Should There Be a Price for Rejectionism and Terror?

(National Review) Douglas J. Feith and Lewis Libby - Decades of peace-processing have been premised on the assumption that Palestinian leaders are ready in principle to end the conflict and live with Israel. But Palestinian leaders have never actually been willing to renounce, once and for all, their claims over any of the territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. President George W. Bush learned this lesson. He wooed Arafat by giving official U.S. endorsement, for the first time, to a Palestinian state, but Arafat rebuffed his overture and, in violation of formal promises, bought a huge arsenal of Iranian weapons and then lied about it. For decades, Palestinian leaders have refused peace offers that were seen as reasonable by top U.S. officials. What is innovative about the new U.S. peace plan is that it favors imposing consequences if the Palestinians unreasonably perpetuate the conflict. If they continue to support terrorism and reject peace, their cause will suffer. Palestinians are now being told that, if they remain violent and uncompromising, the U.S. will not block Israel from advancing its own claims to areas that, in the administration's view, realistic peace talks would leave to Israel. The sensible question for the Palestinians is not whether the deal provides everything they think they are entitled to, but whether it is the best deal available - now and in the foreseeable future. The plan's goal is to change the diplomatic circumstances that have perversely incentivized the Palestinian side to keep the conflict going. Lewis Libby is senior vice president, and Douglas J. Feith is a senior fellow, of the Hudson Institute. During the first five years of the George W. Bush administration, they served as the principal national-security advisers to Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, respectively.

2020-07-27 00:00:00

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