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Murder as Politics
Even as growing numbers of Palestinian terrorists stab madly at Israeli men, women, and children, much of the world still endorses creation of "Palestine." Such mindless support continues, moreover, despite the fact that the Palestinians themselves reject any sort of two-state solution. Indeed, the latest such poll (September 2015), conducted by Palestinian research organizations, concluded that almost half the resident Arabs strongly favor the use of armed force and generalized violence against Israeli noncombatants.
For the most part, western news reports notwithstanding, knife wielding attackers are not "lone wolves." Rather, they have been conspicuously spurred on by vitriolic PA incitements, and by carefully synchronized calls from the mosques to murder "The Jews."
The Palestinian Authority shares with Hamas the irredentist vision of a one-state solution. There is nothing hidden or ambiguous about this true plan for Israel's disappearance. It is plainly codified on the official maps of both factions, where Israel is identified only as "Occupied Palestine."
For virtually all Arab forces in the Middle East, the conflict with Israel is never about land. It is about God, and about always-related promises of personal immortality. It is about power over death.
For the Palestinians, their carefully sanitized public rhetoric notwithstanding, the enemy is not the Israelis (that term is just subterfuge, for the media), but "The Jews." The screaming young Palestinian, who strikes indiscriminately with his serrated blade, fully expects to become a "martyr." He only risks "death" in order not to die.
There is more. A Palestinian state — any Palestinian state — would rapidly be taken over by ISIS, or by related jihadi adversaries. Already, ISIS is operating in parts of Syria that could bring it to the critical borders of Israel's Golan Heights. Significantly, it has also set recognizable operational sights on Jordan and West Bank (Judea/Samaria).
Over the next several months, and even while the Palestinian Authority continues to orchestrate more "Third Intifada" attacks on Israelis, ISIS will commence its fated march westward, across Jordan, ending up at the eastern boundaries of West Bank. These boundaries, of course, would represent the territorial margins of what PA/Fatah both already affirm as the geographic heart of "Palestine."
Palestinian forces, primarily Fatah, would then yield to ISIS, and to its local proxies. Fatah would then have to choose between pleading with the Jewish State to become an ally against a now-common foe, or abandoning all its residual military operations to the Israel Defense Forces directly. Arguably, without IDF assistance in such desperate circumstances, "Palestine" wouldn't stand a chance.
One additional irony ought to be noted. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long made acceptance of any Palestinian state contingent upon prior Palestinian "demilitarization." Should the Palestinian Authority and Hamas somehow accede to this problematic expectation, it could make ISIS' predictable destructions in the area much easier to carry out. Paradoxically, a "Palestine" that had properly stood by its pre-state legal concessions to Israel, could effectively increase the overall danger posed to both Palestinians and Israelis.
What about Jordan? Under pertinent international law, the Hashemite Kingdom has incurred certain binding obligations regarding joint cooperation with Israel against terrorism. These obligations, as reinforcing complements to more generally binding legal rules, are expressly codified at the 1994 Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Could this treaty still have any palpable effect upon Jordan's capacity to militarily block anticipated ISIS advances?
Not at all. The more generic problem of enforcing treaties had already been identified back in the 17th century, by Thomas Hobbes. Said the English philosopher, in his "Leviathan," a work well known to America's founding fathers: "Covenants, without the Sword, are but words ..."
From the 17th century onward, the world political system has been anarchic, or, in Hobbesian terms, a "state of nature." In the anarchic Middle East, especially, considerations of raw power routinely trump international law. Here, too, truth here may be counter-intuitive. On those endlessly perplexing matters concerning Palestinian statehood, for example, it is finally time to understand that "Palestine's" true enemy in the region is not Israel, but rather a hideously sordid amalgam of Islamist Arab forces. Going forward, any further Palestinian advances toward statehood would likely be solely to the longer-term tactical advantage of ISIS.
Is this the sort of statehood cause that should be enthusiastically supported in Washington, and in most European capitals? It is, but only if we should first want to see an expansion of "Third Intifada" terror to the homeland. Not likely.
If you like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, you'll love "Palestine."
First published in the Washington Times.