Middle East peace? The only path that will work

By WND Guest Columnist

Note: Middle East expert and prolific author Daniel Pipe’s latest book presents the only solution for peace in the Holy Land, in the aftermath of Hamas’ horrific attack on Israel Oct. 7, 2023. Entitled “Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated,” Pipes’ new work explains why the typical Zionist strategy of concilliation has been so ineffective and why Israel’s goal needs to change.

Here is an exclusive excerpt from the Preface of “Israel Victory.”

Palestine is not a picnic. Two powerful forces are colliding. Blood is inevitable. It has flowed in the past; it is flowing today; it will flow in the future until one side emerges victorious.

– Albert Viton, American journalist, 1936

CHEERFUL ISRAEL. The U.N.’s World Happiness Report asks residents of 137 countries subjectively to assess their contentment, then it factors in objective measures, such as income levels, government services, individual freedom, and corruption. In March 2023, it found Israel to be the fourth-happiest country on Earth, following three Nordic countries, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. In contrast, the “State of Palestine” ranked ninety-ninth.

To the extent that such numbers mean anything, and it is a serious study, a fourth-place ranking points to a remarkable ability to live the good life, an obviously healthy attribute. Israel’s burgeoning birth rate, the rich world’s only one above replacement (and it far exceeds replacement) confirms this positive outlook.

Less methodically, TheTravel.com in late September 2023 deemed Tel Aviv “the happiest city in the world,” commending its “rich cultural heritage, kind people, and abundance of food, shopping, and learning,” as well as its “progressive ideologies.” [After October 7, TheTravel.com reduced Tel Aviv to the third-happiest city.] In another confirmation, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry noted that, “People in Israel aren’t waking up every day and wondering if tomorrow there will be peace because there is a sense of security and a sense of accomplishment and of prosperity.”

Yet, this happiness is surprising, even odd. Reports about the Muslims who make up nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population invariably portray them as permanently alienated from the Jewish state; they alone should sink the rankings. Then, the Jewish majority of nearly 75 percent faces a genocidal enemy, the Palestinians, which poses two enduring and distinct threats: murderous assault and international condemnation.

Palestinians attack violently and ceaselessly. The Palestinian Authority (PA) that rules most of the West Bank sponsors and endorses low-intensity attacks, such as knife-stabbings, car-rammings, gun onslaughts, and suicide bombings. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the dominant forces in Gaza, dispatch kites and balloons carrying explosives, launch rockets and missiles, and assault with a massive air-water-land-and-tunnel operation. Israelis face a uniquely persistent violence that not only maims and kills citizens but also puts them on edge and requires a huge, expensive, intrusive, and unavoidable security apparatus.

Second, the Palestinian spread a slander of Israel as the world’s most horrid and bellicose country, one that finds wide acceptance, especially among Muslims, the Left, the far-Right, and dictators. This message even finds political heft in democratic countries, including among U.S. members of Congress, the British Labour Party, the first minister of Scotland, and several presidents in Latin America. Should it continue to grow, this form of anti-Zionism poses an existential threat to Israel no less than Iran’s nuclear weapons. Indeed, just as lawful Islamism poses greater dangers than Muslim violence, so the Palestinians’ delegitimization threatens Israel more than their violence.

Israelis’ usual serenity, seemingly unperturbed by such tensions and dangers, implies an acceptance of a perilous status quo, a disinclination to take problems seriously, a resignation to persistent violence, and an indif- ference to venom. That may not be healthy.

This book. In the pages ahead, I hope to achieve three favorable results. First, to convince Israelis that hostility toward their country, orchestrated by Palestinians and growing especially on the Left, needs to be addressed, then to offer ideas on effecting this, so that they can live fully normal lives. Second, to ameliorate the Palestinian condition by unburdening them of their extremism, thereby addressing the source of their ninety-ninth-ranked happiness. Third, to offer a way for Israel’s Muslim citizens to address their unsettled circumstances and to find a new way forward.

No small order, this, especially when set against a long record of failed diplomacy by famed statesmen. Actually, that dismal record justifies a re-thinking of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I call my effort Israel Victory. Its goal is to bring about fundamental shifts in long-standing and distinctive Palestinian and Israeli mentalities, leading to a change of heart among Palestinians so that they abandon their campaign to destroy the Jewish state. It’s time to end the habit of Israeli concessions to appease insatiable Palestinian demands; now, Israel makes the demands. Israel Victory means Palestinians accepting the Jewish state for both its sake and theirs. Thus, the subtitle, “How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated.” There is no short-cut and no alternative.

Israel Victory raises many, and complex, questions. How did those two mentalities originate? Why the long record of diplomatic failure? What role does Islam play? What constitutes victory? How does one recognize a Palestinian change of heart? Which policies should Israel adopt? …

Two persistent themes dominate: Palestinian evil and Israeli folly. The former is succinctly covered in Chapters 1 and 2, but the latter requires Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, and 11. Words like “failure,” “errors,” and “incompetence” characterize this analysis.

I wish to stress that although Chapter 12 contains two specific ideas on how Israel can attain victory, I offer those ideas under gentle duress. My priority is not to advocate any particular policies but to convince Israelis to return to the classic goal of victory. How to achieve it is secondary for me. I hope that possible disagreement over those two ideas does not impede agreement on the goal of victory.

Order Daniel Pipes’ “Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated.”

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