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What the 'Third Intifada' Really Means
Even as growing numbers of Palestinian terrorists stab lasciviously at defenseless Israeli civilians, the world still obligingly urges creation of a Palestinian state. These unfathomable urgings, based entirely on the conspicuously false narrative of an Israeli "occupation," also elicit unreasonable support from U.S. President Barack Obama. Perhaps, in what is most ironic, amid these grievously corrosive developments, is that most Palestinians, according to recent polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, unhesitatingly oppose any "two-state solution."
The September 2015 Palestinian-conducted poll concluded as follows: Almost half of the resident Arab population strongly favors expanding the use of armed force and generalized violence against Israeli noncombatants. Further, the poll revealed, this preference is undiminished by any prospective Israeli willingness to accept Palestinian statehood. So why launch the hideous Palestinian terror?
There are no jurisprudential ambiguities in this situation. Under authoritative international law, Palestinian violence against the innocent can never represent any permissible expressions of a properly revolutionary ethos. In law, such violence can exhibit only ordinary crime and fiendish murder. No legal ambiguities here.
There is more. Left to proceed toward full and formal sovereignty (Palestine is already a "nonmember observer state," but only for limited purposes of the United Nations), the new state would then expectedly continue its pre-independence program of war and terror against Israel. After all, from the acknowledged standpoint of every operational Palestinian faction, Israel itself is "occupied territory."
Should there be any doubt about this insidious definition, one need only to check today's official Palestinian Authority and Hamas maps of "Palestine." On each such map, Palestine is drawn to include all of Israel. Should there be any further doubts, one need simply recall that the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, three years before there could have been any "occupied territories." What, exactly, was the PLO trying to "liberate"?
There is more. In time, the new Arab state, even if it should governed by the jihadists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and not the reassuringly "moderate" Palestinian Authority and Fatah, would almost certainly fall to the Islamic State group. Already, the black flag of the Islamic State group can be seen flying in those contested portions of Egypt's Sinai that are closest to Palestinian Gaza.
When this complete takeover actually happens, the Arab terrorists of the Islamic State group will gleefully murder the Arab terrorists of Palestine. Ultimately, this will be followed by the enslavement of certain remainders of the Palestinian population. In this altogether plausible narrative, it will finally turn out that the truest barrier to Palestinian statehood was never Israel – which had, in fact, been seeking negotiated solutions for a very long time – but rather another organized and even more fanatical band of Sunni insurgents. Then, Palestine could quickly be expected to become another Syria.
Those who like Syria will absolutely love Palestine.
Even if the Palestinian Authority and Hamas should together be able to garner Jerusalem's final accession to their always-jumbled, disjointed and fratricidal statehood claims, no Palestinian state could stand up to disciplined and foreseeable Islamic State group aggressions. This makes the insistently barbarous "Third Intifada" now being waged against Israeli schools, restaurants, buses and synagogues doubly misguided. Now, it should be evident, the primal Palestinian war on noncombatants is being waged, however unwittingly, on behalf of a rival Sunni terrorist group.
The barbarous Palestinian assaults now being committed against Israeli civilians – not "lone wolf" assaults, but orchestrated attacks carefully incited by Palestinian leaders – will have been for the benefit of an even more criminal Islamic State group.
Still, nothing about this blatantly lethal surrogacy is understood in official Washington, or, for that matter, by any of the recognizable presidential aspirants, Democrat or Republican, male or female. To be sure, it has yet to come up in any so-called presidential "debate." To be sure, it won't come up in any debate until the assorted candidates' 30-something graduate students give them a completed index card, instructing them on precisely what to say.
During the many years that Fatah and Hamas terrorists were busily slaughtering each other (as well as Israeli civilians), Jerusalem's persistent warnings about Palestine were conveniently swept under America's diplomatic rug. Not even after 9/11, when both Fatah and Hamas enthusiastically celebrated America's great misfortune, did the United States and its allies bother to re-evaluate their traditional support of Palestine. One must inquire, therefore, especially as another presidential election approaches: Is it even "normal" for an aggrieved American nation to support Palestinian statehood, on behalf of an openly and continuously hateful Arab terror organization? Should America be fighting the Islamic State group and supporting a jihadist "Palestine" at the very same time?
At present, in what may turn out to be an utterly supreme irony, Hamas and Israel are simultaneously threatened by conspicuous Islamic State group advances to Gaza. In these observably disciplined military movements, various jihadist groups loyal to the Islamic State group have already exchanged gun and rocket fire with Hamas fighters, planted bombs in public Palestinian buildings and visibly prepared for an expanding war with Hamas. Quite recently, when Hamas reportedly blew up a mosque believed to be a base for Islamic State group loyalists, a group calling itself Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem quickly offered the following statement of fealty: "In light of Hamas' latest action, we renew our allegiance to [Islamic State group leader] Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and call on him to strengthen his influence, to open up a war in Palestine, in order to unite together in a war against the Jews and their accomplices."
For virtually all Arab forces in the Middle East, conflict with Israel is never really about land. Always, it is about God. The common core enemy, therefore, is never Israel as such. This true enemy is "the Jews," always, all Jews.
By now, Obama's once demeaned "junior varsity" has expanded beyond Iraq and Syria, into Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Egypt. In Egypt, Israel and the United States already have substantially reasonable fears about any resurgence of Muslim Brotherhood power. The Brotherhood, of course, which is separate from both the Islamic State group and Taliban, is the parent organization of Hamas, which remains the prevailing authority in Gaza.
What might all of this mean for regional stability and wider global geopolitics? In the best case scenario, a fully unleashed Hamas might still be able to fend off the Islamic State group, but only after it had first expressed an even greater willingness and capacity to murder.
In the worst case scenario, the Islamic State group would prove itself more capable than Hamas, and thereby make impressively fast work of those "indigenous" Palestinian authorities still remaining on the Strip.
The Islamic State group is already operating in parts of Syria that could bring it to the borders of Israel's Golan Heights. It has also set operational sights on Jordan and the West Bank (Judea/Samaria). Expectedly, over the next several months, and even while the Palestinian Authority continues to orchestrate more "Third Intifada" attacks on Israelis, it will commence its determined march westward, across Jordan, ending up at the eastern boundaries of the West Bank. These boundaries, of course, would represent the territorial margins of what the Palestinian Authority and Fatah both already recognize as the geographic heart of "Palestine."
In all likelihood, Palestinian forces, primarily Fatah, would yield to the Islamic State group and its local allies. Fatah would then have to choose between pleading with Israel to become a Palestinian ally, against a now-common foe, or leaving all residual military operations directly to the Israel Defense Forces. 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 particular expectation, it could make the Islamic State group's 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 would effectively enlarge the overall existential 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 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 Islamic State group advances? Not at all.
In the Middle East, especially, considerations of raw power routinely trump any expectations of law. Truth here may also be counter-intuitive. On those endlessly perplexing matters concerning Palestinian statehood, it is finally time to understand that "Palestine's" true enemy in the region is not Israel, but instead a sordid mix of Islamist Arab forces. Once again, going forward, any Palestinian advances toward statehood would likely be to the longer-term tactical advantage of the Islamic State group.
The only prudent way to prevent an eventual Islamic State group takeover of "Palestine" would be for the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to cease their "Third Intifada" against Israel, and to acknowledge a genuinely shared Israeli-Palestinian opposition to all planned Islamic State group aggressions. Without such an acknowledgment, any future state of Palestine would add even more bodies to the growing mass of migrants now pressing relentlessly upon a beleaguered Europe.
If you like Syria, you will absolutely love Palestine. This is the truest meaning of any "Third Intifada."
First published in US News and World Report.