have nothing worth keeping
of recent weeks make absolutely clear that there will be
no peace in the Middle East until the cost reaches truly
massive proportions for either the Palestinians, Israel
or the United States. We are not there yet. The question
is: Who will break first?
have nothing left to lose. They are willingly dying in suicide
operations and being killed in the streets by tanks. The
national rage against the 35-year-old occupation generates
an ever-deepening pool of candidates to fight and die. The
Ariel Sharon blueprint of escalating military repression
to stop terror in fact has multiplied terrorist attacks.
Israeli intelligence officers regularly point out that massive
repression will not work.
Yasser Arafat to end the terror? The terror is totally decentralized
as the Palestinian government infrastructure is destroyed.
Daily humiliation of Arafat spells deepened humiliation
of all Palestinians, whatever criticisms they have of their
elected leader. Endless humiliation is more dangerous than
Arafat, there will be no central command. No Palestinian
leader can unilaterally abandon guerrilla war and terrorism
-- the only weapons he has, for continuation of endless
uncertain negotiations with an Israeli government whose
goals exclude an acceptable solution.
too, has nowhere to go. He is determined to keep the settlements,
refuse a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and deny
genuine sovereign rights to a Palestine state. If he wavers
from this, his coalition is over. Benjamin
waits in the wings to terminate the Palestinian Authority
entirely and reject any Palestinian state.
are victims of horrendous daily terrorism as understandable
existential anxieties crowd out any liberal response. The
mantra is ''stop the terror'' rather than attending to the
root cause -- ``end the occupation.''
Bush has bought Sharon's argument that the basic problem
is terror. The president is ''standing firm'' and has effectively
granted Israel an open license to eliminate terrorism in
its midst. It will not happen.
anger at the United States is growing exponentially; it
will be only a matter of time before terror is visited against
Americans abroad, by people who have nothing to do with
Osama bin Laden.
terrorism against Israel end when Israel withdraws from
the occupied territories? Any honest analysis must acknowledge
that it will not, at least overnight.
runs deep, and fanatics who want to destroy Israel remain.
But only when the Palestinians have a genuine stake in the
new state and its sovereign freedom -- something to lose
-- will the atmosphere of society change. Only then will
radicals be perceived as damaging to their state, society
and future. Only then can a Palestinian government start
its own crackdown internally on the remaining radicals,
as the value of violence fades under new conditions.
putting aside all moral judgments, who will break first?
independent Israel has the most to lose as the terror continues
unabated -- as it surely will -- and the occupation becomes
untenable. The Palestinians will not break further because
they are already broken as a government; terrorist acts
become local, individualized acts of patriotism.
United States does have a lot to lose, but the Bush administration
seemingly believes that resolute toughness will prevail.
For the administration, the Palestinian struggle is a nuisance
that complicates the road to war in Iraq.
further rejects the Palestinian leadership because it may
have sought support from Iran and Iraq. If that is so, does
it change the above equation of Palestinian aspirations
and Israeli rejection? Do counter- terrorism and military
force become the sum total, the sole prism, of our global
Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National
Intelligence Council at the CIA.
The Los Angeles Times