Israel and the Two-State Delusion
The "general consensus" that permanent peace in the Middle East requires the creation of an independent Palestinian state is a dangerous delusion that can lead nowhere but to terrorism, violence, and war. This article will shatter that delusion with what engineers -- i.e., people who deal in impartial facts as opposed to dreams and ideologies -- call a root cause assessment.
The root cause of a problem is the deficiency whose removal or correction will solve the problem at its source. The Automotive Industry Action Group's CQI-10, "Effective Problem Solving Guideline," includes a technique called "Is/Is Not." This is "a process that distinguishes those aspects associated with a problem from those that might be, but are not" and adds the instruction to "Focus on FACTs, not Opinions." If a manufacturing process made the same kind and quantity of defects before installation of a new machine as it did afterward, the machine is clearly not the root cause of the defects.
The new factor in the Middle East is not a machine, but rather Israel's occupation of Gaza, Samaria, and Judea after its victory in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Middle East, however, produced an ongoing stream of defects (in this case violence) long before the new factor's introduction. This fact removes the entire foundation of the two-state delusion -- i.e., the premise that this occupation is the root cause of the region's problems. Israel occupied no Arab land whatsoever in 1948, when its Arab neighbors attacked it without provocation:
On May 15, one day after the creation of the State of Israel, the Arab armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon invaded the new Jewish state. The Arab forces were significantly larger than Israel's and were better equipped.
Even though Israel would not "occupy" Gaza, Judea, and Samaria for another nineteen years, its Arab neighbors then began a long litany of terroristic violence against it. The two-state argument therefore confuses cause with effect. The "occupation" is the consequence and not the cause of Arab violence, and it is past time to say this openly and without apology or equivocation. The Arabs did not conspire to attack Israel in 1967 because Israel had occupied their land any more than the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in retaliation for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
If the "occupation" is not and never was the root cause of the region's violence, what is? One factor stands out prominently: the presence of a socially, politically, and economically superior Judeo-Christian entity in the midst of backward and violent societies that rely on religious intolerance, fanaticism, superstition, and ignorance to control their followers. The Arabs' problem with Israel is the same problem the medieval Catholic Church had with Galileo for demonstrating that the Earth orbited the Sun and not vice-versa. Galileo's proven and unequivocal scientific facts were at odds with the dogma the Church relied upon to keep its followers docile and compliant. It's the same problem Osama bin Laden had with the Twin Towers; his "superior" Islamic culture could build nothing like them -- or, for that matter, the passenger jets he used to destroy them.
This Palestinian video says, in fact, that Arabs once ruled the world, and it speaks openly of Islamic domination of the entire world. If Islam is so superior, why is Israel's gross domestic product per capita (IMF figures) $29.2 thousand, while Iran's is only $5.4 thousand despite its oil wealth? Why is that of Jordan $4.3 thousand, while those of Egypt and Syria are less than $3,000? Why do Palestinian Arabs live in squalor while their Israeli neighbors live in affluence? A society whose "educational" programs teach children to blame the Jews for everything, and whose first action upon gaining autonomy in Gaza was to loot greenhouses purchased for it by mostly Jewish donors to form a base for its economy, is inferior in every respect to a Euro-American society.
The same mullahs and imams who cannot tolerate an advanced, educated, free, and affluent Jewish state in their midst cannot tolerate educated and industrious Lebanese Christians or Egyptian Copts. Violence against Jews and violence against Christians are therefore not independent issues, but offshoots of the same issue, which is militant Islam. Recent violence against Coptic Christians should tell Israel exactly what will happen to its Jews if its Arab neighbors ever gain the upper hand.
If two states are a dangerous delusion, than what can Israel do to end the Arabs' long litany of terroristic violence, broken truces, and military aggression? Israel must do what it should have done in 1967: annex Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, and declare that these territories will never be returned to Arab control. Should the Arabs ever break the peace again, they must lose even more, including possibly major cities and centers of whatever industry they might have. Had this happened in 1967, Egypt would not have been able to raise another army to start another war six years later.
The justification and necessity are very straightforward. First, as shown above, Israeli control of this land is not and never was the root cause of the Arabs' violence. Israel will therefore get nothing in exchange for territorial concessions except Arab rockets, mortars, and terrorists even closer to its heartland. Second, civilized nations have not only a right, but a duty to put a price tag on aggression (such as starting or provoking four wars in the space of 25 years) and terroristic violence. The aggressors deserve to suffer territorial consequences every bit as permanent as the deaths of the innocent people their actions have caused.
The Arabs who inhabit Gaza, Judea, and Samaria must then accept the status of what the Athenians called metics, or resident aliens. Palestinian metics should have the same civil rights as Israeli citizens, but not the right to vote or any obligation to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. This means that the Arabs will never be able to use demographics (e.g., the so-called Right of Return) to turn Israel into yet another Islamic theocracy, no matter what their birth rate -- a birth rate that Israel should in no way subsidize -- might be. Any Arabs who are unwilling or unable to live with this status can relocate to a nearby Arab nation in which they will not be able to vote either, and in which they will have far fewer civil rights than as resident aliens in Israel.
The Allies could rehabilitate Germany and Japan economically only after they removed these countries' warlords from power. If Israel cannot apply the same remedy to its attackers, it must put them down in such a way that they will never get up again. This is the only way to achieve lasting peace, and it is the only thing the world's aggressors fear or understand.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management, including content on organizational psychology as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.