(February 2, 2023 / JNS)
The latest terror attacks in Jerusalem are being treated by the Biden administration and the media as merely part of a “cycle of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians. JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin argues that doing so is based on more than a false moral equivalence between Israeli efforts to root out terrorists and the murderers who committed the massacre at a Neve Ya’akov synagogue. It’s also based on a refusal to understand that it is the Palestinians’ unwillingness to give up their century-old war on Zionism that explains why the conflict continues.
Tobin is joined by Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes, who argues that the failure of Israel and its supporters to insist that the Palestinians concede defeat in their efforts to destroy the Jewish state is at the root of the problem. He says the Israelis who advocated for the Oslo Accords believed that they could end the conflict by simply declaring that it was over without understanding that the other side wasn’t going along. Their arrogant unwillingness to accept the truth that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was lying about his desire for peace prevented them from seeing the situation clearly.
Pipes also argues that the main challenge to Israel is not the Palestinians’ terrorism, terrible though it may be. Their ability to generate “toxic hostility among leftists who accept the Palestinian narrative at the U.N. and other international forums that have as their goal making it a pariah state” is a much greater strategic threat. But, he says, Israel is fortunate that its Palestinian opponents are so weak. If it breaks them and forces them to give up their rejectionism and acknowledge Israel’s victory, their foreign supporters will also fold.
While acknowledging that antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim world rooted in support for the Palestinians is an obstacle to expansion of the Abraham Accords, Pipes has a surprising suggestion for getting Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel. He thinks Israel should offer the Saudis control of the Temple Mount mosques and eliminate a weak Jordanian kingdom from the equation. He believes that might lead to stability and widen the circle of peace.
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