One of the most astute commentators on the Israeli/Arab conflict has to be Steven Plaut. Here is an extract from one of his latest posts, see the links at the end of this post for more details.
Today to promote “Two States for Two Peoples” requires a bit of
cognitive dissonance. After all, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, turning
it over to the “Palestinian Authority,” and the whole world saw the
consequences. They included 8000 rocket missiles aimed at Jewish civilians
So those who insist that the Palestinian will desire to live in
peace once they have their own state are about as consistent and credible as
are people who argue that North Korea and Iran will seek genuine peace once
they get nuclear weapons, or those that once insisted that Hitler would be
satisfied once he got the Sudetenland.
But more generally, the whole “Two States for Two Peoples” campaign is
nothing more than a special case of the “Then Maybe they Will” doctrine.
For the past 30 years the Israeli political establishment has been prisoner to
the “Then Maybe They Will” doctrine.
Every major policy decision made by the
government has reflected the power of wishful thinking and faith in the
make-pretend. Here is a brief recapitulation of the doctrine:
If Israel gives Sinai back to the Egyptians, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL stop the
Nazi-like anti-Semitic propaganda in their state-run media.
If Israel agrees to limited autonomy for Palestinians, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL
stop seeking Israel’s destruction and the world will not try to set up an
independent Palestinian Arab terror state.
If Israel provides the Palestinian Authority with arms and funds, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL not be used for terrorist atrocities against Israel.
If Israel grants its Arab citizens affirmative action preferences, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL stop cheering terrorists and seeking the annihilation of Israel
and its Jewish population.
If Israel frees thousands of jailed Palestinian terrorists, THEN MAYBE THEY
WILL renounce violence and not murder any more Jews.
If Israel agrees to hold talks with representatives of the PLO, THEN MAYBE
THEY WILL put a stop to Palestinian terrorism.
If Israel allows the Palestinians to hold elections, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL
not elect Hamas.
If the Palestinians elect Hamas, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL not pursue a program
of aggression and terrorism against Israel.
If Israel holds talks with terrorists, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL renounce their
genocidal ambitions and seek peace.
If Israel conducts a unilateral withdrawal from all of southern Lebanon and
allows Hezb’allah terrorists to station rockets on the border, THEN MAYBE
THEY WILL not launch any of them.
If Israel sits back while the Syrians exert their hegemony over Lebanon,
THEN MAYBE THEY WILL rein in Hezb’allah and stop border attacks on Israel.
If Israel refrains from retaliating against Hezb’allah terrorists after
they murder captive Israeli soldiers in cold blood, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL not
seek to kidnap any more soldiers.
If Israel agrees to one cease-fire after another with the Arabs, THEN MAYBE
THE ARABS WILL eventually comply with one.
If Israel allows Arabs in Israel to build illegally, including on public
lands, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL become pro-Israel and moderate.
If Israel agrees to the stationing of UN troops in Lebanon, THEN MAYBE
THEY WILL actually do something to stop terror attacks on Israel.
If Israel ignores Hezb’allah border violations, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL come
to an end.
If Israel lets the Muslims control the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL respond with friendship and moderation.
If Israel expels all Jews from Gaza as a gesture of friendship to the
Palestinians, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL reciprocate with friendship toward the Jews.
If Israel turns the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinians, THEN MAYBE THEY
WILL not use it as a base for terror attacks against Israel.
If Israel turns the other cheek after Qassam rocket attacks from Gaza, THEN
MAYBE THEY WILL stop being fired.
If Israel allows the Palestinian Authority to control parts of the West
Bank, THEN MAYBE THE PALESTINIANS WILL not fire rockets at Jews the same way
they do from Gaza.
If Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria THEN MAYBE THE SYRIANS WILL
seek peace and reject the idea of using the Heights to attack Israel again.
If Israel agrees to place its neck in the Oslo/Road Map/Saudi Plan noose,
THEN MAYBE THE ARABS WILL not pull the rope.
If Israel officially agrees in principle to let the Palestinians have a
state, THEN MAYBE THEY WILL abandon their agenda of annihilating Israel.
Steven Plaut’s site,