P. David Hornik
21 September '10
Last week another chapter of Israeli-Palestinian “peace talks” began. It hasn’t gone very far yet, and it still could all break down. But for those who see a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as an intolerable security threat to Israel, it’s enough to induce unease.
Imagine cutting two chunks out of New Jersey, adding up to almost one-fourth of its land mass, and setting up a deeply hostile statelet in them with a population nurtured in hatred for generations. Rocket firings, sniper fire, and terror incursions are some of the problems that spring to mind. Not to mention—particularly since this “New Jersey” is in the Middle East—alliances with enemy countries, which could include inviting such countries’ armies into its territory. Collusions involving sabotage or even WMD attacks are not at all far-fetched.
True, there has always been talk of the Palestinian state being “demilitarized.” But with current, purportedly moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas having said he wouldn’t tolerate the presence of a single Jew—civilian or soldier—in his state, that would leave only (presumably Jew-free) international forces to monitor the supposed demilitarization.
Israel, however, has had a long and negative history with international “peacekeepers.” The latest egregious example is the complete failure of the enlarged UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah from rearming itself with tens of thousands of missiles since the 2006 war.
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