Like his supporters, US Secretary of State John Kerry has apparently been asleep for the past 20 years.
Kerry has proffered us security arrangements, which he claims will protect Israel from aggression for the long haul. They will do this, he argues, despite the fact that his plan denies the Jewish state physically defensible borders in the framework of a peace deal with the PLO.
There are several serious problems with Kerry’s arrangements. But in the context of Kerry’s repeated claims that his commitment to Israel’s security is unqualified, their most glaring flaws are rooted in their disregard for all the lessons we have learned over the past two decades.
Kerry’s security arrangements rest on three assumptions. First, they assume that the main threats Israel will face in an era of “peace” with the Palestinians will emanate from east of the Jordan River. The main two scenarios that have been raised are the threat of terrorists and advanced weaponry being smuggled across the border; and a land invasion or other type of major aggression against Israel, perpetrated by Iraqis moving across Jordan.
It is to fend off these threats, Kerry argues, that he would agree to a temporary deployment of Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley even after Israel expels all or most of the 650,000 Israeli civilians who live in Judea, Samaria and eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem.
We will consider the strategic wisdom of his plans for defending Israel from threats east of the Jordan River presently. But first we need to ask whether a threat from across the border would really be the only significant threat that Israel would face after surrendering Judea, Samaria and much of Jerusalem to the PLO.
The answer to this question is obvious to every Israeli who has been awake for the past 20 years, since Israel started down the “land for peace” road with the PLO.
The greatest threat Israel will face in an era of “peace” with the Palestinians will not come from east of the Jordan. It will come from west of the Jordan – from the Jew-free Palestinian state.
The Palestinians don’t give us peace for land. They give us war for land. Whether they support the PLO, Hamas or anything in between, the Palestinians have used every centimeter of land that Israel has given them as launching bases for terrorist and political attacks against Israel.
There is no peace camp in Palestinian society. There are only terrorist organizations that compete for power and turf. And to the extent there are moderates in Palestinian society, they are empowered when Israel is in control, and weakened when Israel transfers power to the PLO.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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