The Carnot Cycle of Violence
Thomas Friedman makes the case that there is not now, nor ever likely to be anyone to talk to in Palestine, so why not give the whole thing away to the Jordanians?
“If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas does not get control over at least part of the West Bank soon, he will have no authority to sign any draft peace treaty with Israel. He will be totally discredited.
“But Israel cannot cede control over any part of the West Bank without being assured that someone credible is in charge. Rockets from Gaza land on the remote Israeli town of Sderot. Rockets from the West Bank could hit, and close, Israel’s international airport. That is an intolerable risk. Israel has got to start ceding control over at least part of the West Bank but in a way that doesn’t expose the Jewish state to closure of its airport.
“Radical pragmatism would say that the only way to balance the Palestinians’ need for sovereignty now with Israel’s need for a withdrawal now, but without creating a security vacuum, is to enlist a trusted third party—Jordan—to help the Palestinians control whatever West Bank land is ceded to them. Jordan does not want to rule the Palestinians, but it, too, has a vital interest in not seeing the West Bank fall under Hamas rule.
“Without a radically pragmatic new approach—one that gets Israel moving out of the West Bank, gets the Palestinian Authority real control and sovereignty, but one which also addresses the deep mistrust by bringing in Jordan as a Palestinian partner—any draft treaty will be dead on arrival.”
Friedman's argument makes perfect sense. It's logic is only marred by the fact that it misses the point. If Gaza were to become part of Egypt and the West Bank a part of Jordan, then the entire question of the "suffering of the Palestinian" people will be reduced to the mundane problems of providing schools, jobs, garbage collection, health service, etc. In short they will become problems of governance.
The whole strategic purpose of Palestine is to create a place where normal life has stopped but the Struggle is endless. Such a Palestine by definition is place where no one is responsible for anything. Not violence, nor hate nor love. While "Palestine" exists an entire evil political industry, with all its intellectual suppliers, apologists and flacks, can continue to prosper.
Palestine's whole point is to create a region of lawlessness from which Israel can be blamed and Israel can be attacked. From one point of view the chaos in Gaza and the disorder on the West Bank is a feature, not a bug.
The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.