Failure of PCP: Ya’alon Nails It

Moshe Ya’alon, former chief of Staff, gets it. Would that the leaders of the West (including Olmert) did.

Ya’alon: Land for peace concept failed

Etgar Lefkovits, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 4, 2007
The concept of land for peace is a proven failure in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and any future withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank will create a ‘Hamastan’ there too, former Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya’alon said Wednesday.

The former military chief said that Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip and the creation of “the first Jihadist Arab entity” on Israel’s doorstep last month was “the last nail on the coffin” in a string of faulty conceptions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which have been the earmark of Israeli and Western policy for decades.

“The strengthening of Hamas after the Israeli pullout from Gaza and the Hamas takeover of Gaza necessitate a renewed examination of Israeli and international conceptions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which, to my mind, are no longer relevant,” Ya’alon said in an address organized by the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem research institute, on the ramifications of the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

In a succinct address which tore at the most basic premises of Middle East peacemaking, Ya’alon said that the faulty conceptions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict included the notions that the Palestinians wanted – or were able – to establish an independent state on the 1967 borders, that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the creation of two states on the 1967 borders, that land for peace should be the basis for any peace agreement, that peace would bring security, and that the key to stability in the Middle East was the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Also known as the Politically-Correct Paradigm (PCP).

He argued that the violent Palestinian rejection of the peace offer put forward to them at Camp David seven years ago, which would have awarded them with a Palestinian state on upwards of 95 percent of the West Bank, and the refusal of both Hamas and the more moderate Fatah to recognize the existence of a Jewish state, negated the very essence of Israeli and international policymaking on the conflict – that the Palestinians want an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel on the 1967 borders.

We should have all realized what the Palestinian leadership – Hamas and Fatah — were saying with the “no” of Camp David in the summer of 2000 and the violence of the “al Aksa Intifada” in the fall. But we didn’t want to recognize that the positive-sum logic of land for peace wouldn’t work. I remember at the height of the suicide bombing, I noted to a colleague that it was amazing how little outrage there was among progressives at such morally depraved behavior. “What choice do they have?” he answered without missing a beat. “What about Oslo?” I responded. “Oh, yeah, there was Oslo…”

“We are talking about [a Palestinian Authority which is] a gang authority and not a political authority,” he said.

Ya’alon said that stabilization in the region did not hinge on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as many Western leaders argue, but on the defeat of Islamic Jihadism, led by the Iranian regime.

Not only will an Israeli concession not reduce the threat- it will increase it,” he said.

“Israeli concessions today will impede not only Israel’s interests and those of the West, but of moderate Arab regimes in the region,” he added.

To which we need to add Europe. A Israeli withdrawal from the territories, or an American withdrawal from Iraq will endanger Europeans above all. They are vulnerable, and their radicalized Muslim youth increasingly aggressive. Throwing Israel into the maw of Jihadi hatreds — which is the natural extension of current European policy (minus Sarkozy) — will only fan the consuming flames.

The former military chief, who is expected to be a future top contender in the political arena, said that Israel must treat the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as an “enemy entity,” and should “disengage” from being the provider of water, electricity, and goods to the volatile coastal strip where 1.4 million Palestinians live.

At the same time, he opined that Israel should give the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority in the West Bank a chance to establish autonomy, while Israel would be in charge of security in the area.

Ya’alon said that any IDF pullout from the West Bank would lead to the creation of a Hamastan there, which, he said, would threaten both Israel and Jordan.

He added that he opposed the stationing of Jordanian – or any foreign – troops in the West Bank, calling it a fruitless idea that has been ineffective in the past.

Ya’alon’s tenure as Israel’s top military officer from 2002-2005 was marked by both a successful military crackdown on Palestinian terrorism, and his very overt falling out with then prime minister Ariel Sharon over his opposition to the premier’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

I personally don’t think Fatah is a good bet. What else can Israel do? Ironically, it’s the outsiders who can play a key role here: insist on dismantling the teaching of hatred, insist on shutting down the terror attacks in the West Bank, and then the Israelis can slowly loosen their headlock.

But that would take will. Maybe Sarkozy has that kind of vision and determination.

There’s still a huge amount we can do, if only we start challenging the Arabs and Muslims on the terrain of values. They have no right to demand what they do; and we have the right to demand a great deal more than we do. And we should do it.

7 Responses to Failure of PCP: Ya’alon Nails It

  1. Eliyahu says:

    It’s about time that somebody important said this.

  2. Sophia says:

    But yet, elements of our “leadership” wish to engage Muslim Brotherhood and I just finished reading a paper from the Nixon Center entitled “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” which reassures us that MB is truly a charitable and political organization (as opposed to the jihadists) and doesn’t want to murder Jews, just “Zionists,” whom they don’t consider Jewish.

    I believe elements of our “leadership” are preparing to “engage” MB; some of our congresspeople have already been schmoozing them. One is growing increasingly convinced that something besides “political correctness” is at work here.

    There was an article in der Spiegel also, called more appropriately “Dancing with the Devil,” but that too neglected to mention al Banna’s attraction to a certain famous German “philosopher” whose book remains a best seller in the Middle East.

    I saw a commentator on CNN in the wake of the British terror attempts, a professor at Georgetown U unfortunately, who says in the short term the US must guard against terrorism but in the long term “must change its policies” and stop supporting dictatorships in order to maintain stability in the ME/Central Asia.

    I believe that’s what we’re trying to do in Iraq, Israel and Lebanon: support democracies. True we have also supported dictatorships but aren’t movements toward democracy also required to be supported by the people? And if so how is empowering MB and other Islamists groups going to help matters? One of MB’s clearly stated credoes is the desire to spread “the medicine” of Islam throughout the world, that would de facto include shari’a law which can’t be seen as democratic in any case. Nor can supporting this type of “democratic” process be compatible with Western values!

    Moreover, the professor specifically mentioned Musharraf as one of the people our support for whom is “causing terrorism”. So what exactly does he propose as an alternative? Pakistan is a nuclear power. Perhaps awarding Taliban the bomb would be preferable to supporting Musharraf?

    There is a reason Egypt and Syria and other Arab states and factions fear MB. Calling MB moderates and admiringly citing Hamas for releasing Johnston and “restoring order” to Gaza is beyond PCP.

    Similarly suggesting that the US can or should support tribal chieftains, MB and/or Taliban against proWestern leaders, in an attempt to avoid terrorism, is an amazing construct.

    This kind of sinister blindness lies behind the inability of people to understand the Arab/Israeli conflict. BTW I don’t think it should be referred to “Israel/Palestine” because it has always been much more broadly based than that and has elements of a ferocious anti-Jewish campaign as well.

    But those rather obvious facts DO seem to be politically incorrect even to assert. Indeed people twist words to the point of absurdity to assert that since Arabs are “semites” they couldn’t possibly be antisemitic. And of course even discussing Muslim antisemitism seems to run afoul of left wing PCP, which declares that “of course” it is the fault of Zionism per se, with its evil characteristics such as racism, imperialism, colonialism and apartheid, which is causing all the problems.

    Yet unless these “politically incorrect” aspects of the conflict are understood how on earth can any progress be made?

  3. Eliyahu says:

    Sophia, I believe every word you say. So please wake me up and say it was just a nightmare.

    Look, there has long been a faction in Uncle Sam’s capital that is pro-Arab and pro-Muslim. Think of Zbig Brzezinski, jimmy carter’s national insecurity advisor. Zbig still sees no wrong, no harm done, in his helping the Taliban get organized and helping OBL get started in mass terrorism and helping Khomeini’s gang take over in Iran. The State Dept wanted an Islamist govt to take over Algeria in 1990 or 1991 [in the name of “democracy” of course] when the Islamists won some elections there. Of course, if you want to call Islamist rule [= rule by the MB] democratic, you can. But it means “one man, one vote, one time.” Then maybe somebody can explain –maybe somebody from the Nixon Center or the Carter Center– just how the blind sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, got into the United States despite being on a blacklist, despite having issued a fatwa to kill Sadat for the plotters who assassinated Sadat, despite his fatwa allowing jihadists to slaughter fellow Muslims deemed insufficiently Islamic [which happened on a big scale in Algeria]. Maybe, rather than blaming everything on Israel, these “think-tank experts” could examine how British & French & USA & EU diplomacy & $$$ –or even intrigue– may have helped the Islamists get ahead. Anyhow, the notion that Bush wants to fight a “war on terror” is rather silly, when Bush’s underlings, like Condi and others, are busy promoting Hamas and MB. Did you hear that condi called Hamas a “resistance movement” the other day?? Did you know that Tony Blair’s operative, one Alistair Crooke, was working with Hamas in Gaza as far back as 2002, if not earlier? [on this see link:]

    Now, Tony has been appointed to be the Quartet’s chief peacemonger for the Middle East. Is he anti-Hamas or pro-Hamas?

    Was the Georgetown U professor John Esposito, by chance? This character ought to beam down to earth from the planet where he has been spending his June vacation. It’s true that the dictatorships in Muslim states suppress the Islamists, except in cases where the governments are Islamist. In those cases, the Islamist governments are dictatorships. Indeed, Islamist govts are dictatorships by nature. Turkey is an exception only because the elected, official Islamist govt [cabinet in this case] must share power with the army, businessmen, etc.

    Speaking of problems in the ME, what about the Armenian genocide that was going on before the Balfour Declaration? What about the Judeophobic Damascus Affair of 1840, when there was no organized political Zionist movement? Indeed, the Damascus Affair helped lead to the rise of political Zionism. What about the oppression, exploitation, & humiliation of dhimmis [Jews & Christians] for more than a 1000 years in Arab-Muslim lands? Indeed Jews were more oppressed traditionally than the Christians in those lands. Israel did not exist throughout the more than a millenium of jihad, dhimma, and Dar al-Harb. So maybe they’ll have to blame Israel post-facto for dhimma, jihad, the Armenian genocide and the Damascus Affair.

  4. fp says:

    ya’alon was dumped precisely because he nailed it. so those who currently make decisions do not want to nail it, but just the opposite.

    we have now three idiots ruling in israel, us, and the uk. they are accelerating the decline of the west and the tipping point has already been reached. the process is irreversible. by the time the uninformed, uneducated masses realize they’ve been had, it’ll be too late.

  5. Sophia says:

    I think the professor was Pakistani but unfortunately I can’t remember his name. In any case it wasn’t Professor Esposito.

    I thought it was striking that he specifically mentioned Musharaff, whose plane was fired upon today. Unfortunately he offered no alternatives to the statement that “we” need to change “our” policy; no alternative to the fact that beyond Musharaff lie the madrassahs and if the army fails, unsecured nuclear weapons in a chaotic and divided state.

    Anyway I think a lot of things are going on at once and have been abuilding for generations but have become critical due to several factors. I don’t think we should ignore the effects of the “Great Game” and British and Russian shadow boxing in Central Asia, later employed by the Carter and Reagan/Bush administrations. Arming and funding Taliban and the “Afghan Arabs” to fight the Soviets may have seemed like a brilliant idea at the time but it both destroyed Afghanistan and funnelled a huge amount of arms and money to very radical and ultimately uncontrollable factions who’ve now turned against the West as previously they’d fought the Soviets. They are also fighting progress in Pakistan and elsewhere: Saudi religious people are warning Hamas not to make “concessions” to Israel; Hezbollah and Syria/Iran are trying to control Lebanon; civil wars involving MB and other Islamist factions have claimed thousands and thousands of lives in other nations.

    We (the West and Russia) have clearly aggravated a situation that was already complex and culturally different from our own. Pouring billions in oil money and other forms of economic aid into a volatile region, playing one side against the other, and arming everybody to the teeth, was and is a dangerous policy to say the least. Arming Saddam with the most sophisticated weapons, then finding the tiger was untameable and being forced to go to war against him, was one of the most amazingly stupid and preventable situations American “leadership” has ever created IMO. Worse, it has left Iran, which we also apparently armed sub rosa, without a balancing factor.

    But: that doesn’t obviate the fact that the volatility and religious and ethnic hostilities didn’t already exist. As pointed out above, the huge catastrophes like the Armenian genocide and subsequent disasters like the Year of the Sword, in which hundreds of thousands of Assyrians were killed, long predated Afghanistan vs the Soviet Union or Iran/Iraq. There are many other examples of course.

    And: lumping tiny Israel into the overall British/Russian/German/French/American/Turkish/Arab/Persian schema and their various internecine conflicts – it’s just nuts. Israel is sui generis and should be protected and defended, period. At the very least people need to be realistic about what’s being confronted here and recognize that little states and little people, including Israel AND the Palestinians, have been pawns in much bigger games.

    This means respecting the fact that Arab and Muslim and Persian imperialism is as real as American or British or Russian imperialism.*

    I don’t know why that should shock anybody. It seems to be human nature for people to group together and fight over space, ideology and resources. Obviously this is something humanity as a whole needs to consider very seriously if we are going to have a future at all. Marxism was an attempt to understand it on economic and class (including sexual) basis and in fact one of the first enemies of the modern Islamists was the Left. Marxism’s failure, besides its inefficiencies and totalitarian aspects, was that it didn’t understand the power of the spiritual dimension.

    We would be stupid not to learn from the Soviet Union’s demise.

    *And it means recognizing the fact that “Zionist imperialism” is a smokescreen that obscures reality even as it provides a convenient scapegoat.

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