To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
It is one of those glaring, obvious points that are so seldom mentioned in polite circles. The simple fact of the matter is that the level of violence that Israel needs to use to suppress Palestinian savagery is constantly being ratcheted up because of Israeli niceness and restraint.
It may not be diplomatic to say so, but that does not make it any less true. The simple fact is that if Israel had shot down 100 (or even 50) rioting Palestinians on the very first day of the first “intifada” in the late 1980′s, thousands of Jews and Arabs who have died since would be alive today.
Yes, Israel would have paid a public relations price for the violent suppression of the fascist hordes – but it would have been a fleeting price, forgotten by the world a few weeks later. And the Middle East would have been plunged into a new era peace and stability, truly a New Middle East.
Instead, Israel responded to the Palestinian pogroms with ‘restraint.’ Quickly, the Palestinian savagery escalated to the point where killing 100 terrorists would have barely made a dent in the violence. The violence had ratcheted up. It would continue to do so.
Israel continued to produce further ratcheting up because it continued to use ‘restraint.’ The longer it restrains itself, the higher the ratchet. What could have been achieved at the cost of killing 100 rioters in the late 1980′s became impossible to achieve, even at the cost of killing thousands of Palestinians in the “Al-Aqsa” atrocities and pogroms that started in 2000.
The iron law of Arab violence is very simple: The longer one waits to suppress it with force, the more force will be required to end it. The only way to end it at low cost is to do so with overwhelming superiority and unambiguous determination at the very start, the moment it raises its head. The “restraint” strategy favored by the entire world when it comes to Israel – including Israel’s own leaders - does not offer an alternative to using force to suppress Arab violence. It’s merely a delaying tactic that makes the amount of force actually needed to achieve the goal several orders of magnitude higher.
There is no serious question any longer about whether Israel will ultimately have to suppress Palestinian savagery with crushing military force, only over how many dead
Palestinians will be required to achieve that goal. The longer Israel plays Oslo games, the longer it agrees to goodwill concessions, road Map posturings, make-believe negotiations
with Abu Mazen, unilateral cease-fires, etc., the higher the price the Palestinians will ultimately pay.
And let us not delude ourselves; this is no zero-sum game. It’s a negative sum game, with only losers. Not only will the number of Palestinian dead needed to end the violence continue to ratchet up, so will the price paid by Israel in terms of Israeli lives and the country’s international image. Israel’s current pariah status, its demonization by the world’s anti-Semites, is nothing compared to what will befall it when it eventually takes the necessary military action against the ratcheted violence of the Palestinians.
The Oslo Ratchet Effect works not only among West Bank and Gaza “Palestinians” but also among Israeli Arabs living inside Green-Line Israel. In the fall of 2000, thousands of them attacked Israeli police with weapons and firebombs, while beating passing Jewish motorists at
random. The police used low-level force against them and killed 13. Later, leftist prime minister Ehud Barak issued the Arab pogromchiks an official “apology” for the 13 dead.
Barak’s apology bought neither good will nor moderation from Israeli Arabs. Just recently, 30,000 rallied in Umm al-Fahm to support the Islamofascist fundamentalists and to scream “In Fire and Blood we will Redeem Jerusalem al-Quds.” If a serious level of force had been used at the first signs of Israeli Arab fascist terrorism years ago, that rally would not have taken place. Israeli Arabs would not be enlisting in the terrorist brigades and blowing up Israeli buses.
Israeli restraint stirs Arab violence and is a catalyst for Arab nazification. It signals to the Arabs that the Jews are on the run. It signals weakness and destructibility. It does not induce corresponding niceness and reciprocal moderation from the Arabs. It produces extremism and violence.
Israeli Arabs were not exactly a bastion of pro-Zionism even before Oslo, but they were by and large pacified, willing to play by the democratic rules, willing to restrict the manifestation of their anti-Jewish sentiments to voting for the communist party, all the while maintaining correct and often cordial relations with Jews. Oslo changed all that, producing a violent radicalization of Israeli Arabs. Indeed, in the long run history books may recall this as the most destructive damage of all achieved by Shimon Peres and his legions of the Oslo Left.
This radicalization is yet another manifestation of the Ratchet Effect.
Every time Israel orders its troops to exercise “restraint,” every time it forgoes killing or deporting the families of suicide bombers, every time it releases imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, every time it opens its borders to Palestinian day workers, every time it turns funds over to the PLO, every time Sharon bonds with Abu Mazen, every time Sharon says the occupation is bad thing, every time a Jewish settlement is removed - every time each of these things occur, it ratchets up the level of violence that eventually will be needed to suppress Palestinian savagery.
Politicians have trouble seeing beyond the next public opinion poll, and cannot see anything at all beyond the next election. Israeli “moderation” and “restraint” are the gasoline being sprayed upon the bonfire of Middle East violence.
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book ‘The Scout’ is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-oslo-ratchet/2003/07/26/
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