The Palestinian solution
: Michael J. Totten has a breathtaking column in Tech Central Station arguing that we must be careful, very careful not to reward terrorism:
It is time to ask ourselves honestly: Is it possible to support a Palestinian state without encouraging terrorists elsewhere?
There are many stateless Muslims; the Chechens in Russia, the Kurds in the Middle East, the Uighurs in Eastern China, and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Opinion leaders tsk-tsk the Russians, but no one holds demonstrations for the liberation of Chechnya. The Kurds are good people and they deserve their own state, but nearly everyone agrees it would only make trouble. Few even know the Uighurs exist. Meanwhile, as the Palestinians continue the jihad, the number of their supporters isn’t declining. It’s rising. The lesson for extremists is clear: the squeaky wheel gets greased.
Lest the Arab-Israeli conflict grind on indefinitely, Palestinians eventually need their own state. But we need to find a way to get them that state while discouraging bad actors elsewhere….
The trouble with the road map isn’t that Palestinians won’t cooperate. The problem is there’s no punishment if they don’t….
Before the intifada was launched in 2000, a Palestinian state was not a guaranteed outcome but an option to be negotiated. George W. Bush is the first American president to use the words “Palestinian” and “state” in the same sentence. Bill Clinton never went so far. Bush didn’t do this because the Palestinians are suddenly more deserving of a homeland. He did so because they violently demanded it.
It’s an object lesson for would-be terrorists elsewhere. Terror precipitates a crisis, generates public sympathy, and produces results on a much faster schedule….
Totten offers a different and decisive road map: “First, defeat terrorism. Second, nurture democracy. Third, negotiate a settlement.” Worth the read.