Israel’s ‘Third Intifada’ Dilemma
"We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects… We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else.”
These are the words, never to be disavowed, of 1994 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat. The behind-closed-doors sentiments of Israel’s first “peace partner” must not be forgotten. Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has taken to writing a book detailing the “relationship between Jewish leaders and Nazism before WWII.” He later claimed that he has “70” books worth of material on this matter. What is Israel to do now that their hand is seemingly being forced by outside influences to negotiate with their newest "moderate" peace partner?
According to a widely cited poll, a third Intifada is going to be the likely result if the negotiations between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority fail to reach a particular accord towards peace: The Two State Solution. The term "intifada" is the Palestinian word for "uprising" or "rebellion."
The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center For Public Opinion. Not often cited is the fact that the Center polls only citizens of the Palestinian territories, not greater Israel. The Poll released by the Center on October 1 provides that 58.4% “anticipate the outbreak of a third Intifada in case the peace process ends in failure”.
With the realities ultimately present on the ground--a terror entity in Gaza, sworn to Israel’s destruction, and a heavily corrupted Palestinian Authority presiding over much of the land west of the Jordan River--the question remains: Does Israel even have a partner for peace? If the answer is "no," does this mean Israel is hopelessly doomed to make more painful conciliations stemming from the threat of another Intifada?
Twenty years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, one thing is for certain: Israel’s “land for peace” format turned out to be an abject failure. Not only was this true for Israelis, but Oslo also created further instability for the Palestinian citizenry as a whole. In the five years following the signing of the Oslo Accords, 256 Israelis and 405 Palestinians perished, which was a greater death toll than the previous 15 years combined.
Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon stated:
Oslo has failed, its finished, its dead… If you do something once and you fail, its logical, but if you continue in repeating (the same mistakes) its not logical, that’s why I tell to my colleagues here in Israel, it is about time… to speak for a new paradigm for peace in the Middle East.
While Arab media outlets such as Al Monitor try to drive the media narrative by insisting that Israel must act quickly to negotiate towards the two-state solution (and unilaterally geopolitically disarm itself in order to avoid this next Intifada), the facts do not measure up. While media organizations such as Qatar-owned Al Jazeera are sounding the alarms, warning of an intifada “in the offing," the facts, and ultimately, the leverage is on the side of the Israelis, granting them the courage and fortitude to say “no” to the unscrupulous demands of their neighbors.
The truth of the matter provides the following: But for the Iranian nuclear threat, Israel’s destiny largely remains in her own hands. The existential threats from Palestinian terror entities to Israel are serious but ultimately fall very short of being categorized as a supreme interest or putting Israel’s livelihood in jeopardy.
Israel has attained a trifecta of strategic tactical advantages versus their Arab neighbors. In the short and long run, Israel is winning militarily, economically, and demographically.
While Israel maintains a prosperous economy, known for its innovation and steadfast entrepreneurial spirit, its Arab neighbors largely rely upon an oil-based economy that in time will run amok. While Israel’s neighbors are experiencing a drastic decline in child birthrates, Israel’s has risen to nearly 3 births per woman. Israel’s defense industry maintains its qualitative edge, along with its nuclear hegemony over the region. Every day, Israel’s strategic edge grows, positioning them to stand up to bullying from outside influences. The only plausible way to upset this balance is for Iran to successfully develop full nuclear weapons capability.
While the Obama administration, the United Nations, and European nations are solely focused on reprimanding a handful of Israelis for building apartments in disputed territory, the fact is that Israel can afford to use carefully prudent judgment with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Just as the United States tries to base its foreign policy decisions based on matters that are within its strategic national interests, Israel can invoke the same method of operation in its decision-making process. If we can just put Israel’s internal disputes aside for a moment, It is time for the global community to focus on the primary geopolitical threat to the world, one that affects us all: the possibility of an Ayatollah having a nuclear weapon at his disposal.