Sunday, April 17, 2011

Making Peace with Israel Will Create More Terrorists

An oft-cited mantra tells that whenever Western countries fight Muslims, they inevitably create additional terrorists. In some circles this idea has acquired the status of an article of faith, perhaps even a fundamental dogma.

In reality it probably is true in some cases, and false in others. Some people who are filled with hate may be propelled by this or that into violence; others, with different frames of mind, will be deterred by violence. I'm not aware of any solid research which has ever investigated the balance, and to be honest, I'm not certain how such an empiric investigation might be carried out. Which leaves us with our beliefs: some of us belive one way, others the opposite.

An otherwise standard boilerplate Guardian article following the story of the murder of Vittoria Arrigoni  accidentally contradicts the Guardian's dogma:
While many view Hamas as a radical Islamist group, the responsibility of being in power has forced it to sacrifice ideology for a pragmatism that has alienated many of its supporters. Some have rejected Hamas's brand of nationalist Islam and embraced fundamentalist Salafi Islam, which aims to create a single Islamic commonwealth in place of nation states. Tawheed and Jihad means oneness of God and holy war or struggle.
Mkhamir Abusada, a professor of political science at An-Najah University in Gaza, said such groups began to emerge after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. "Most of the members of the Salafi groups were previously members of Fatah or Hamas. They are dissatisfied with Hamas's failure to fight Israel and Islamise Gaza," he said. "They cannot compete with Hamas but they are a source of annoyance....
The Army of Islam split from the Popular Resistance Committee. It initially carried out operations with Hamas such as the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. When relations between it and Hamas broke down, the Army began kidnapping foreigners, including two people from Fox TV in 2006 and the BBC's Alan Johnston in 2007. Johnston was released unharmed after four months.
To be clear: even according to the Guardian, when radical Palestinian groups begin to accept the reality of Israel's existence, even if only on a very limited basis such as Hamas in Gaza, this inevitably further radicalizes some Palestinians. Put concisely: making peace with Israel will create terrorists.

This dynamic is not new, and not surprising. Nor should it preclude Israeli attempts to reach accommodation with the Palestinians. It does however mean that even when the accommodation is eventually reached, Israel will need clear borders with the Palestinians, and it will need to control the gates through those borders, so that the murderous Palestinian crazies won't be able to get in along with the peaceful ones. It will not be possible to have an open border running through Jerusalem, of course. It won't. Any division of Jerusalem will inevitably mean a hard border running right through the city. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise, no matter how impeccable their credentials.


Sylvia said...

The popular resistance committees were created by Hamas as Independent bodies as soon as Hamas came to power. Precisely so Hamas could distance themselves if their actions prove unpopular. And Hamas is paying their salaries as far as I know.
One must take all this explaining away with a very large grain of salt.
A good example is how Nasrallah through the years has claimed that he doesn't know Mughniyya and that he is not part of Hizbollah. When Mughniyya was killed, the world discovers all the sudden that he was number 2 in the organization all along.

On a different note according to Palestinian sources (unconfirmed) Vittorio Arrigoni's mother is going to participate in next month's flotilla to Gaza. Apparently the guy was very close to his mother and they share the same extremist views.
I don't know about you folks but I am beginning to see a pattern here.
I remember Yonatan Shapira's mother some time ago saying proudly on radio about Yonatan (and his brother) extremist views: "that's the way I've raised them". And come to think of it I seem to recall that Ygal Amir was also rather close to his mother and she was the dominant person in their family.
Well, that would be for psychologists to figure out...

Sérgio said...

So, his mother is indirectly responsible for his death. Again, as with the totalitarian utopias everywhere, ideology trumps even the most basic human ties.

NormanF said...

I don't agree with Ya'acov. Peace is impossible with a society full of psychopaths. They don't acknowledge such a thing as right and wrong and are incapable of expressing true remorse for their actions.

The Palestinian Arabs are history's supreme narcissists. They don't acknowledge other people also have rights too and they have never figured out how to share what they have with others. They want it all.

Its hard for the human mind to grasp there are evil societies. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were two historical examples and the Palestinian Arab society is a contemporary manifestation of organized social evil.

There can never be a meeting of the minds with such people and peace is impossible.

I know that conclusion depresses the heck out of you Ya'acov but the stark and brutal truth is there will be no peace in our lifetime.

Barry Meislin said...

Peace is impossible...

Depends on how you define "peace."

Your definition probably envisages the continuing existence of the State of Israel.

Other definitions don't.

And one has to treat each point view with the utmost fairness and impartiality.

And while we're at it, let's debate whether the Holocaust actually happened.

Like I said, utmost fairness and impartiality.

Remember: All narratives are equal, but some are more equal than others:

peterthehungarian said...

Loyal to the Orwellian traditions of the Guardian they call Arrigoni a peace activist. To take a look at the kind of peace the fellow was fighting for visit this site and see the pictures.

Saul Lieberman said...

I don't understand your focus on terrorists' ability to cross a border and enter Jewish Jerusalem (though that would certainly make things worse). Terrorists don't need to enter Jerusalem (or any other part of Israel) in order to fire bullets or rockets. We need to be able to safe from enemy fire wherever it comes from.

Silke said...

as to your first paragraph - that is exactly what Robert Satloff (Washington Institute) talked about as what must be suspected re the different groups of Muslim Brotherhoodians establishing political parties in Egypt. i.e. fight the fight divided thus pulling wool over the eyes of romantics besodden observers and then once all your "insignificant" li'll groups have "lost" the election, unite ...

BTW I can't base it on any facts but that Arrigoni murder somehow feels like a lover's tryst gone wrong to me which is now put to best use by the spin-it PR people.

As to mothers I keep repeating again and again that Israeli PR is not woeing women the way it should.

Cherchez la Femme isn't a catchy phrase for detective novels alone. Or why is it that it is said again and again that politicians owe their success in the end largely to the female vote?

But showing us pictures of breathtakingly gorgeous Israeli women is more likely to get us into competion mood than solidarity

Y. Ben-David said...

Dexter Filkins, in his covering the rise of the Taliban as encouraged by the Pakistani secret intelligence service has pretty much explained how all these groups in the Middle East. Filkins interviewed a retired high Pakistani security official who said the Pakistani gov't helped set up ultra-extremist groups that like the Taliban tha were actually hostile to the Pakistani gov't. It was, in the end, a money making operation for the Pakistani gov't...they would warn that these extremist groups that they themselves set up were a threat and they needed massive amounts of American money to fight them. The Pakistani gov't would alternatively smack them and then give them aid. Exactly the same thing was done by Arafat with HAMAS, and now HAMAS with these Salafist groups. Rank and file people in each group may actually really hate each other and kill each other, but the leaders understand the rules...they need each other. The "moderate" side in power needs them to give an excuse for their inability to stop terror attacks ("we don't have control over them") and as a way of getting Western supporters of the "moderate" Establishment to be held over a barrel and told they had better cough up a lot of money in order to prevent the "extremists" from taking power.
Mubarak also played this game with HAMAS in Gaza (he helped them with the arms smuggling that brought them to power, but he also closed the border to Sinai) and with the Muslim Brotherhood. We do see how these games boomerang in helping bring Mubarak down and having Benazir Bhutto assassinated.

Juan Peron in Argentina also played games like this, setting up terrorist groups within his Peronist movement who ended up killing close advisors of his. Czar Nicholas II also did this having police agents running the anti-Czarist Combat Brigades of the Socialist Revolutionary Party who ended up killing his uncle, Grand Duke Sergei. This is a dangerous game.

RK said...

If you're interested in a semi-quantitative study of the causes of terrorism, check out Alan Krueger's lectures on the subject. (Krueger's a well-known American economist.) Broadly speaking, he emphasizes the role of ethnic conflict and authoritarianism, and dismantles the idea that terrorism is a response to economic deprivation. But a lot of it doesn't fit any of the dominant narratives, which is your shtick, isn't it? :-)

Silke said...

Yaacov's "shtick" synchs perfectly with Orwell's "shtick".

and Orwell is my hero when it comes to acute common sense observations and on the ground experiences with who rebels and who doesn't