Facing Unpleasant Facts in the Middle East
By Steven Plaut
The world is now well into the post-Oslo. post-911 era, in which the delusions and denials of reality that were the foundations of the “Middle East peace process” are at last being acknowledged for what they were. For those returning to the planet Earth from Fantasyland in the “Oslo” parallel universe, it behooves them and us all to bear in mind some of the unpleasant facts of life about the Middle East.
1. The Arab world has never come to terms with Israel’s existence within ANY set of borders whatsoever and is still seeking the annihilation of Israel and its population.
2. ANY Palestinian state, regardless of who rules it, will produce escalated violence, terror and warfare in the Middle East, and neither stability nor peaceful relations. ANY Palestinian state will seek warfare with Israel and not solutions to the economic and social problems of its citizens.
3. The only reason Arafat and the PLO ever wanted control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was to use them as bases for attacks on Israel. This is the only real use to which they will be put by any future Palestinian state.
4. There is no alternative that will stop the bloodshed and war in the Middle East other than the adoption by Israel of an unambiguous policy of R&D, that is, of Re-Occupation and Denazification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Every other alternative proposal for stabilization and pacification is delusional.
5. Denazification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip must be based partly on the programs of Denazification imposed on Germany and Japan by the Allies after World War II, but in part must be different. Such Denazification policies will have to stay in place for decades. There is no other way by which Israel can prevent the daily massacre of its civilians by Palestinian terrorists.
6. The bulk of Palestinians have lived outside Israeli “occupation” for years, and their “liberation” from Israeli “occupation” only produced Nazification, terrorism, mass murders, and violence. Their pacification requires re-imposing of open-ended martial rule upon them by Israel.
7. The instability of the Middle East is not caused by Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands but by PLO occupation of Israeli lands.
8. There was never in history an Arab Palestinian state. There is no justification whatsoever for one now (other than perhaps in Jordan).
9. The Palestinians have no legitimate claim to the right to set up their own state. It is doubtful whether they ever did have such a right, but – even if they once did – they forfeited it thanks to decades of terrorism, savagery, mass murders and barbarism.
10. Palestinians are Arabs. The Arabs already rule 22 states. There is no reason why they should be entitled to a 23rd state, and creation of a 23rd Arab state, “Palestine”, in the West Bank and Gaza will escalate Middle East violence and world terrorism.
11. The Palestinians are not and never were a “nation”. They are not even a tribe. They are a branch of Arabs with only minor and secondary cultural differences that distinguish them from Syrians, Lebanese or Jordanians.
12. The Middle East conflict cannot be resolved through endless exhibitions of niceness and restraint by Israel. Israeli niceness, restraint, and goodwill gestures are interpreted by the Arab world as weakness and as signs that the Jews, like Paul McCartney’s Band, are on the run.
13. The Palestinians are not “mistreated” by Israel, but ARE poorly treated by the Palestinian Authority. The treatment of Arabs by Israel is a thousand times better than the treatment of Arabs by Arab countries.
14. The only Arabs in the Middle East with any semblance of civil rights are those who live under Israeli rule.
15. If the intifada “uprising” were in fact a product of oppression and mistreatment of Arabs by a government, then Israel should be the only country in the Middle East that does NOT have an intifada.
16. Oslo has radicalized and Sudetenized most Israeli Arabs, who now identify with and openly support Arab parties and politicians who call openly for terror violence against Jews and the destruction of Israel.
17. There exists no set of concessions by Israel that would result in the Arab states coming to terms with Israel’s existence.
18. There are no Arab democracies and no support for democracy among significant minorities within the Arab world.
19. Israeli assassination of Palestinian terrorists is in fact a substitute for retaliation in kind against the Palestinians for bombings of Israeli children and other civilians. The alternative to such assassinations is bombings of Palestinian civilians.
20. Israeli settlements are the “mine canaries” of the Arab world. There is no reason why Jewish civilians should not be free to live in peace within Arab countries truly seeking peace with Israel, just as Arabs live at peace within Israel and within the United States. The attitude of the Arab world in general and of the Palestinian Authority in particular towards such “settlements” is indicative of their attitudes towards Israel and Jews in general. If the Palestinians are NOT seeking peace with the Jews, and indeed they are not, then the real problem is that Israel has built too few settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
21. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that does NOT deal with Islamist terror through wholesale massacres of the people in whose midst the terrorists operate.
22. There is an inverse relationship between the material comfort of Arabs living under Israeli rule and political moderation. The better off they are in a material sense, the more violent and radical they are. More generally, Arab radicalism and terror are positively correlated with comfort and education and wealth. Bin Laden and his people are filthy rich. There have been no undernourished Palestinian suicide bombers. Many have been college students.
23. Palestinians endorse terrorism and violence against Jews by near-universal majorities.
24. Israeli Arabs endorse terror and violence against Jews by large majorities. They also support bin Laden and the Hizbollah.
25. There are no visible Palestinian public figures who oppose violence, terror and Islamist fascism. There are no Palestinian “moderate” leaders, only a few Palestinian fascists who speak English well and elegantly, like Hanan Ashrawi.
26. There is not and never has been a Palestinian “peace movement” nor a Syrian “peace movement”.
27. Syria has no legitimate claim to the Golan Heights. Its claim to the Golan is far less legitimate than German’s claim to Alsace and Lorraine.
28. The PLO, and not just the Hamas, is itself very much a manifestation of Islamist fascism and was founded by Islamist fundamentalists. Its head, Abu Mazen, is no more “moderate” than the heads of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
29. Asking Arafat to arrest the terrorists is a bit like asking Osama bin Laden to arrest those responsible for the September 11 attacks on the US or asking Hitler to take steps against those who invaded Poland. It is all part of the Oslo era of mass delusion and make-pretend.
30. Peace cannot be achieved through pretending that war does not exist.
31. The Israeli Left is responsible for the bloodshed in Israel. The Israeli Left rescued the PLO from oblivion in the early 1990s, armed it, and allowed it to become entrenched in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The Israeli Left is as wacky as is the pro-Taliban, pro-Saddam campus Left in the United States. It is today as anti-Israel as the US far Left is anti-American.
32. Ehud Olmert and his crew have yet to detach themselves from the pipe dreams and denials of reality imposed on the country by the Israeli Left, those that produced the Oslo debacle. They continue to insist they favor creation of a Palestinian state.
33. The only peaceful terrorist is a dead terrorist.
34. Israel cannot restore the credibility of its military prowess through “signaling,” but rather only through using that prowess and putting its military might to actual use.
35. Unilateral withdrawal by Israel produces massive terrorist aggression. Anyone nursing doubts should contemplate what Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from Southern Lebanon produced in the summer of 2006.