Monday, August 19, 2013

  • Monday, August 19, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today, the Israeli-Arab conflict is the least violent it has ever been.

This year, only one Israeli has been killed in a terror attack. Less than 15 Palestinian Arabs have been killed (B'Tselem says 11, and OCHA-OPT says 13), most of whom were involved in rock or firebomb attacks.

The lowest number of Israeli deaths in any year since 1948 has been six (2009 and 1982) according to this chart.

While this isn't the year with the lowest Palestinian Arab casualty count (1999 had only 8 deaths), it is the second-lowest since 1987.

In other words, this is (so far) shaping up to be the least-violent year since the beginning of the first intifada and quite probably since the founding of modern Israel in 1948.

We have achieved just about the best we can ever hope to achieve. Things were far worse in the years before the State of Israel was reborn, they were worse in the 1950s with the fedayeen attacks and the 1960s with the "commando" attacks and the 1970s with the more modern terrorist attacks. During all of those periods, Israel responded quite furiously, so both sides lost many people.

This is what peace looks like. The status quo is not perfect, but compared to everything else in the past hundred years, it is damn good. Call it a detente, call it a standoff, it doesn't matter - Arabs and Israelis have come close to stopping killing each other.

Even in Gaza, Israeli policies have made Hamas and Islamic Jihad think twice about shooting rockets into Israel. Rocket fire hasn't ended but life is getting close to normal in Israeli communities in the Negev.

And as long as there is no aggression against Israel, Israel is helping make the lives of Palestinian Arabs get better and better. As I noted recently, some 28% of the money being paid to West Bank Arabs is coming from Israeli employers. The Israelis are granting more work permits, paying better wages (roughly double what Palestinian Arabs are paying,) with better benefits.

At least some of this can be credited to Netanyahu with his much derided concept of "economic peace" as a basis for real peace moving forward.

If you want to compare the situation against perfection, which is the standard tool in the anti-Israel playbook, yes, things fall short. But if you want to compare the situation against any other time period, the situation is the best it has ever been - and possibly the best it ever can be. Compared to the rest of the region, Israel's peace is even more striking.

Why is there peace now? Very simply, because the leaders of the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza (as well as Hizballah in Lebanon) have a lot to lose by fomenting violence. That is the key to peace - creating a situation where the downside of attacks is much greater than the upside of what could be accomplished by violence. Choosing violence (on a macro level)  has nothing to do with "justice" or "rights" or anything like that - it is a simple cost/benefit analysis of what can be gained versus what can be lost.

Is this year an anomaly? I don't think so. While there is certainly an element of luck involved, the fact is that the situation makes it more "expensive" to attack Israel than to keep still. Of course one cannot predict the future perfectly - if Hamas comes up with a new way to kidnap an Israeli it seems likely they will try it out; if Hamas gets into a fight with Salafist groups then they might shoot more rockets over, if Islamic Jihad gets Iranian money while Hamas is hung out to dry, things might change drastically in Gaza. But for the foreseeable future, calm is in everyone's interest.

And "peace" isn't. The idea of a new push in the long moribund "peace process"  is being pushed from the outside, not from the parties themselves.

What would be the real-life consequences if there was a "peace agreement," no matter what its parameters?

Just this month, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs crossed into Israel -visiting the beach, shopping - during Ramadan, without incident. If the "peace process" is successful, that will be an international border and crossing will be much more difficult in Ramadans to come.

Today, tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs work, happily, for Israeli employers, with decent wages. If "peace" would break out, this would all but disappear and the PA economy would be in even worse shape than it is today.

Palestinian Arab exports to the West would be more difficult.

And, without a doubt, the terror groups who find the idea of formal peace with Israel to be anathema will work overtime to prove their relevance - by shooting rockets and planning suicide bombings, to reclaim their former glory.

Peace will not bring friendship. Anyone who believes that only has to look at how Egypt and Jordan regard their peace treaties with Israel. They have been respecting the treaties but they have not stopped their incitement; arguably in recent years anti-Zionism and antisemitism in those two countries has gotten worse.

Unless you are wedded to the idea of an impossible peace where Israel and the PLO are allied, you should realize that today, we have real peace.

After any agreement is signed, we will see more deaths on both sides, guaranteed.

Efforts should not be put into a fantasy peace plan. Instead, we need a dose of realism. The factors that can destabilize the current peace are the ones that need to be neutralized.

This means doing real work to integrate Palestinian Arabs into Arab countries as full citizens. This means working towards a Syria that is neither Assad nor Al Qaeda, but one that gives its people hope and weakens both Hizballah and Iran. This means a policy that truly supports liberal, democratic forces in Egypt and Tunisia and elsewhere. It means working towards a Middle East that resembles more closely the de facto peace currently enjoyed by Israel and Palestinian Arabs, where the cost of war is much higher than the status quo.

None of this is easy. But none of it is fantasy, either, which is what the "peace process" has been from the start.

Hasbys!

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

follow me

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats music Muslim Brotherhood Natural gas Nazi NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive

subscribe via email