Notes Book

Catch 22 in Palestine

We don't negotiate with terrorists. You hear this all the time from government leaders. I just heard it from Binyamin Netanyahu on a TV talk show. He went on to explain the Israeli Government's plans to kill or imprison the “terrorists”. I suppose the plan is to make the terrorists feel terror. Since this is to be done by the state of Israel, it can't be terrorism, of course. It does, however, look like terrorism, walk like terrorism, and quack like terrorism. The Palestinians killed by Israeli “preventative measures” seem to end up just as dead as the Israeli's killed by “terrorists”.

The armed defenders of the Israeli people are called an army. The armed defenders of the Palestinians are called “terrorists”. The Israelis would be perfectly happy for the Palestinians to have an army as long as it was under Israeli control. Netanyahu suggested that perhaps the Palestinians could have a state but the Israelis should inspect their imports to prevent them from having weapons.

Jesus Christ's chief complaint against the scribes and Pharisees was their hypocrisy. Apparently, things haven't changed all that much. To avoid charges of anti-Semitism, let me hasten to add that this level of hypocrisy is routine among statists. Rudy and George W also refuse to negotiate with terrorists, but bombing them is OK.

If the Palestinians did have a state and an army, then the Israelis would look like warmongers if they refused to negotiate, which is why, I suppose, they want to keep that from happening. That is the essence of the Catch 22. We won't negotiate with you until you have an army, and we also will keep you from ever getting an army. This is, of course, a standard occupation technique currently being used in Iraq by the USA.

The world seems to have endorsed the idea that the Palestinians should be allowed to have a state. Even George W. has endorsed the Palestinian state. A state without an army is not a state, so the Palestinians will someday have to have an army. Where will that army come from? Will people who have been “terrorists” be allowed to join? We know that many Israeli terrorists eventually became high officials in the Israeli government.

So the Israeli's will someday have to negotiate with a Palestinian army, especially if the Palestinian breeding advantage continues.

Israel would be wise to open direct negotiations with Palestinian “terrorists” right away. The peace dividend could be substantial. The improvement in Israel's international image could be substantial. Playing semantic and legal games to avoid the inevitable will only increase the pain of the adjustment when it comes and delay the prosperity that both Israel and the Palestinians want and need.

It seems that the Palestinians are doing pretty well at defending themselves without a state. Their defense budget must be really low. Suicide bomber rigs are cheap. If the Palestinians had a state, the Israelis might finally be able to get the upper hand.

It also seems we might have been wise to negotiate our differences with the Taliban. Had we done so, Osama might well be imprisoned, and many US and Afghan lives could have been saved, and we would look a lot less like the evil empire to the rest of the world.

So I endorse negotiation with terrorists. If the IRS comes around, I'm ready to talk.