If Palestinian Leaders Want Peace, They Should Stop Making War

Citing a routine by the comedian Bob Newhart in which a psychiatrist responds to a patient’s description of her self-destructive behaviors with the advice “Stop it!,” Kevin Williamson suggests that the Israel-Palestinian conflict will come to an end only when and if Palestinian leaders decide to stop engaging in, supporting, and funding terrorism:

A peace plan isn’t peace. Peace negotiations aren’t peace. Nobel Peace Prizes aren’t peace, either, though they were handed out after the Oslo Accords. Peace is peace.

And war is war: there were 169 Palestinian suicide attacks between 1993 [when the Oslo Accords were signed] and 2016, targeting shopping malls, bus depots, [and] the streets of downtown Jerusalem. In 2014 alone, there were 4,500 rocket and mortar attacks on Israelis. The Palestinians still proudly celebrate their stunning military victory over a pregnant woman, seven children, and five other civilians eating pizza at the Battle of Sbarro. There is constant violence on the Gaza border, and balloons and kites now are used to deliver incendiary devices into Israeli cities. There are practically no diplomatic relationships between the Israeli government and the Palestinian government, partly because the Palestinians have two competing governments run by two competing terrorist organizations: Fatah in the West bank and Hamas in Gaza. . . .

The conflict in Israel might be settled in a million different ways, but Palestinian powers reject 999,999 of those possibilities in favor of the one outcome that the Israelis cannot accept: the elimination of the Jewish state as such. To the extent that the Palestinian powers have the consent of the people they purport to rule, this is what is being consented to: war and more war, misery and more misery, with the Palestinians themselves suffering some of the worst of it. But the Israelis cannot make peace with people who will not make peace with them. They can only do what they have tried to do: protect themselves and look for harm-reduction opportunities.

[For the time being], the Israeli state exists, and the Palestinian state, thank goodness, does not, being as it is barely more than a dangerous hypothesis. A state is a weapon as fearsome as a nuclear missile, and one can guess what the Palestinians would try to do with one, if they had one that worked.

Read more at National Review

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Nobel Prize, Oslo Accords, Peace Process, Second Intifada

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy