|the luckless amphibian that relaxed when the waters were tepid,
adapted when they became hotter, and died when they began to boil?(Details)
Pipes makes some observations that are very good:
Rabin’s mistake was simple and profound: One cannot “make peace with one’s enemy,” as he imagined. Rather, one makes peace with one’s former enemy. Peace nearly always requires one side in a conflict to be defeated and thus give up its goals.
Wars end not through goodwill but through victory. “Let your great object [in war] be victory” observed Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese strategist. “War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfill our will,” wrote his nineteenth-century Prussian successor, Karl von Clausewitz in 1832. Douglas MacArthur observed in 1951 that in “war, there is no substitute for victory.”
Technological advancement has not altered this insight. Fighting either continues or potentially can resume so long as both sides hope to achieve their war goals. Victory consists of imposing one’s will on the enemy, compelling him to give up his war ambitions. Wars typically end when one side gives up hope, when its will to fight has been crushed.
Defeat, one might think, usually follows on devastating battlefield losses, as was the case of the Axis in 1945. But that has rarely occurred during the past sixty years. Battlefield losses by the Arab states to Israel in 1948-82, by North Korea in 1953, by Saddam Hussein in 1991, and by Iraqi Sunnis in 2003 did not translate into despair and surrender. Morale and will matter more these days. Although they out-manned and out-gunned their foes, the French gave up in Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam, and the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Cold War ended, notably, with barely a fatality. Crushing the enemy’s will to fight, then, does not necessarily mean crushing the enemy.
In place of victory, Israelis developed an imaginative array of approaches to manage the conflict:
- Territorial compromise: Yitzhak Rabin (and the Oslo process).
- Develop the Palestinian economy: Shimon Peres (and the Oslo process).
- Unilateralism (build a wall, withdraw from Gaza): Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, and the Kadima party.
- Lease the land under Israeli towns on the West Bank for 99 years: Amir Peretz and the Labor Party.
- Encourage the Palestinians to develop good government: Natan Sharansky (and George W. Bush).
- Territorial retreat: Israel’s Left.
- Exclude disloyal Palestinians from Israeli citizenship: Avigdor Lieberman.
- Offer Jordan as Palestine: elements of Israel’s Right.
- Expel Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel: Meir Kahane.
Contradictory in spirit and mutually exclusive as they are, these approaches all aim to finesse war rather than win it. Not one of them addresses the need to break the Palestinian will to fight. Just as the Oslo negotiations failed, I predict that so too will every Israeli scheme that avoids the hard work of winning.
I would argue that “Exclude disloyal Palestinians from Israeli citizenship: Avigdor Lieberman.” and “Expel Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel: Meir Kahane.” would break the wills of Palestine very well. but Daniel Pipes is right that we need to break their will. I don’t think we will break wills by allowing people who kill Jews hiding behind Gharqad trees to live with us.