Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
The only paid job I have ever had was teaching teenage girls how to lie. The High School in question called it “Model UN,” but I ran it like my own little fiefdom in which I dispensed wisdom and argued with students with reckless abandon.
One of the axioms I taught is that, in any brokered settlement, “The Unreasonable Party Always Wins.” This sticks in the craw, but it is true. Here are a few examples:
Imagine there are 12 matchsticks. A teacher tells two students to divide the sticks between them. The reasonable student suggests a 6/6 split. The unreasonable student claims victimhood of some kind, and says she needs all 12.
The teacher/arbiter comes in, and splits the difference! Halfway between 6 and 12 is 9, so 9 sticks go to the unreasonable party, and 3 to the reasonable party. Voila!
The very same thing happens in EVERY brokered settlement. Consider divorce: the party with the most hard-line demands wins, almost every time.
In sports, the referees end up being pushed around by the more physically aggressive team, so more fouls are called on the “nicer” team. Double standards are the net result, necessarily and every time.
Which brings us to Gaza. Hamas wants to kill all the Jews. Israel wants Hamas to stop killing Jews. So the brokered agreement, should there be one, would be to only kill half the Jews. Isn’t that only fair?
This inherent feature explains why the Arab instinctively know they should never, ever, back down from the most outrageous demands they can make. If anyone can impose a settlement, the Arabs will have moved the needle far away from any actual reasonable position.
The only way the reasonable party wins is to simply refuse to discuss the issue. Reject all intermediaries or judges or referees. In other words: make sure the situation is not brokered. Israel must do what it needs to do to end the threat to its own existence. And Israel must totally ignore the United Nations, a body that is somehow given legitimization as a democratic body, even though most of its own members came to power by ruthlessly murdering their opponents. There is no moral authority in the United Nations. Might should not Make Right, and Righteousness is not subject to majority approval.
Israel must hold absolutely firm to its position, and it must refuse all offers of “referees.”Published in