by John Hawkins | April 18, 2002 7:55 pm
Breaking the Cycle of Violence in the Middle East: It’s been often noted that there’s a “cycle of violence” in the Middle East. The Palestinians send a suicide bomber that kills several Israeli civilians and the Israelis retaliate. It’s been going on like that for the last year and 1/2+ with roughly a 3 to 1 casualty ratio between the two sides….until the last incursion into the occupied territories.
Now many people would argue that this last massive offensive is going to make things worse than ever when it’s over because of the “cycle of violence”. I strongly disagree. At this point so much blood has been spilt and the grievances on both sides are so large that this conflict can’t currently be negotiated to a close. For this war to end, Israel is going to have pummel the Palestinians into submission the same way Germany and Japan were beaten into the ground during WW2. A 3 to 1 ratio isn’t going to do it because apparently the Palestinians consider that to be something that they can live with long-term. But, will they become interested in peace if the Israeli military is regularly driving tanks through their streets and doing house to house searches? How long can they take cowering their houses in fear while the Israelis have rolling house to house gun battles with terrorists in their neighborhoods? Can they take being confined to their houses for a week at a time when the Israelis roll in? Can they take the shame of seeing the PA destroyed, Arafat expelled, and the terrorist leaders in their territory hunted down one after the other while they sit by helplessly? I’m betting that if the Israelis keep ratcheting up the pressure and hitting the Palestinians harder and harder, they are eventually going to break down and negotiate peacefully for a state rather than continue the conflict. That’s how they’re going to achieve peace.
Now some of you are going to be gravely upset by what I just said because you think it’s “mean.” Well, keep in mind, I didn’t write the history books and I didn’t craft human nature. But I can read history and I do understand human nature and unlike a lot of people I’m not going to mix up what I want to happen (a peaceful, negotiated settlement) with what can happen just because I want it to be so.
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