The Day After: A Unique Two-State Solution

 

The conversation about when and if Israel will call for a cease fire has begun to shift in an intriguing, yet concerning manner. There are those who believe that the greater part of the war in Gaza is finished, although there is still much to do. At least this is the belief of Haviv Rettig Gur in the podcast with Dan Senor, “Call Me Back.” When I think of the tunnels that must be found and destroyed, and the persistence of Hamas to resist peace in any form, I become skeptical that the end of the war is near.

At the same time, I read two different articles written at two different times by the same man, Daniel Pipes, who is an acclaimed scholar on the Middle East. I’ve been following him for years and appreciate most of his scholarship, but I resisted concurring with his belief in the possibility that there was any possible way that two states, Palestinian and Israeli, could be created.

Still, in reading his earlier article, and reviewing his reasoning, and then considering his most recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, he’s given me cause for hope. And opportunities for experiencing hope regarding the Israelis and Palestinians have been exceedingly rare.

So I’d like to take you back to his first article, a transcribed interview, that I’ve referenced from February 2023, in particular his understanding of the Palestinians and their perceptions of the Israelis. In a new development, Pipes participated in creating the Israel Victory Project, a radical approach:

Many people have spoken about the need to impress on the Palestinians that Israel is there and its government can’t be defeated. Israel Victory takes it a step further and says that not only do the Palestinians have to understand that Israel won’t be defeated, but the Palestinians need to be defeated. That’s going further than anyone else does.

When Pipes was asked how he defined “defeat,” this was his response:

Very simply — defeat is imposing your will on your enemy. Whatever that might be. In this case, it would be accepting that Israel is there and permanent. My research suggests that through the past century about 20% of Palestinians have accepted that. Arabs played a very important role, especially in the pre-independence period, when they sold land, intelligence, and arms and provided all sorts of assistance to Jews. The rest are in denial, and the goal has to be to increase that [20%] to 40-60%.

Pipes states that Israel has simply “shrugged off” or tolerated the violence of the Palestinians, instead of confronting it. Again, the goal would be to convince the Palestinians that they have lost:

That said, let me give you one illustration. Israel should tell the government of Gaza — Hamas [this was before October 7] — that a single rocket or missile coming over from there means one day without any water or food or medicine or energy. Two missiles will be two days. I think there will be a lot of anger towards Israel for this, but I think it will be effective and won’t require military force. I think it’s worth the criticism in order to convince the Palestinians that they’ve lost.

To further convince the Palestinians that they must stop the violence, Pipes explains that the Palestinians must not be rewarded for losing, but they must feel the pain of defeat:

Everybody says let’s reward the Palestinians. I say no. Give them nothing, make them go through defeat, let them feel the pain. Then, once they’ve conceded, you can have Oslo-style agreements and benefits. It’s completely illogical to benefit your enemy while you’re at war with it. This is only an Israeli idea. The Marshall Plan only happened after the defeat of the Axis. We need to make them pay a price for continuing to want to eliminate the Jewish State.

Repeatedly, Israel and the rest of the world have tried to bribe Hamas, and the Palestinians even earlier, to acquiesce. Clearly, it hasn’t worked.

*     *     *     *

Coming into the present, Israel has thought it could postpone dealing with the “Day after Hamas” scenario. But Haviv Rettig Gur says in the referenced podcast, the time has arrived to deal with this reality of success in the war. Daniel Pipes in this op-ed explains how P.M. Netanyahu has stepped up to offer a possible approach:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month presented Israel’s security cabinet with a short document: “The Day After Hamas.” Its key passage states that Jerusalem plans to work primarily with Gazans to rebuild their territory. ‘Civil affairs and responsibility for public order will be based on local actors with ‘management experience,’ it says, and ‘not identified with countries or organizations supporting terrorism’ or receiving payments from them.’

Pipes describes the arguments against this approach as coming from the U.S. and other nations, who insist that the Palestinian Authority oversee Gaza; given the P.A.’s historic support of terrorist organizations and paying the families of suicide bombers, it seems unlikely that the P.A. will be an acceptable candidate. Also, from a practical standpoint, it might be difficult to find Palestinians qualified to take on management roles in a new government.

In recent surveys, however, the Palestinians may finally be turning against their exploitative ruler, Hamas. A trove of evidence suggests that Gazans reject being used as pawns in the terror group’s strategy. Two surveys taken before Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre signal that Gazans want to live normal lives.

One, conducted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in mid-2023, found that 61% wish that more Israeli jobs were offered to those living in Gaza and the West Bank. Sixty-two percent want Hamas to preserve the cease-fire with Israel, and 67% believe that ‘the Palestinians should focus on practical matters, . . . not on big political plans or resistance options.’ Seventy-two percent say ‘Hamas has been unable to improve the lives of Palestinians in Gaza,’ and 82% agree that ‘Palestinians should push harder to replace their own political leaders with more effective and less corrupt ones.’ Eighty-seven percent find that ‘many people are more preoccupied with their personal lives than with politics.’

I was stunned when I read these results, because other sources fairly recently have said that the Palestinians still support Hamas and their violence.

Still, Pipes assures us that Gaza will require a tough Israeli military rule to maintain peace and order. This is a brief overview of what that would entail:

These and other data points indicate that many Gazans want to be liberated from Hamas. However hostile to the Jewish state, they desperately want to move on from their present squalor, even if that means working with Jerusalem.

Israel, therefore, can reasonably expect to find many cooperative Gazans ready to establish a new governing authority capable of taking on a range of tasks, from policing, utilities, municipal services and administration to communications, teaching and urban planning.

Unfortunately, I see other limitations to Pipes’ plan. First, there will need to be a transformation of the Palestinian attitude to Jews; public cries of “from the river to the sea” will likely be forbidden. Second, will the Palestinians have the patience to bring civilized existence into their lives, since it will take time for the process to develop? Third, will Israel abide by the plan, making sure that it isn’t violated by Hamas infiltrators?

I could list many more difficulties that would be encountered in this plan. But there is nowhere else for the Palestinians to go.

Yet as Daniel Pipes concludes:

If the Israelis have the acumen and stamina to make this happen, they will have retrieved something positive out of tragedy.

Published in Foreign Policy
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 13 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    At the moment we should be worried about weather we need a two state solution in the United States, since apparently our own president doesn’t want half us here.  This having been said.   Pipes is absolutely correct.  What is worse is we knew this once.  Japan and Germany are allies of the US and part of regional stability precisely because they were beaten and knew they were beaten.  If you look at pictures and news reels of the footage of Hirohito touring Tokyo after the firebombing, the people are done.  There military isn’t but they have the knowledge that they have lost the war.  The same goes for Germany.  They knew they lost.   I suspect the same is dawning on everyday Gazans.   They are going to need to be occupied and they are going to need to be de-Hamas-ified.   Israel will have to treat them fairly but firmly and probably it will take some time.  It will likely take 2-3 generations.   I hope they are up for the long haul.  I think it would be a very good thing for the region.

     

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    At the moment we should be worried about weather we need a two state solution in the United States, since apparently our own president doesn’t want half us here. This having been said. Pipes is absolutely correct. What is worse is we knew this once. Japan and Germany are allies of the US and part of regional stability precisely because they were beaten and knew they were beaten. If you look at pictures and news reels of the footage of Hirohito touring Tokyo after the firebombing, the people are done. There military isn’t but they have the knowledge that they have lost the war. The same goes for Germany. They knew they lost. I suspect the same is dawning on everyday Gazans. They are going to need to be occupied and they are going to need to be de-Hamas-ified. Israel will have to treat them fairly but firmly and probably it will take some time. It will likely take 2-3 generations. I hope they are up for the long haul. I think it would be a very good thing for the region.

     

    It would, indeed, be a good thing. A key factor will be how the Palestinians respond. They would have so much to look forward to.

    • #2
  3. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    At the moment we should be worried about weather we need a two state solution in the United States, since apparently our own president doesn’t want half us here. This having been said. Pipes is absolutely correct. What is worse is we knew this once. Japan and Germany are allies of the US and part of regional stability precisely because they were beaten and knew they were beaten. If you look at pictures and news reels of the footage of Hirohito touring Tokyo after the firebombing, the people are done. There military isn’t but they have the knowledge that they have lost the war. The same goes for Germany. They knew they lost. I suspect the same is dawning on everyday Gazans. They are going to need to be occupied and they are going to need to be de-Hamas-ified. Israel will have to treat them fairly but firmly and probably it will take some time. It will likely take 2-3 generations. I hope they are up for the long haul. I think it would be a very good thing for the region.

     

    It would, indeed, be a good thing. A key factor will be how the Palestinians respond. They would have so much to look forward to.

    They will likely respond badly at first.  There are generations of poison that need to be leeched from the Palestinians before they regain their humanity.   I struggled with the word; however, I do think that is what they have lost.  

    • #3
  4. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    we knew this once

    The world knew it too. The problem for Israel is that powerful players have a lot at stake in making sure that Israel does not succeed in enforcing a long-term occupation as we did with Germany and Japan. Israel is not the world superpower that the United States was in 1945 and it has few allies.

    • #4
  5. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    we knew this once

    The world knew it too. The problem for Israel is that powerful players have a lot at stake in making sure that Israel does not succeed in enforcing a long-term occupation as we did with Germany and Japan. Israel is not the world superpower that the United States was in 1945 and it has few allies.

    True. but only because only because the West is determined to commit suicide.  Russia and China court Iran for short-term self interested reasons.  The EU has chosen to embrace Islam as a way to extirpate its perceived guilt over colonialism and the two world wars.  The Left in the US has chosen to embrace all manners of strange ritualized abasements to extirpate perceived guilt over racism and winning the cold war.  All this conspires to raise an inhuman regime in place of one of the only civilizations left in the middle east.  

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Œuf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Œuf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    At the moment we should be worried about weather we need a two state solution in the United States, since apparently our own president doesn’t want half us here.

    This is exactly what I was coming in to say.

    • #6
  7. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn: I could list many more difficulties that would be encountered in this plan. But there is nowhere else for the Palestinians to go.

    Land is cheap in southern Libya.  I am sure the world could chip in and buy a 200 square miles.

    • #7
  8. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I can’t imagine living in peace with a neighbor who has sworn, many times, to kill me and all of my family.

    Israel has no rational choice but to eliminate Hamas, however much it takes.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    I can’t imagine living in peace with a neighbor who has sworn, many times, to kill me and all of my family.

    Israel has no rational choice but to eliminate Hamas, however much it takes.

    But the Palestinians who supposedly don’t belong to Hamas will remain…

    • #9
  10. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    At the moment we should be worried about weather we need a two state solution in the United States, since apparently our own president doesn’t want half us here. This having been said. Pipes is absolutely correct. What is worse is we knew this once. Japan and Germany are allies of the US and part of regional stability precisely because they were beaten and knew they were beaten. If you look at pictures and news reels of the footage of Hirohito touring Tokyo after the firebombing, the people are done. There military isn’t but they have the knowledge that they have lost the war. The same goes for Germany. They knew they lost. I suspect the same is dawning on everyday Gazans. They are going to need to be occupied and they are going to need to be de-Hamas-ified. Israel will have to treat them fairly but firmly and probably it will take some time. It will likely take 2-3 generations. I hope they are up for the long haul. I think it would be a very good thing for the region.

     

    It would, indeed, be a good thing. A key factor will be how the Palestinians respond. They would have so much to look forward to.

    They will likely respond badly at first. There are generations of poison that need to be leeched from the Palestinians before they regain their humanity. I struggled with the word; however, I do think that is what they have lost.

    Think of it as over 1000 years of Jim Crow, with all the legal and customary discrimination and oppression–and of course with occasional lynchings and mass killings of “uppity Jews”.

    • #10
  11. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn:

    I was stunned when I read these results, because other sources fairly recently have said that the Palestinians still support Hamas and their violence.

    Just wikipedia, but fwiw:

    The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP or TWI, also known simply as The Washington Institute) is a pro-Israel American think tank based in Washington, D.C.,[3][4] focused on the foreign policy of the United States in the Near East.

    WINEP was established in 1985 with the support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the funding of many AIPAC donors, in order to provide higher quality research than AIPAC’s publications.[5] John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt described WINEP as “part of the core” of the Israel lobby in the United States.[6]

    From the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (which I’m sure also has its biases and agendas) poll:

    Wide public support for Hamas’ offensive on October the 7th, but the vast majority denies that Hamas has committed atrocities against Israeli civilians. The war increases Hamas’ popularity and greatly weakens the standing of the PA and its leadership; nonetheless, the majority of the Palestinians remains unsupportive of Hamas. Support for armed struggle rises, particularly in the West Bank and in response to settlers’ violence, but support for the two-state solution rises somewhat. The overwhelming majority condemns the positions taken by the US and the main European powers during the war and express the belief that they have lost their moral compass

    Also from wiki:

    In 1993, Palestinian political scientist Khalil Shikaki founded the Center for Palestine Research and Studies in Nablus, which became the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in 2000. The organization is non-profit and is funded mostly by the European Union and the Ford Foundation.[3]

    • #11
  12. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    I thought the Palestinians were promised Michigan.

    • #12
  13. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    I thought the Palestinians were promised Michigan.

    That was Joe Biden getting confused again. His handlers corrected him the next day. He meant to say the Middle East but he is directionally compromised at this point in his life, and, well, Michigan just came blurting out of his mouth. Don’t blame Joe. He’s just a sympathetic and forgetful old man.

    • #13
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.