In the face of relentless intransigence from an enemy who refuses to negotiate, much less to concede anything, Israel’s prime ministers (since the Oslo process began) have felt a compelling need to bypass negotiations and gradually yield to their adversaries everything they seek. It was an error that led to thousands of deaths and injuries through terror and caused the downfall of the first Netanyahu government, and it is as bizarre as it sounds.
Certainly with the Arab world in turmoil, Israel should be focused on preparing to engage a new and changed neighborhood. While Westerners hope, perhaps naively, for the emergence of democratizing forces in the Arab world, it is as likely – if not more likely – that radical Islamic forces will seize control in several countries, including Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and perhaps even Syria.
And with Lebanon already in the throes of its own radical Muslims, Gaza tyrannized by a Hamas that is eager to expand its influence into Israel’s heartland, Europe finally responding to the Islamic onslaught that is overwhelming its culture and undermining its stability, and the United States reeling under economic woes that will dominate the coming presidential election campaign, the further weakening of Israel’s strategic posture serves no rational purpose.