The only way for the conflict to be resolved is for one side to give up.
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is considered one of the world’s foremost analysts on the Middle East and Muslim history. Since 1994, the Forum, through its various projects, has promoted American interests in the Middle East and protected Western values from Middle Eastern threats.
The Israel Victory Project, which calls for a Palestinian defeat in the place of what the Forum considers failed diplomacy, is today the Forum’s most high-profile campaign.
Explains Pipes, “The reigning assumption for 30 years has been that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be resolved through negotiations, diplomacy mediation, compromise and painful concessions. It has not worked.” Rather, Pipes, suggests “a completely different approach, which looks at the historical record and notes that conflicts generally end when one side gives up.” A loss on the battlefield, says Pipes, does not necessarily mean defeat.
“The Six-Day War in 1967 was perhaps the greatest military victory in recorded history, but it did not lead to a sense of defeat. The only way for the conflict to be resolved is for one side to give up.”
Pipes points out that his proposal is not anti-Palestinian.
“If the Palestinians give up, they would gain even more than Israelis because the Israelis live in a functioning advanced, democratic, law-abiding country; Palestinians live in something quite worse. Only when the Palestinians abandon their irredentist claim on Israel can they make progress and build their polity, economy, society and culture.” Any resolution of the conflict, says Pipes – whether Israeli sovereignty on the West Bank, complete withdrawal from it, or something in between – is better achieved once the Palestinians accept Israel as the Jewish state.
Pipes says that the Middle East Forum is working to build a wide alliance of support for the Israel Victory Project. A caucus in the current Knesset has 26 members from seven parties, and the concept has been raised, Pipes reports, with a range of politicians and intellectuals. He is particularly encouraged that the IDF’s new chief of staff, Aviv Kochavi, has said that he wants he wants to conduct workshops and seminars on the IDF mission and has talk- ed about victory.
“That’s particularly important,” says Pipes, “not only because the IDF is a key institution, but also because the main opposition to the idea of victory has come from the security establishment, which has, over the years and on the topic of the Palestinians, become timid and status-quo oriented.”
According to Pipes, Israel’s victory will be clear once the Palestinians cease violent attacks and end their campaign of delegitimization over a protracted period.
“They have to show a repudiation of their traditional rejectionism and an acceptance of Israel, Jews and Zionism.
This implies a change of heart,” he says.
In his view, once the Palestinians fully accept Israel, it will be difficult for others, including Turkey and Iran to maintain their anti-Israel fervor.
“This will have a ripple effect from Morocco to Malaysia,” he maintains. While Hezbollah will need to be defeated, ul- timately, they will also fade away, once the Palestinians have accepted Israel.
Pipes says that achieving his aim does not necessarily imply additional military activity. Rather, he suggests, it requires resolve on Israel’s part.
“Arguably, there has been no Israeli goal in Gaza since 2005.
It is putting out brushfires and trying to keep things calm, but there is no objective.” He seeks to convince Gazans in general, Hamas in particular, that their efforts are futile. ‘You have lost. The war is over, and you have no power. You can only make progress if you accept Israel as the Jewish state.’” If Hamas launches one missile, Pipes proposes that Israel stop all deliveries of food, water, energy and medicine for one day.
A second missile means no deliveries for two days, and so on.
“The military will say there are risks in this, and they’re right, but those risks are necessary to end the conflict.”
British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other anti-Zion- ist leftists are waiting to take power and do real damage to Israel if the conflict is not ended so the need to address this festering problem is urgent.
The privately funded Middle East Forum maintains a staff of 28, including an office with a staff of five in Israel.
“As an American,” says Daniel Pipes, “I want our allies to win around the world. Israel is an ally, so the United States government should urge Israelis to win their war.”
This article was written in cooperation with the Middle East Forum.