach to the conflict, one far more favorable to Israel than Barack Obama’s. With his life-long pursuit of winning (“We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning”), Trump would probably be drawn to an approach that has our side win and the other side lose.

Victory also suits the current mood of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s not just furious at being abandoned in the United Nations, he has an ambitious vision of Israel’s global importance. Further, his being photographed recently carrying a copy of historian John David Lewis’s Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History (Princeton University Press, 2010) signals that he is explicitly thinking in terms of victory in war; Lewis in his book looks at six case studies, concluding that in each of them “the tide of war turned when one side tasted defeat and its will to continue, rather than stiffening, collapsed.”

Finally, the moment is right in terms of the larger trends of regional politics. That the Obama administration effectively became an ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran scared Sunni Arab states, Saudi Arabia at the fore, into being far more realistic than ever before; needing Israel for the first time, the “Palestine” issue has lost some of its salience and Arab conceits about Israel as the arch enemy have been to some extent abandoned, creating an unprecedented potential flexibility.

For these four reasons — Security Council Resolution 2334, Trump, Netanyahu and Iran — the moment is right to meet the new year and the new administration with a revamped Middle East policy, one aiming for the Palestinians to “taste defeat.”

Daniel Pipes (@DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • arthur M. alex

    As previously mentioned-President-Elect Trump is off to a very bad start!

    He has reneged on his promise to establish an American Embassy in the true capital of Israel-Jerusalem, opting out for an Ambassadorial “Office” in Jerusalem, with the real Embassy remaining in Tel Aviv!
    What a disappointment!!!

  • arthur M. alex

    The only substitute for victory, is the obliteration of, and dispersion of [the false name of the remnants of] the non-existent entity who call themselves by this Greek word-Palestine ,to Jordan, Lebanon,and Saudi Arabia, if they will have these savages!

    • robert Davis

      Names are only words. If you cancel one they can take another! The only long lasting solution with favourable results to Israel is EVICTION. Then they will NEVER RETURN no matter what. And they ALL know it so they will stop the pressures. This is also why they are speeding now.

      • arthur M. alex

        Eviction to where! Jordan has the largest so-called palestinian population in southwest asia!
        It is the de-facto palestinian state, ergo a palestinian state is extant, so why create another one!
        Place them all in the Jordanian desert, and let them decease by attrition!

  • Larry Andrews

    This is extremely wishful thinking. Right now, the Palestinians do have the will to fight.
    And, to defeat that will requires numerous changes all favorable to Israel. Let’s begin with the first favorable change. The US moves its Israel embassy to Jerusalem. Then, let’s see what transpires.

    • robert Davis

      “Palestinians” have the same “will to fight” as …nasser’s troops in 1967 Your understanding of arabs is far fetched and orientalist.

      • arthur M. alex

        They were also defeated in 6-days lest we forget history!
        That’s not much of a “will to fight”!!

    • arthur M. alex

      Unfortunately, Trump has reneged on his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Th embassy will remain in Tel Aviv, with a satellite office in Jerusalem.

      So sad!

  • watsa46

    The problem: the continuous support given by the Int. community to the nihilistic Palestinians!!!

    • robert Davis

      The “int’l community” is a bunch of moslems and leftwing nihilists meaning…0.00000 in terms of any kind of capacity except blabber.

  • lovezion

    Mr. Pipes I love your thinking!!! I hope you are right. Why my pessimism? Because this ogre who portends to be a distinguished president won’t go away and instead conspires nonstop with his gangsters to make our president Donald Trump’s work almost impossible…to say nothing of Israel’s life… 🙁

    He scares the hell of me with his “shadow government” after having done consistent evil to both Israel and America during his 8 disastrous years!


    • arthur M. alex

      I think your reference to a “shadow government” has a lot to do with the feckless “spook” who illegally occupied “The People’s House”
      Hopefully, the FBI, under the rubric of Jeff Sessions, and his Department of Justice will dispatch the negro community organizer once and for all!!!

  • Larry Andrews

    This is extremely wishful thinking. Right now, the Palestinian Arabs do have the will to fight, and to defeat that will requires many changes all going in Israel’s favor. It is possible for that to happen, but let’s begin with the first change. Moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem, and then seeing what the immediate aftermath is.

  • robert Davis

    All of this blabber would NOT bring peace no matter what plo says to make friends with Israel as well as the rest of them. ONLY GEOPOLITICS COUNT NOT THE BLABBER, you will never understand this unfortunately and this is why you can’t win UNLESS YOU END UP TO UNDERSTAND IT. The more documents of no value would be signed the worse for Israel because the bad political currency would replace the good one. The only thing to do is expel arabs BEFORE anything is signed, the arabs not the chiefs who can be replaced in a jiffy. The people when expelled CANNOT BE REPLACED. I hope jews and Israeli stupid “leaders” will understand this before it’s too late. Sanctions are nothing compared to a bad treaty with those puppets.