For starters, a colorful array of (mutually exclusive) plans to end the conflict favorably to Israel have appeared through the decades.3 Going from softest to toughest, these include:
Trouble is, none of these plans addresses the need to break the Palestinian will to fight. They all manage the conflict without resolving it. They all seek to finesse victory with a gimmick. Just as the Oslo negotiations failed, so too will every other scheme that sidesteps the hard work of winning.
- Territorial retreat from the West Bank or territorial compromise within the West Bank.
- Leasing the land under Israeli towns on the West Bank.
- Finding creative ways to divide the Temple Mount.
- Developing the Palestinian economy.
- Encouraging Palestinian good governance.
- Deploying international forces.
- Raising international funds (on the Marshall Plan model).
- Unilateralism (building a wall).
- Insisting that Jordan is Palestine.
- Excluding disloyal Palestinians from Israeli citizenship.
- Expelling Palestinians from lands controlled by Israel.
Sadly, and also sensibly, I beg to differ. Given what Islam's core religious texts promulgate about "the Jews," there can be no long-term strategy of promoting a change of heart re the Jewish state that doesn't also include an acknowledgement and rejection of Islam's hateful, thoroughly rejectionist dogma.This historical pattern suggests that Israel has just one option to win Palestinian acceptance: a return to its old policy of deterrence, punishing Palestinians when they aggress. Deterrence amounts to more than tough tactics, which every Israeli government pursues; it requires systemic policies that encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism. It requires a long-term strategy that promotes a change of heart.
That dogma is the basis of Palestinian rejectionism. Period. End of story.