The Folly of "Economics for Peace"

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Dr. Doron Matza - The hope that economic easing in Gaza will moderate Hamas terrorism is a mistaken attempt to apply a Western logic of conflict management to a Palestinian enemy whose definition of the end of the conflict with Israel is not in the West's political-cultural lexicon. The Palestinian national movement is not a struggle to achieve a political settlement based on territorial compromise. It continues to be a long-term campaign with the ultimate object of completely destroying the State of Israel. Like the PLO, which was unwilling to accept the existence of Israel and expressed that view with violence even as it pretended to negotiate, Hamas' strategy is based on a combination of negotiations and terrorism. There is no fundamental difference between the PLO and Hamas. As far as Israel is concerned, they feel the same way: the goal is Israel's total destruction. This combination of a false willingness to negotiate and constant violent behavior also characterizes Iran in its relations with the U.S. as it attempts to forge a path toward a nuclear weapon. Artificially imposing Western thought patterns on one's enemies is political folly. Economic regulation carries no promise whatsoever of a secure peace. The writer, a research associate at the BESA Center, has held senior positions in the Israeli intelligence system.

2021-09-30 00:00:00

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