Palestinian state: How to lose and still come out a winner

The Fatah-Hamas deal will never produce unity or two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace. What it actually embodies is one more not-so-stealthy attempt to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

Fatah Hamas press conference 521 (photo credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)
Fatah Hamas press conference 521
(photo credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)
A wise man once gave the formula for a struggling nation to become great: Start a war with the United States and lose. Sage advice once, but it may not apply anymore. Today there are never supposed to be clear winners. Conflict must stop short of humiliating either side so that losers can claim victory, and winners can fill the coffers of their former enemies with goodies.
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Sound absurd? Then consider what’s taking place today.
Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel, recently declared, “Unless the US, Israel and the Palestinians have an alternative, the Palestinian [Quartet peace] plan can not [sic] be won. . . . If there isn’t anything else, then in September [2011] there will be a vote in the UN that will recognize a Palestinian state, just like the UN recognized Israel in 1948.”
“The real question,” Indyk opined, “is to find a way to return to thenegotiating table”; and he recommended Israel recognize a Palestinianstate in pre-1967 borders.
Pragmatically, on April 27, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader MahmoudAbbas hammered out an implausible deal to unify the PA with its formerarchenemies, Hamas, the terrorist rulers in Gaza. The deal was designedto create the illusion that the Palestinians have a regime capable ofbeing, as one PA leader put it, ready for statehood.
Obvious to all who are not suffering from self-induced blindness is thefact that the deal will never produce unity or two states, Israel andPalestine, living side by side in peace. What it actually embodies isone more not-so-stealthy attempt to wipe Israel off the face of the map.
Truth be told, neither Hamas’s intractable thugs nor Abbas, a YasserArafat clone in a suit, have any intention of making peace with theJewish state. Indyk’s position that Israel retreat to the pre-1967“borders” is only the first slice of the proverbial salami beforeIslamists take Israel apart one piece at a time until there is noJewish state left.
Prof. Barry Rubin observed,
"Hamas is probably quite happy with the idea that many countries - andperhaps the UN - will recognize an independent Palestinian stateunconditionally. In other words, there will be a widely, orinternationally, accepted Palestine without the need to make peace withIsrael. No concessions need be made. The Palestinians will geteverything and give up nothing. They will not be bound in any way byborder changes or security guarantees. The struggle to wipe Israel offthe map can continue. It’s Hamas’s dream come true."
Buoying the enthusiasm for making the move now must be the spontaneouscrusade for freedom ostensibly sweeping the Middle East. However, therace for undefined change may, in fact, end up moving the region frompartially regrettable regimes to insufferable, repressive Islamistdictatorships. The West has not yet caught on to the fact that therevolution in Egypt was not a win for democracy.
Ousted president Hosni Mubarak - a friend of America and Europe and arespecter of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel - now lives under thespecter of a hangman’s noose. The radical Muslim Brotherhood,implicitly involved in the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat, Mubarak’spredecessor, has captured the flag; and the free world will have tolive with what it naively cheered on.
The same will be true with a Palestinian state. Hamas terrorists willseize control, as they have in Gaza, and Islamist radicalism willenslave the nation. Western recognition of the tragic error will cometoo late.
Occupied or Forfeited Territory
The bulk of the argument for non-negotiated Israeli concessions is thatthe “occupation” of Arab and Palestinian lands must be redressed andthe areas returned to their “rightful owners.” Unfortunately, most ofthe world’s political, social, and academic elitists have bought intothe delusion that forcing Israel to surrender the territories and ahefty chunk of Jerusalem will atone for so-called Jewish transgressions.
In reality, the territories under dispute are not occupied. They areforfeited. The Arabs lost them in the course of executing wars toannihilate Israel. It is all but forgotten (and if not forgotten,certainly ignored) that little Israel was forced to fight for itssurvival multiple times and against overwhelming odds. The aggressorswere over-confident Arab opportunists, such as Egypt, Syria, and (in1967) Jordan, that launched attacks with one objective in mind: thetotal destruction of the Jewish state.
They lost; and, in the process, they forfeited the Golan Heights,Judea/Samaria (West Bank), and Jerusalem. They were the architects oftheir own defeat. Any other generation would have felt the bulliesreaped their just reward. Not until the current crop of internationalsurrealists took their seats, declaring the losers to be the winners,was the occupation issue even raised.
Indyk also called the pre-1967 lines “borders,” which, of course, theywere not. They were armistice lines, drawn in 1949 when the exhaustedArabs conceded their inability to destroy the fledgling Jewish entitypopulated by impoverished Holocaust survivors. So it was agreed thatfuture negotiations between the parties, Jews and Arabs, would beconducted to establish permanent, secure, and defined borders.
The partition plan adopted by the UN in November 1947 created Jewishand Arab territories, with the Arabs getting the lion’s share. TheArabs, however, rejected the offer. Israel agreed and became a bonafide member of the international community. Thus, when Mr. Indyk statedthat, in September, the UN “will recognize a Palestinian state, justlike the UN recognized Israel in 1948,” he neglected to say the UNalready did so—in 1948. It was the Arabs, now dubbed Palestinians, whorejected statehood and opted instead for war.
Now, 63 years, four wars, two intifadas, and innumerable deadlyskirmishes later, the Arabs are back. This time, however, they bringwith them a gang of anti-Israel UN compatriots in an attempt to obtainwhat could not be bought with bombs.
Charging Israel with intransigence and accusing it of blocking the wayto peace will not wash. Israel has demonstrated its sincerity time andagain.
● In 1979 it ceded the vital Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt in exchange for a “cool” peace. 
● In 2000 Israel abandoned the security zone in South Lebanon, only tosee it seized by Iranian-inspired Hezbollah terrorists armed to theteeth.
● In August 2005 it gifted the Palestinians with beautiful homes,thriving farms, and greenhouses when it evacuated the Gaza Strip. Hamastook control and dismantled everything.
Western leaders, far from the scene and farther from having a clueabout the situation, keep insisting Israel must make hard decisions forpeace. The concessions Israel has already made were hard decisions.Each was followed by demands to cede even more land in exchange forpromises that Arabs have never honored in the past and are not likelyto honor in the future.
I’ve heard it sung, “All or nothing at all.” The Arab/Islamic world andUN are cooking up another version: “All [from Israel] for nothing atall [from the Palestinians].”
A Blossom in the Desert
When all is said and done, what will the result be? Israel will remainthe Jewish homeland, while Arab radicals will continue huffing andpuffing about orchestrating its demise. This will, of course, benothing new. It’s been going on since before Israel was miraculouslyreborn as a modern state.
Therein is an inscrutable irony. The history of the Jewish state can besummed up by the phrase against all odds. Scattered to the four windsfor 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish people should not have survived.After the horrors of the 1930s and ’40s, the tattered remnant of Jewrystruggled back to its infant state only to be attacked by five Arabnations. Humanly speaking, these people should not have made itthrough. And after six decades of bellicose promises to wipe out whatjustice and sanity has restored, Israel, against all odds, not only hassurvived but thrived!
Journalist Caroline Glick validated the point that, despite theballyhooed pariah-state nonsense leveled against it, Israel is farahead of the game where the ability to compete and succeed counts:
"According to the latest data released by the Central Bureau ofStatistics, Israel’s economy grew 7.8 percent in the last quarter of2010. International trade is rising steeply. In the first quarter of2011, exports rose 27.3%. They grew 19.9% in the final quarter of lastyear. Imports rose 34.7% between January and March, and 38.9% in thelast quarter of 2010. The Israel-bashing EU remains Israel’s largesttrading partner. And even as Turkey embraced Hamas and Iran as allies,its trade with Israel reached an all time high last year. These tradedata expose a truth that the doom and gloomers are unwilling to notice:For the vast majority of Israelis the threat of international isolationis empty."
So why is the most progressive, entrepreneurial, technologicallysuperior, economically stable, Western-oriented, democratic country inthe Middle East odiously accused of apartheid behavior by the verycountries that should, in fact, admire and emulate its achievements?
Furthermore, why do the democratic nations that benefit most fromIsrael’s industry, loyalty, and standing as the only real force forfreedom in the region choose to coddle its most notorious enemies? Whydo they ask Israel to honor repressive regimes by surrendering itssecurity? Why do they want to put the nation in a perpetual state ofwar?
Beyond all of the politics, posturing, and wrongheaded thinking, thereality is that the Jewish state endures as a perennial blossom in thearid desert of the Middle East. That fact brings to mind God’s promisethat someday Israel will be fully restored to its place of places andwill at last live the vision of Isaiah 35:1: “The wilderness and thewasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice andblossom as the rose.”
In this day of faint hearts and failing spirits, we can all be reminded that, against all odds, God’s promises endure forever.
The writer is executive editor for The Friends of Israel.