In an attempt to answer the age-old question, “Whither Israel and the Palestinians?” the Institute for National Security Studies of Tel Aviv University will hold a conference on March 26, to present the results of a “major research project” it conducted in 2017, outlining six possible scenarios in the Israeli-PA conflict arena.
It was not surprising to see that the INSS recommends, after all is said and done, bolstering the Palestinian Authority, mainly as a buffer against Arab violence across the green line. “In this context, the assessment that emerged was that the absence of a political settlement would probably stimulate a reality of a weakened Palestinian Authority to the degree that it would disintegrate intentionally or unintentionally, but at any rate would be hostile to Israel,” according to the INSS press release.
But then, as the study moved on to the relationship between the situation in the Gaza Strip and the situation in the PA was studied, “a clear conclusion was that in each of the scenarios analyzed, the Gaza Strip is a ‘spoiler’ – a disruptive element with potential for threatening the system’s stability.”
So far, no one familiar with the region would doubt those two assertions: first, a strong and viable Palestinian Authority is better for Israel’s security than a weak one (assuming we have to have a Palestinian Authority in the first place, which isn’t being debated here); and, second, Hamas will continue to threaten and eventually destroy the current regime in Ramallah.
Enter the cognitive dissonance:
Like the vast majority of “mainstream” advocates of the two-state solution, the INSS is adamant in its recommendation: “Assuming that the Zionist vision of a Jewish, democratic, secure, and ethical state is the prime goal, the research’s conclusions support the need for Israel to separate itself from the Palestinian territories politically, territorially, and demographically, with clear preference for implementing moves in this direction by agreement, as part of an overall Israeli-Palestinian settlement.”
if the INSS has reached the undeniable expectation that no matter what Israel does, Hamas will continue its relentless campaign to derail the Palestinian Authority, the solution it offers must include a remedy to this threat – or else the Palestinian State will surely be transformed into a second Hamastan and pose a much higher risk to Israel’s narrow and dense population center.
In fact, none of the two-state solutions, the INSS and all the rest, are viable without a reliable contingency to disable and destroy Hamas, the indefatigable enemy of the very idea of an Israeli entity. Indeed, removing Israeli security forces from the PA would severely degrade their ability to maintain control over terrorism in the PA using nightly raids based on a reliable intelligence system.
It is disheartening that recommendations for the preservation of Israel’s “Zionist vision of a Jewish, democratic, secure, and ethical state” while offering no recommendation on dealing with the Hitlerist terrorist government threatening the Jewish State’s very existence.
And so, based on the INSS’ own findings, Israel would be much safer under the current status quo than with an independent Palestinian State, thank you very much.