Murphy's Law: May 17, 2002


The Palestinians' Fate - Part One: So what happens to the West Bank/Gaza Palestinians if there won't be a Palestinian state? Will they continue in fatal embrace with the Israelis? Will the West Bank be ethnically cleansed and its Palestinian Arab inhabitants forced into a diaspora? Can the Israelis eliminate their resistance, and at what price?

Israel will have to do something with the about three million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, even if it annexes and ethnically cleanses the West Bank. The Palestinians there won't go away - they'd just be moved around. Nobody wants them, least of all Israel's neighbors. It is unlikely that Israel would unilaterally invade one or more of its neighbors to dump its Palestinians there, though it might move them to what had been Syria as part of a multilateral (by the US, Turkey, Israel and possibly India) rearranging of regimes and borders in the Middle East following America's conquest of Iraq.

A more likely outcome, in the event Israel annexes and ethnically cleanses the West Bank, is deportation of its 1.7 million Palestinians to the Gaza area where 1.3 million Palestinians already "reside". This would keep them under Israeli control, which would be desirable as the Palestinians are psychotically genocidal towards Israel. Moving them just outside Israel's expanded borders would only impede but not stop Palestinian continuing terror attacks, and their suicidal nature makes them too dangerous to permit them independence nearby - see the previous article: Why There Won't Be A Palestinian State.

Israel's primary objective in resolving the Palestinian question is to prevent them from further injuring Israel. Recent Israel raids on Palestinian terrorist bases in the West Bank have shown that Israel can reduce Palestinian terror to endurable levels for the 5-8 months before the US conquers Iraq. Endurable levels of terror attacks for less than a year, however, might not be endurable for several years so something more effective, but short of outright genocide, will be necessary after the US conquers Iraq. That entails locking up the Palestinians more thoroughly than they are at present. It would also be desirable, if possible, to alter the Palestinian mindset towards Israel, which requires recognition of what changed that mindset between the relative peace in the first few years after the Oslo accords, and the recent wave of Palestinian terror. Which definitely was not Palestinian suffering. They changed because they thought they could win through suicide bombing, and they thought that because Hizbollah had driven Israel from Lebanon through suicide bombing.

So the first requirement for modifying Palestinian behavior towards Israel is to convince them that they can't win. History has shown that getting a particular fantasy out of an Arab culture's collective head is difficult. When that fantasy involves defeat of the hated "other", the hated "other" has always, always, destroyed the fantasy through bloody massacre of those who hold it. The most recent instance of this took place about 20 years ago in the Syrian city of Hamas, which was leveled, together with 25,000 of its inhabitants, by the late President Hafez Assad of Syria when the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group threatened his regime. Arab attitude adjustments generally require a higher body count than at Hamas.

The Israelis haven't figured this out yet because they're, well, Jewish. Human life is important to them, even that of the enemy. So they engage in counterproductive, for this situation, tactics like minimizing Palestinian civilian casualties at the cost of their own higher military casualties, avoiding unnecessary destruction, and even leaving money behind in temporarily occupied Palestinian houses to pay for incidental damage. This convinces the Palestinians that the Israelis are weak - "the Jews feel guilt, so they must be weak." The behavior which the Israelis consider most admirable is that which most incites Palestinian terror towards them.

Absent a major change in Israeli military behavior towards the Palestinians, the best chance for Palestinian behavioral modification lies in direct, and highly unpleasant, Israel control of Palestinians' daily lives. All of them. And this will likely happen. There is a technological solution which, together with more traditional intrusive measures, would certainly convince the Palestinians that they've lost this round at least, with the added attraction that it would foster creation of a Palestinian class dependent on Israeli good will.

This entails, first, physical separation of the Palestinians into much smaller, more controllable population blocks - separated from each other as well as from Israel. Then Israel will have to move each block into newly constructed quarters designed for population control, i.e., the Palestinians will lose all their property. This would, among other things, deprive the Palestinians of their weapons caches. All economic activity in the new camps would be supervised by the Israeli occupation authorities.

This sounds like prison because it is - all the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza go to new prison camps. They don't get out of those, ever, save by earning it with good behavior. Then they may move, as individuals and/or families, into less tightly controlled blocks. This will also protect docile Palestinians from the nastier ones. 

There will be bonuses to this. A significant international non-governmental organization infrastructure developed, originally, to support Palestinian refugee camps, and evolved over time into subsidiary terrorist-supporting organizations through the political process known as "constituency capture". Moving all the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians into new camps controlled solely by Israel, with access permitted only to Israelis, would break up NGO support for Palestinian terrorism.

Imprisonment like this would certainly enrage the Palestinians, but they're already suicidally psychotic. Anything more they can do to Israel, they'll do anyway without this, but such imprisonment would deny them access to Israeli civilians. That is what prisons are for. The Palestinian suicide bombing culture merits collective imprisonment. But effective imprisonment wouldn't enrage them forever, rather it would tend to kill their spirit over time.

And the technological solution will enhance both Israeli security and the chance of long-term Palestinian behavior modification. More in Part Two - Thomas M. Holsinger


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