Appeasement, not Victory: Israel Has Quickly Reverted to Its Bad Old Policies

Those failed policies mean primarily one thing: Wrongly assuming that enrichment — more work permits in Israel, a larger fishing zone, outside funding — gives Palestinians something to lose, taming them and making them less inclined to aggression.

Symptoms of that sad reversion include:

The security establishment approved the entry of 8,000 West Bank workers to Israel, mostly to do agricultural work. It did so in response to Israel‘s agriculture minister assuring his colleagues that the workers had been vetted and posed no danger. That thousands of workers from Gaza had spied on Israel and made themselves complicit in the Oct. 7 massacre seemed to be forgotten.

On the West Bank itself, Israel‘s commanding general there issued oxymoronic orders limiting Arab access that appeared tough but changed little. As the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council explained, “There is no entry into Israeli towns for Arab workers. They will be permitted to enter industrial areas at night only.” Do marauders and murderers carry out their crimes only in daylight?

The Palestinian Authority, which nominally governs part of the West Bank, not only offered full-throated support for the Hamas massacre but boasted of having a role in it. It also required mosques in its jurisdiction to instruct congregants that exterminating Jews constitutes an Islamic duty. Despite this, the Israeli Cabinet continues to send tax money to the Palestinian Authority. Israel‘s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, endorsed this decision, saying, “It is appropriate to transfer and transfer immediately, the funds to the Palestinian Authority so that they will be used by its forces who help prevent terrorism.” (That theme of enrichment never seems to die.)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir tried to loosen the rules of engagement for police officers, permitting them in emergencies to shoot at the legs of aggressors, but Benny Gantz, a member of the War Cabinet, managed to deflect the vote, thereby keeping the more restrictive regulations in place.

Five days after Oct. 7, Israel closed its Public Diplomacy Ministry, providing a perfect symbol of Israel‘s historically hapless information efforts.

Contrarily, Israel‘s communications minister called Al Jazeera, the Qatari television channel, a “propaganda mouthpiece” that incites violence against Israel and attempted to shut down its office in Israel. The government rejected his recommendation, not wanting to upset the Qatari government, which had helped with the release of several hostages, thereby ignoring its role in perpetrating Oct. 7. Yossi Cohen, the former head of Mossad, goes further, saying he favors refraining from criticizing Qatar.

Before the massacre, Israel supplied Gaza with 49 million liters of fuel, or 9% of the territory’s daily consumption, through three pipelines. It cut all supplies after the massacre. But that lasted just 20 days, after which Israel reinstated 28.5 million liters through two pipelines. Why not all three? Because Hamas had damaged the third on Oct. 7, necessitating repairs.

Not to worry: Israel Defense Forces Col. Elad Goren announced his office had “assembled a team of experts who assess the humanitarian situation in Gaza on a daily basis.” Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, called this “simple idiocy.” Fuel supplies have also reportedly resumed.

Talk of victory did not stop negativism from quickly rearing its head. “I don’t see any kind of victory going out of this mess,” comments Fauda creator Avi Issacharoff. Orly Noy of B’Tselem cries out to her Israeli co-nationals, “I have no interest in the victory you’re offering me. … I’m ready to admit defeat.”

The principal of a public high school in Tel Aviv devoted 45 minutes to talking to three students who had come to school wrapped in Israeli flags. During the conversation, one student reported the principal pointed out that other students objected to such a display of patriotism, adding that if a large number of students came to school wrapped in Israeli flags, he would end this immediately.

I concluded a recent column by expecting that “the inflamed Israeli mood of the moment will likely fade with time, as old patterns reassert themselves and business-as-usual returns.” I was wrong in one aspect; it did not take time. Rather, at least in some respects, it occurred almost immediately.

Daniel Pipes (, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum and author of the just-published Islamism vs. the West: 35 Years of Geopolitical Struggle (Wicked Son).
November 19, 2023 | 19 Comments »

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19 Comments / 19 Comments

  1. Here’s hoping that when elections come on the horizon, some hardliners will form non-appeasement parties that will wipe away these bleeding heart, Palestinian-kissing, fearful of what the goyim say politicians from the Likud and Ganz’s party. If the citizens can’t see how useless they are at a time of a life-and-death war, they deserve them.

  2. @peloni-what the ____is the Carolinian right of Self-defense? This a genuine, not a rhetorical question. I have never heard this expression before, and have no idea what it refers to.

  3. I didn’t know anything before about Scott Ritters sex crimes. It certainly could be at least a partial explanarion of his sudden reversal of views about the Iraq war in 2003, It also could at least partially explain his anti-Israel stance now, as well as his ant-Ukraine statance for the past several years. If the Russian government knew of his sexual misconduct, they could have used to destroy his career as a commentator on international affairs, unless he agreed to always follow the Kremlin line.

  4. @ketzel2

    I assume you’re referring to my harping on Ritter’s history as a registered sex offender.

    It is irrelevant to the facts…this is what I meant. The law is the law. Either Russia had the support of the Carolian Right of Self Defense or she didn’t. It isn’t about Ritter, his lifestyle, his prison sentence or anything else related to Ritter. It is and always was about Russia and whether there was a significant threat massing on her border.

    You say

    Could it be that, even before they caught him and sent him to prison, they knew or suspected that his lifestyle was influencing his day job?

    Possibly so, but is it not also possible that he took on the head of the Biden crime family on live TV and later faced the consequences of doing so?

    To be honest, this is irrelevant, whatever the case might be. Either way he wasn’t wrong when he stated that Russia had a right of self defense, just as either way he was wrong when he states that Israel doesn’t have a right of any self defense.

    So it isn’t about the personalities, just the facts, and the inconsistent manner in which McGreggor et al apply them. Or at least that was the point I was trying to make in my comment.

  5. @ Adam, I concur with your comment as written below:

    Pro-Putin rcommentators Douglas MacGregor and Scott Ritter are backing Hamas against Israel in this war, Hostility to Ukraine and Hostility to Israel are not incompatible. Rather they go together. The people who are hostile to Ukraine tend to be hostile to Israel as well. Both are compatible with a pro_Russian and pro-Iran bias.

    There are some who are hostile to Ukraine but support Israel (you did say tend to be hostile)

  6. @Peloni writes

    but it is not their personas, not their personal proclivities, and not their associations which make them wrong

    I assume you’re referring to my harping on Ritter’s history as a registered sex offender. I would have thought I wouldn’t have to explain why it’s relevant to his work, but here goes, Rules for people in sensitive positions like nuclear inspectors 101.

    You know, when a guy pleasures himself in a chat room on more than one occasion, while chatting with an FBI agent pretending to be a 15 year old girl, no harm has really been done. When a 40 year old guy marries his 19 year old Russian interpreter supplied by the Russian government, who does this harm, really? 19 is plenty old enough to fall in love with an older man. Mazel Tov.

    Here is the problem. People with these tastes shouldn’t work for the government, and of course all governments are full of them. Why is this a bad thing? Could someone with an obsessive need for illegal or just icky sex possibly be controlled by procurement and/or blackmail?

    Why did the FBI go after Ritter instead of the thousands of similar men who do the same things? Could it be that, even before they caught him and sent him to prison, they knew or suspected that his lifestyle was influencing his day job?

    I don’t know, but some investigative reporter like Andy Ngo should get on this. He can’t do everything, there must be someone else. But there’s definitely a story there.

    When I discuss someone’s proclivities, it’s not because I’m judging what people do in private. Far from it, I participated in the 70s and, although I’ve moved to the right politically, my opinions on social issues have changed very little since then. I constantly defend the fegeles from my fellow Trumpers. They are not the problem, and neither are the secular people. I’m totally secular, but not a Satanist. Many conservatives can’t accept such a statement.

    So, I’m not judging Ritter for being an ephebophile, so much as I’m concerned about how his lifestyle has affected his work. And there are many more like him. If Qatar and Saudi Arabia have bought whole universities more or less, what might they do to individuals who crave underage girls or boys? Who else does this apply to?

  7. @Felix

    But I maintained an independent attitude

    Yes, though we differ from time to time on issues, I have often noticed your independent spirit outside of your persistent perspective on Trotsky, such as it is. An honest analysis is a base requirement of any assessment, and failing this, it leads to political analyses which only support conclusions already made and which are based on false assumptions.

    The problem with McGreggor et al is not that they were wrong when we agreed with them, it is that they specifically employ a separate yardstick when measuring equivalent situations in regards to Israel. For instance, Russia claimed the right of pre-emptive defense. Such claims have been well accepted in international affairs since the Carolinian Affair some 150 years ago. Yet when Israel is actually attacked, over a thousand non-combatants are brutally tortured and slaughtered, and a couple hundred are carried off like the women of Sabine, these same experts claim Israel has no right to respond.

    In fact, they were right when they were right, and they are wrong now that they are wrong, but it is not their personas, not their personal proclivities, and not their associations which make them wrong. They are wrong because they are acting like the Americans in suggesting that Israel alone is to be judged uniquely, her citizens alone are to be viewed uniquely, and her many slaughtered dead are less relevant than Russia’s concern about NATO’s intentions.

    Two things can be correct at the same time, but we must use the same standards to judge if they are right, and McGreggor et al fail to do so. Though they would be loathed to hear it, in this respect they are quite reminiscent of the Americans whom they chastise for interpreting International Law only in the light in which it suits their hegemonic purposes. Adopting such political analyses instead of pursuing honest conclusions only leads toward arbitrarily bad outcomes as is the the claim which they have used to judge the facts not related to Israel.

  8. I find the bullying tone of Felix’s remarks directed towads me offensive. He is not the webmaster of Israpundit,, and it is not up to him to decide who can post and what people can post on Israpundit. Ted, I appeal to you to counsel Felix to observe a modicum of civility towards other commenters on the site. And if he fails to do that, I think he should be banned from the site.
    This is definitely a matter, for you, not me, to decide, I respect you as the sole authorityat Israpundit.. This is only my personal opinion as to what should be done about Felix’s chronic abusuveness,

  9. @AdamDalgliesh

    Not on this site Adam

    You lost the argument because some people here know the history

    And they now should know that you would not touch that history with a barge pole

    Zelensky is interested only in survival

    And he made deals with devils to survive.

    And he wanted in that endeavour to strip Israel of its arms

    Where would Israel thereby be now after October 7?

    Adam answer that or shut up about Ukraine.

  10. Vivarto

    Very good points all round. But this one can you explain?

    “They also have poor understanding of Taiwan and China.”

  11. I have lost correct facility

    My post coincided timewise with Ketzel2

    I am pushed for time. I hope someone else will spend time on a truly awful post.

  12. How to make sense of these comments. Most are terrific. The problem lies in one.

    Firstly Pipes here is brilliant. How can he get this info and we cannot AT ALL is a major problem for me.

    The clue comes in Adams piece.

    He is still on this NeoCon track which has become dogma

    We soon realised that McGregor and Ritter had useful information..I saw that personally and used it.

    But I maintained an independent attitude

    Three months ago I posed a number of serious questions to Adam REF. BANDERA Pogroms and other things

    I wrote in a way they could not be missed by Adam.


    That means to me Adam is not after information and the truth

    This dogma is killing

    It is the most serious question of all questions and failure on this blocks all way forward.


    I feel grateful to Pipes

  13. @Adam, I linked a while ago to a Scott Ritter substack essay where he turns on Israel openly, so everyone here is already over him. One thing I’d like to see is a re evaluation of everything he’s ever done as an arms inspector, etc., as he is obviously compromised because of his long history of underage sex scandals. Putin supplied him with a 19 year old translator, whom he later married. I never understood why anyone with his proclivities could work as a nuclear inspector.

  14. @Adam Dalgliesh

    Scott Ritter, and still more McGregor have good understanding of Ukraine, and poor understanding of the situation in Israel.
    They also have poor understanding of Taiwan and China.

    Therefore I find their analysis of Ukraine valuable, while their opinions on Israel are uninformed.

  15. Oy Vay. I guess you can’t teach an old do new tricks. Israel is not viable long term as a sovereign state, Only a truly radical change in Israel’s policies, a 180 degree turn away from appeasement and the removal of all appeasers from government positions, might give Israel a chance to survive. This seems likelly

  16. I wonder if anyone at Israpundit has noticed that you beloved pro-Putin rcommentators Douglas MacGregor and Scott Ritter are backing Hamas against Israel in this war, Hostility to Ukraine and Hostility to arw not incompatable. Rather they go together. The people who are hostile to Ukraine tend to be hostile to Israel as well. Both are compatible with a pro_Russian and pro-Iran bias.

  17. This is so sad. I guess Israeli politicians need a re-education program helping them distinguish good from evil. The good people hold life sacred. The bad people hold killing Jews sacred.

    Good people who try to be “respectful” to those who want to kill them are simply handing them a gun.

    Israelis do not have the luxury to assume Palestinians are the same as they are and hold the same values. After October 7th it should be abundantly clear that they don’t.

    There clearly are people in Israel who either have a death wish or they want the destruction of Israel.

    Why don’t Mateh Binyamin, Yoav Gallant, Benny Gantz, Yossi Cohen, Col. Elad Goren and the Principal of the high school in Tel Aviv move their offices to the West Bank and/or Gaza permanently. Let us see what they learn. If they are still taking these positions after living with the Palestinians for say, six months, maybe what they say will mean something.

    But from their positions of power inside a government that will keep them safe, it is awfully easy to play the humanitarian at the expense of all the rest of the Israeli citizens.

    This is the problem with Jewish “humanitarianism.” It only has a place in Jewish life if Jews are alive. If the humanitarians offer people who want to kill Jews opportunities to do so, it’s not humanitarianism. It’s suicide.