Since when did a reasonable claim become an argument in international relations?
Did France heed German rights to Alsace and Lorraine? Did Britain consider
Northern Ireland’s right to self-determination? Did Russia accept the Chechen
people’s sovereignty over the land they settled? Did the Arabs concede to a
few Jews who fled the Holocaust a small parcel of marshy land and desert to
establish a mini-state? Rights and claims are irrelevant; power matters.
Even if Israel now descends to the depths of moral idealism and concedes the
Palestinians' rights, the Arabs would abandon the agreement once they become
strong, and reject Israel's right to exist. Even in the moral idealists' plane,
Palestinians already have a state of their own, Jordan. The Balfour Declaration
legally gave Transjordan to Israel in return for Jewish support in WWI. Then
again the Jewish state was halved in 1947 to make room for the Palestinians,
whom even Jordan refused to accept. What possible right could the Palestinians
have to Judea?
Why should Israel compromise with the Palestinians instead of driving them to
Jordan and compensating them for the assets they leave? A Palestinian state in
Gaza would continue low-level warfare with Israel; thus, the compromise is not
viable tactically. Other Arabs despise the Palestinians and don’t care about
them. Arabs will fight Israel when they feel strong whether we settle the
Palestinian issue or not; thus, no strategic viability. Regardless of the
Palestinian state, Israel would have to maintain military readiness against Arab
armies; thus, no economic viability. Nor is there any moral reason to
compromise: Palestinians already have a state in Jordan, and are not entitled to
Holding onto the Jewish lands is not a matter of Israeli supremacy. A
county-sized country can’t talk of supremacy. It’s a matter of honor
(Judea), survival (minimal depth of defense), and plain common sense (why give
away something for no reason?)
Mexico acquiesced to the loss of a third of its territory to the US not because
Mexico was powerless against its neighbor. Palestine is powerless against
Israel, yet successfully bugs us with suicide bombers. Powerless Chechnya
confronted Russia, and Northern Ireland confronted Britain. Determined groups,
however small, can win. The Russian socialist revolutionaries, Ataturk, and
Nasser are a few examples.
Mexico accepted the territorial loss for two reasons: the US never offered to
return the land, and the US is culturally and economically attractive to
Mexicans. To lose to a superior is no shame. Israel provokes the Palestinians
with promises of giving them the land. Israel’s penchant for accepting
commands from Washington positions her as Uncle Sam’s poor nephew, not worth
the Arabs' respect. A weak giant is the most provocative posture. Arabs learned
to exploit Israel’s moral and democratic weak points.