Conquer or Capitulate

Martin Sherman of Jerusalem Summit recently wrote a piece entitled Conquer or capitulate in which he argues Deterrence no longer a viable option; Israel must retake all Palestinian areas.

New echelon of leaders needed

This, however, does not mean that Israel has no option but to go back to the negotiating table, and to chase after the illusory mirage of a “political solution.” After all, since October 2000, following Palestinian rejection of the far-reaching and reckless concessionary offers made by the Barak government, after the disastrous debacle of disengagement, and after the uncompromising insistence on the Palestinian “right of return,” it has become undeniably clear to the Israeli public (apart from some eccentric and fanatical left wing fringe-groups) that what fuels the fires of Arab-Israeli conflict is not the lack of Palestinian self-determination but the existence of Jewish self-determination – no matter what the territorial frontiers may be.

Accordingly, if on the one hand the Palestinians cannot be induced to give up their violence by any reasonably conceivable concessions, and on the other hand they cannot be induced to do so by the threat of any reasonably conceivable punitive measures, there appear to be only two ways to bring the fighting to an end. The one involves total capitulation to Palestinian demands and unmitigated acceptance of all their claims. The significance of this option is the complete renouncement of the Zionist ideal of a sovereign Jewish state for the people of Israel in the Land of Israel. For it is virtually indisputable that the adoption of this course would result in a state that would very quickly find itself swallowed up in the social, economic and political environment that prevails in the region, and would soon become indistinguishable from any other of the surrounding states in the “precinct.”

The second alternative involves acknowledging the fact that Israel has no acceptable way to diminish the Palestinian will to attack it, and thus must eliminate the Palestinian ability to do so – by speedy and decisive conquest of the areas transferred to Palestinian control, the dismantling of all the political and military organizations and infrastructures established since the Oslo Agreements, and the reinstatement of effective Israeli sovereign rule from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

This is undoubtedly a course of action fraught with many hazards. Its implementation requires meeting many daunting challenges and overcoming many serious obstacles that cannot be lightly dismissed. It will call for huge diplomatic and political efforts, and place the national leadership under the most stringent of tests – tests that are probably well beyond the mettle of the present political cadre masquerading as “leaders.” It will require the Jewish people to generate from within it a new echelon of leaders made of sterner stuff, leadership with greater intellectual prowess, greater national commitment, greater moral integrity, and greater political foresight.

It is not a question of whether this is possible or not. For if the Jews still desire to preserve their national independence and the political sovereignty of the Jewish nation-state, there is no other alternative.

This then is the cruel choice on the national agenda: The Jews can either capitulate to the Palestinian national movement – or conquer it. It is a choice that must be made urgently. Any belief in a more moderate, less radical option is no more than misguided self-delusion.

October 16, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. I did not and do not need a Martin Sherman to tell me what I have been saying , ever since arriving here in 1967. There is a difference between most individual Arabs and the Arab collective. While we can relate to individuals and place a certain degree of basic humanity to them as a collective they need to be wiped out, Even Hitler liked German children and Loved his dog. It is assumed that all cultures have positive attributes but in refuting this claim I have never experienced such with the Arabs with whom I lived among for over ten years. When I came to Israel in 67 their was a common saying here in Israel:


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