Bleak Assessment II

Late last year, I stirred up a little commotion with this post:

That’s what gets me about the whole peace process — it can’t work.

If you think that the West Bank is an occupied nation, then you naturally think that all Israel has to do is to pull out — and peace will suddenly break out like a pimple the day before Senior Prom. The problem is, the Palestinians, by and large, think that Israel isn’t just occupying the West Bank, it’s occupying, well, all of Israel. So simply pulling back to the Green Line won’t end the war.

And that means that to Israel and Palestine, this is a war of survival.

And that makes this a very modern war, which won’t end until one side or the other is burned, occupied, and crying uncle. Fact is, the Palestinians can’t do that to the Israelis. Another fact is, the Israelis won’t (but could) do it to the Palestinians.

And that is why you almost never see me write anything about the Middle East “peace process.” The only process towards peace is the kind of war one side can’t commit, and the other side won’t.


Saturday’s news from Gaza, however, makes me wonder if perhaps I was mistaken:

An Israeli missile strike killed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi as he rode in his car Saturday evening, hospital officials said. Rantisi’s son Mohammed and a bodyguard were also killed in the attack.

The militant Hamas leader was one of Israel’s top targets after it assassinated Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin in an airstrike last month.

If the greater part of Palestinian culture isn’t beyond redeeming, then Israel’s new policy might just earn them the kind of victory they need. Kill enough of the leadership, often enough, and with seeming irresistibility, then perhaps — perhaps — they’ll give up the fight, and return to negotiation.

But I’m not holding my breath.


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