To most people, the establishment of a Palestinian state seems to be the indispensable outcome of the decades-long attempt to settle the Arab/Israel conflict. Such an outcome might be desirable between two countries that could live side-by-side in peace with each other. The Arabs, however, have never changed their position and are sworn to destroy the Jewish state.
What are the facts?
Israel threatened by enemies. Israel is a very small country. Including the Golan and the “West Bank,” it is only one-half the size of San Bernardino County in California. Israel has for some time been in a “cold peace” with Egypt and with Jordan. Other Arab states are still in a declared or undeclared state of war with Israel. Iran, Moslem though not Arab, is the most determined and deadly of them all. It lurks in the background, its foremost military and political objective being the destruction of the state of Israel.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), the successor of the murderous PLO, has not abandoned its core objective, namely to kill the Jews and to destroy the State of Israel. While the latter objective is until now beyond its reach, it has been most successful in the former. Over 1,000 Jews have been killed so far in the murderous intifada and countless thousands have been grievously wounded. It seems almost incomprehensible that the supposedly level-headed men who are the government of Israel would be trustful of such people and, under whatever pressure from “the international community,” would countenance the establishment of a Palestinian state on its border. Despite statements to the contrary, the PLO (and its successor PA) have still not complied with one of Israel’s main requirements, namely that it abrogate the clauses in their covenant that call for the destruction of Israel. Abu Mazen, though better tailored, better barbered and better spoken than his thuggish predecessor still pursues the old goal of destroying Israel in “stages” — first by creating a Palestinian state, from which an allied all-out assault against the critically vulnerable Jewish state can be launched and then, hopefully, the deathblow delivered.
The myth of demilitarization. The assumption that “Palestine” would be demilitarized is not tenable. The Arab nations would not allow it, even in the most unlikely case that the Palestinians themselves so desired. Also, the Palestinian entity would have thousands of trained soldiers, camouflaged as police. They could be helicoptered in minutes to positions on the border with Israel, with armored forces from Syria reaching them within the same night. But such mobilization of the “demilitarized” Palestine would not be required. The weapons of preference of Arab terrorists are the Soviet-made Katyushahs, highly effective missiles, truck-mounted and mobile, ideal for hit-and-run raids against Israel. Israel could not prevent them from flooding Palestine. A look at the map makes clear that these rockets, short-range though they may be, would dominate the heartland of Israel. Easily moved and hidden along Israel’s new eastern borders — to be increased from less than 40 miles in length to over 200 miles — these Katyushah rockets would rain destruction over most of Israel. They would cover in their entirety Israel’s narrow waist that holds 70% of the Jewish population of the country, 70% of its industrial base, its only international airport, and its most important military installations.
The Arabs who live in Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) danced on the roofs of their homes when Iraqi Scud missiles fell on Tel Aviv during the first Gulf War. They have continued to engage in unremitting terror and murder against the Jews. Only incurable optimists can believe that an “autonomous” Palestine would become a peaceful neighbor of Israel. Foolishly, Israel has now ceded the Gaza Strip — the invasion route since before biblical times — with Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) perhaps not too far behind. With Gaza and Judea/Samaria in the hands of its implacable and sworn enemies, it would make the country indefensible and Israel would have laid the groundwork for its own destruction.
Tanks, warplanes, and missiles would only be needed for the final mopping-up process. In the meantime, mortars and Katyushahs located on the Judean ridges — Israel’s proposed new borders – would suffice to paralyze life and industrial and military activity in Israel. But one can hope that the leaders of Israel clearly understand this danger and that they will ultimately not make concessions that will endanger the security of their country.
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Gerardo Joffe, President