Thursday, 24 November 2011

ISRAEL IN A NEW STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT.



BESA Center Experts Say:
Iran is an Intolerable Threat; Arab Spring Not Resulting in Democracy

Summary of Remarks at the BESA Center Conference on 
"Israeli Security in a New Regional Environment"


"As steep as the price for hitting Iran may be, a military strike on Iran will be less painful than the cost of living with an Iranian nuclear weapons threat," argues former Mossad head Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom. "The backlash from a strike on Iran's nuclear sites will not be as bad for Israel as will an Iran armed with nuclear weapons," he says. "I don't think that those predicting apocalyptic repercussions of a strike on Tehran are correct, and even if they are, Israel can't afford to wonder if Tehran will go crazy and bomb us."

Yatom made these remarks yesterday (November 23, 2011) at a BESA Center conference on Israel's new strategic environment, which focused on the so-called "Arab Spring" and its implications. Speaking alongside him was the Prime Minister's former National Security Advisor Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan. 

Yatom's position is diametrically opposed to that of former Mossad head Meir Dagan, who sparked significant controversy earlier this year by stating that an attack on Iran would be a foolish move that would lead to a war with an unknown outcome.

It is impossible to stake the nation's security on predictions by those who claim a nuclear Iran can be deterred and that the Iranian regime would not launch a nuclear attack, Yatom added. He acknowledged that rocket attacks would likely ensue from Lebanon and Gaza following a Western or Israeli strike against Iran, but added that Israel's response would be "so painful and crushing that rockets will come to an end. Civilian facilities and infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza will have to be hit. Innocent civilians could be hurt. But we will have to deliver a crushing blow so that the barrage of rockets against us will not continue."

The world does not have much time left to act on Iran, the former Mossad head warned, adding that "there is an evaluation that they have crossed the red line. They have the knowledge to make the bomb. All that is needed now is the decision to do it.... The world has a year in which to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons program, probably less."

Yatom also doubted that sanctions or covert operations could stop the Iranians. "We have only two options: to let Iran get the bomb, or to use military force against their military nuclear program. I think that force will have to be used. But I don't think Israel should lead. This is, after all, a global problem.... Nevertheless, should the world stand on the sidelines, Israel will be fully entitled to use its natural right to self-defense. To us, the Iranian nuclear weapons program is an existential threat."

Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, former head of IDF military intelligence and national security advisor to past Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, agreed with Yatom that Iran's nuclear weapons program must be halted, but felt that sanctions which embargoed Iranian oil and gas and which outlawed transactions with the Iranian National Bank could dissuade the Iranians from proceeding. "While not an existential threat, Tehran's nuclear program is an unacceptable threat," he said. 

Relating to the turmoil in the Arab world, Dayan said that the upheavals in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and elsewhere "prove once again that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not the central problem in this region.

"The implications for Israel of this unrest are manifold," he said. "At a time of such uncertainty, Israel must preserve and secure its strategic assets. This is not the time for Israel to be taking territorial or other risks, since we don't know what is ahead. Israel must maintain defensible borders, with strategic depth, the ability to defend ourselves against attack, and in the Palestinian context – full demilitarization of areas under their control. Israel must guard against the possible emergence of three hostile Palestinian states – in Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza," he said.

Dayan also called upon Israel to take the diplomatic initiative and advocate for Kurdish independence. "There are some 30 million Kurds in a clearly-defined region spread across four countries. They deserve statehood no less than the Palestinians," he declared.

Prof. Gabi Ben-Dor of Haifa University, who spoke at the conference about Arab societies, dismissed the notion that a surge of enthusiasm for Western-style democracy lay behind the recent turmoil. "Who says that protests against dictatorship necessarily lead to democracy?" he asked. "Democracy is not what emerged from the revolution against the Tsars of Russia 100 years ago, nor has democracy emerged in many CIS states that threw off the Communist yoke. Thus there is no rational, logical or historical basis for assuming that democracy will result from the revolutions underway today in the Arab world."

Egypt has a decent chance at a long-term march towards democracy, Ben-Dor said, but only if the military maintains a degree of moderating control over the country and prevents the Islamists from exploiting the situation in order to wrest complete power.

Prof. Efraim Karsh of the Middle East Forum and King's College London was more pessimistic. "Islam remains the strongest identity framework in Egyptian society in particular, and in Arab society generally," he said. "The Arab national dictatorships that were layered over this basic Islamic identity for the past 80 years were but a thin veneer of repression. With the fall of these dictatorships, what remains is the core Islamic underpinnings of society, and these will now come to the fore. Consequently, no democratic structures, processes or values are likely to emerge in the Arab world for many generations."

Panelists at the conference disagreed about Western reactions to the Arab upheavals. Prof. Hillel Frisch of the BESA Center argued that one could discern the emergence of a clear American approach to the changes in the region – a policy construct that emphasizes the promotion of democracy while underscoring the containment of the influence of Iran, Russia and China. Prof. Karsh and Prof. Eytan Gilboa disagreed. "America is fumbling for responses, reacting differently in each case, without any obvious grand strategy," Karsh asserted. "Though American responses to each Middle Eastern state can individually make sense, overall strategy seems to be lacking, creating an image of a confused and untrustworthy America," said Gilboa.

BESA's Dr. Jonathan Rynhold argued that at present there are no chances of successfully completing a peace process with the Palestinians. A conflict management strategy or an attempt to reach a partial agreement are the only realistic policy choices in hand, he said.

BESA Center director Prof. Efraim Inbar warned of a deteriorating security situation for Israel. "States like Egypt are already losing control of their own territory, and Israel can expect increased cross-border attacks and terrorism. The Turks may ignite a confrontation over energy in the eastern Mediterranean. Israel should not be cutting its defense budget now. On the contrary, Israel should be investing more in the military and in the defense industries – so that we'll be ready for challenges five years or more down the road."


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Put yourself in my shoes. What would you do?

Times have changed, and not for the better. I am no longer the naive and trusting teenager I used to be. I've become cynical. I've been lied to and I've been hurt to many times. Trust is a commodity that is long gone.
It began, I suppose, when the lodger began to demand my house. Yes, that's right. He claimed that my home belonged to him. What nonsense! I refused, of course. You'd do the same. What right does he have to my home. When the police came after a particularly brutal act of violence he said it had all been a big mistake, that he only wanted a place to sleep, that he didn't mind me living there. It was all a lie, a deception, but I was persuaded, in my stupidity, to allow him a place to be. So I agreed. Once inside my home he again became abusive and violent. My life was hell. Somehow I managed to drive him out and I managed to evict him. He spent some time away from me. The restraining order kept him some distance away from me and I began to feel safe. I began to put some order and tranquility back into my life. I had a short period of quiet. He appealed to me to let him back in. I refused, of course. Wouldn't you? Who would do such a thing having experienced what I had experienced with him? But he spoke to the neighbours, and he spoke to the authorities, and he signed an agreement witnessed by others to say this time he was going to be a good boy. Just give him a couple of rooms and everything would work out fine. No violence, he promised. Promised? That's a laugh! The witnesses said they would guarantee his good behaviour. They were respectable and influential people. How could one not have faith in their word? How much of a sucker do you have to be?
The moment he was installed back into my house he tore up the agreement and started beating me up again, swearing, cursing me, using violence, inflicting injury, worse than he had done in the past. He demanded the whole house. He demanded that I should leave. I turned to the authorities for help. I pleaded with those dignified people who had promised to guarantee his good behaviour. They said we had to sort out our grievances between us. They did nothing. They never do. I had a decent standard of living. I did well. Much better than the neighbours whose world has gone to pieces. My home was a good place to be. Economically, things were good thanks to my success. My neighbourhood went to hell. By the way, his relatives, who live in the neighbourhood, surround my home and are threatening to come and help him get me evicted. Once or twice I thought I had reached an agreement with him, but he never signed the paper at the end of the day. I offered a compromise to him, I offered concessions, I even took my things out of one more room and made way for him to use it. He did. He used it to store the tools he used to try and wreck the rest of my home. He rejected my offers, he rejected everything. The truth was he wanted it all. The authorities were no good. One or two, very few of them, muttered some words of support but did little. That didn't help. The majority were against me. It seems to me that the authorities are made up of his friends and relatives all ganging up on me. At least one of them actually publicly and repeatedly threatened to come and kill me. If I didn't give my home to him he would come and blow up my home and kill me with it. Now he's trying to change the law to make out that I have no legal rights to my home, that I am the villain and he is the victim. In the mad world I am living in the authorities have set up committees to examine his claims and to challenge my right to live in my own home. One of them has even put him down as being the owner.

And so I appeal to you, dear reader, I ask you what am I to do? What would you do in my shoes? Leave home? No way! Kiss and make up? We've tried that so many time before. It ain't going to happen. I am still ready to give him a share of my home but to kiss and make up is really, for me, the kiss of death. So I ask you again. What would you do in my shoes? And while you are thinking about your answer allow me to introduce myself. My name is Israel.

Friday, 18 November 2011

THE MIDDLE EAST - THE MOVIE, written by Barry Shaw, author of ISRAEL - RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE.

                              
 It seems to us in Israel that the Europeans, of which Britain is a part whether you like it or not, look at the Middle East, or even the future of the Middle East, through a movie lens. A movie for which they have written the script, and have actors play the roles set out by them.  It takes no account of reality on the ground.

The movie “Utopia” has to have a happy end and anyone spoiling that vision has to be called out by the director.  The script writers have been raised on an education of multiculturalism, human rights, liberal leftwing views, democracy, and try to apply these values on the actors who don’t know what he’s talking about. All the actors, that is, except one. His name is Israel. So it is Israel that is bullied by the director, the American producer, and the crew to comply with the script while the other actors are running riot around the movie lot. Israel is the actor who is called upon to apply human rights while the other actors are not pulling punches in the fight scenes. Israel is the one who has to make concessions while the others are riding roughshod over the scenery. And when the director complains the other actors call in the union, in which they have the majority, to censure Israel.

When the movie proves to be an expensive failure there is only one actor to blame. Israel. It’s not the director’s fault for having a lousy script, or for not changing the premise of the movie to fit the actors and the location of the movie. The other actors can’t be blamed for not keeping to the script because they got a free pass, and the director and producer need some of the background players for another more successful long running movie called “Oil”. No. It’s Israel’s fault that nobody is buying tickets to see this failure.

It’s only when some of the actors start burning down the movie house, and the European audience staggers out into the dark cold night, that they face the reality of what a difficult and threatening place the movie takes place in . They emerge to find that their neighborhood has changed, that some of the actors relatives have moved their community and are beginning to change their world, and not for the better. They are behaving like their kinfolk did in the movie. It is then that some of them realize that Israel was the good guy after all.

Of course, there are others that will continue to blame Israel for ruining the film, for having them waste their money and their time at the cinema as they face an uncertain future, a future in which they need to question the values that led them to impose a movie on others that was doomed to failure from the beginning.

Monday, 14 November 2011

IDEA NOTES FOR THE BIG TENT.

                                IDEA NOTES FOR THE BIG TENT by BARRY SHAW.

What began as a private initiative is taking late roots in Manchester with the upcoming Big Tent Conference at the end of this month.
What drove the initiators to put together their programme was a grave concern over the growing delegitimisation campaigns against Israel that have gone relatively unchallenged in Britain.  It is to be hoped that the event will not dilute into a lukewarm agenda of nice speeches and little post-conference action.
To concentrate the attention of the participants and audience of the Big Tent it is vital that they fully appreciate the clear and present dangers facing Israel today. There are vital reasons why the conference must stand firmly with Israel and vow to take ongoing action to confront the delegitimisers.
Here are some of my recommendations based on experience, contacts, and knowledge about who, in Britain, are on the forefront of the battle being waged against Israel and what they need to win the fight.

It is, in the main, the young, staunchly pro-Israel, activists who are facing down the radical elements that have made London the hub of delegitimisation. They are the ones who are left alone to counter hate Israel events and speeches on the campus, who are assaulted verbally and even physically when speaking up for Israel, and take to the streets to counter anti-Israel demonstrations dressed up as pro-Palestinian, human rights, protests.
These are the dynamic and brave groups and individuals that must be reinforced and strengthened in their David and Goliath battle against the well organized, well financed, opponents of Israel.

SOCIAL MEDIA.
As an organizer of the Herzlia Situation Room, set up at the time of this year’s Gaza Flotilla, I saw the successful effect of a coordinated social media attack on the radicals and “useful idiots” who participated in the failed flotilla. It failed due to a two pronged approach that reaped dividends.
The Israeli government worked with European governments to hamper the progress of the ships that were tied down in Greek ports.  It also failed due to the efforts of individuals and a couple of NGOs who worked, through legal means, to prevent the ships from sailing while, at the same time, mounting a campaign to delegitimize the flotilla activists.
The use of the social media played a large part in driving a wedge between public opinion and the ship’s radicals. We created a social media presence with a website, over 40 Facebook groups in various languages, and numerous Twitter accounts.
We banged out a strong message that accused the ship’s radicals of perpetrating a lie, that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and that it was wrong to sail into the welcoming arms of a Hamas terror regime.  The sound bites that I created did not mention Israel. By putting the spotlight on these extremists was sufficient to distance broad public opinion away from them. The 2011 Gaza Flotilla was an expensive failure for the radical organizers. It costs them, according to a Dutch investigative journalist, ten million Euros as the ships remained anchored in Pireaus.
The same team of social media volunteers was made to turn their attention to the “Flightilla”. This was the planned air invasion of 600 radicals who intended to descend on Ben Gurion Airport from various European airports and stage disruptive demonstration in Israel both at the airport and at a number of other locations.
Due to the intelligence we had gathered by researching the radical organizations behind this campaign about 450 of them were prevented from getting on planes at the points of departure while those who managed to fly were arrested as they landed in Israel.
The social media savvy team of 14 volunteers helped avoid an embarrassing international incident for Israel.  We found that there were many overt and covert ways of taking the war to our enemy, the delegitimisers. We proved that it is possible to beat a ten million Euro anti-Israel enterprise with a small bunch of willing volunteers.
The method and the message are lessons to be learned by The Big Tent activists as one way to mount successful campaigns against the delegitimisers in Britain. The huge advantage to this is that it does not take a big budget, expensive offices, to execute. All you need are a bunch of savvy and keen young people with laptops with a coordinated approach to their actions. Their work, as we have seen, includes a rapid response element. This has been used to get people on to the streets to counter the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protests   with a properly organized strategy it is possible to rally thousands in support of Israel.
Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, was quoted in the Jewish Chronicle as saying that British Jewish leadership has access to the British government but it does not have influence.  He would gain that influence if backed by thousands of people demonstrating against the radicalization that has taken root in London that is a danger not only to Israel but also to Britain. It must be in the interest of the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies to encourage and to assist the groups who have proven capable of identifying the enemy and are taking the fight to them. They are doing this in the social media and on the campus.

THE STUDENTS.
Perhaps the most battered of our advocacy warriors are the students. The campus is the hotbed of radicalism where extremist actions are fermented. These are the campaigners who must be armed with well funded strategies. Pro-Israel British student groups can learn from the successful tactics being employed in America. 
On campuses across North America, pro-Israeli student groups are reaching out to multiple ethnic and social student groups and establishing relationships of shared interests.  As Tali Segev of Illinois University told the Jerusalem Post recently, “We’ve had a lot of success with cross-cultural programming. We’ve held events with the East-African Student Association. We did a fundraiser with the African Cultural Association for Save a Child’s Heart, based in Israel. We even did a fundraising effort alongside the different Japanese organizations following last year’s earthquake in Japan.”
Segev happens to be a Chicago Jewish Federation Israel Education Center intern. “We want to teach about Israel, its diversity and its connections all around the world.”  Segev’s message that Israel is not isolated is one that beats the aims of the delegitimisers.
I recommend that pro-Israel student bodies outreach to other ethnic, cultural, and social groups on UK campuses. The initial effort need not be to gain their immediate support for Israel but to create mutually respectful bonds of cooperation that will pay dividends when it comes to recruiting understanding and support for their pro-Israel events. By making Israel relevant to Indian students, Asian and African students, gay students, even with moderate Arab and Muslim students to gain dialogue, British pro-Israel students can copy the programming being done across the Atlantic.  An essential part of this type of partnership should involve inviting the heads of these student bodies to come to Israel and experience firsthand what a vibrant, all embracing, country we have here.  I, as an Israeli board member of AXIUS, can facilitate a Study Tour of Israel that will involve meeting political, academic, community, and security leaders in Israel.

LAWFARE.
It is not possible to face the challenges of delegitimisation without considering the legal aspects of this threat. This is the reason why I initiated and am organizing an international conference on The Legal Aspects of Countering the Delegitimisation of Israel. It will be held under the auspices of the Strategic Dialogue Center of the Netanya Academic College in Israel next year. This conference could be one of the follow up events if the Big Tent includes the legal challenges to the delegitimisation campaigns against Israel on its agenda.
I consider this to be an important cornerstone of the battle against delegitimisation as lawfare is increasingly being applied against Israel. The Palestinian Authority ‘s  recent actions at the United Nations were primarily to invoke resolutions against Israel as part of their delegitimisation campaign against a Jewish State they reject and refuse to negotiate with. Universal jurisdiction was recently removed as a threat to Israelis visiting Britain, but there are many more actions that must be taken such as those against boycotts, prevention of free speech, dishonest reporting by the media, and mistrials brought by biased judges in the UK.
I am delighted to have been a guiding spirit in the creation of the UK Lawyers for Israel NGO. More British lawyers should associate themselves with this group. I am currently helping to set up similar groups in other European countries. There is much to be done in the courts and by changing legislation that will defang a lot of the extremist and radical forces based in Britain.
As the title suggest, these are notes that point to just three of the sectors in which it is possible to make discernable progress in fighting the evils of delegitimisation of Israel.
My basic message is to take the spotlight off Israel and point it firmly in the face of the delegitimisers. The main aim of any delegitimisation campaign must be to out them, name them, and shame them. It is they, not Israel, that should be placed in the dock of the accused. It is their lies, hypocrisy, and obvious intentions to stir up hate that must be exposed.
By exposing their radicalism and extremism it is possible to win over the hearts and minds of the broad middle ground of public opinion in Britain and bring them into the Big Tent.

BARRY SHAW is the author of ISRAEL –RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

It's time to think of an alternative to a failed Two State Solution.

The time is long overdue to speak out for an Israel under assault. We should fight fire with fire. In fact, we should start a few fires of our own. And who should do this fighting? Who should light these fires? We should.  We, the people. Not the governments. They’ve been lying for years. They have not faced reality for decades. Not our non-governmental leaders. They have been leaning so far left that they have become the verbal puppets for the radicals. Oh, they speak in the tongue of the liberal left, but they come at us from the same oblique angle as those who attack Israel and the West.
These governments, these leaders, haven’t woken up to the fact that they are living in a dreamlike fantasyland of illusions, illusions such as social justice, multi-culturalism, and equality. They campaign for human rights for people who are among the biggest abusers of human rights. They think that human rights means supporting statehood for a people who deny the rights of Israel. Equality, for them, is equating Israeli actions with Islamic terror.

Europeans have been living in an economic fantasyland ever since their created the delusional Euro zone.  Now reality is hitting them hard. They are scrambling around still declaring that their system is great and it’s only certain countries that are out of control. Not correct. As Margaret Thatcher once famously said, “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of somebody else’s money.” Europe has sold off, or given away, its inventiveness and industry and has been living on borrowed time, and borrowed money, for far too long. Their people continue to insist that they get six week vacations, retire at fifty five, and receive a full pension for the rest of their lives, and riot when they discover that their country is bankrupt.
Just as they have been untruthful with their economic programs so are they dishonest in their political platforms as well. Basically, the Europeans haven’t been able to tell the truth for decades. They have a narrative that is far removed from reality. They have a myopic worldview, based on their Socialist roots, that is far removed from reality on the ground. It is as if they see the world through the lens of a movie of their own making. In this script, the Palestinians are the weak and oppressed, the Israelis are the brutal occupiers, and all the scenes have to be portrayed to fit this plot. If it doesn't, it is taken out of the frame. The truth, the reality, lies on the cutting room floor.
The producers of this utopian vision look at the ugly face of the Middle East, including the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and miraculously see a beauty spot where, in reality, there is a deep scar. They perceive and portray the villain as the victim.

They do not appreciate that the Arabs only have three seasons to their calendar. The na├»ve world sees an Islamic Spring and call it an “Arab Spring”. I don’t know what they are smoking while they are watching this movie but they insist on putting a positive spin on what is, in truth, the emergence of a more radical future from the current upheavals. The harsh Arab environment does not permit them bask in the summer sun. The winds of their autumn blow away the stirrings of spring and announce the bleak arrival of winter.
The outcome of the bloody Arab turmoil will lead to the Islamic Autumn with promised elections. The dream-fixated world may project this as a democratic movement but, as with the Palestinians and Hamas,the western invention of the voting system will give legitimacy to the rise to power of forces in Arab societies that will become the breeding ground of future crisis for the world. That will reach its peak when autumn turns to the long, cold, Islamic Winter as the extreme elements of Islamism fully take control. It is then that the world, and the indigenous people in the region, will regret not maintaining the much derided “status quo.” By that time, it will be far too late.

The fraud behind the claims of Palestinian statehood, and the deliberate avoidance of obeying the constitutions of United Nation official bodies, is further proof of a world gone mad with deceitful “political correctness.”  The truth has been hijacked and silenced to the extent that supposedly responsible governments knowingly, cynically, flaunt the law in order to pass international resolutions in defiance of their obligations to do otherwise. Morally, responsibility, and justice is turned on its head in a damning display to the world that rules don’t count any more. Thus, it is possible for normally sane countries to defy the rules and vote a non-existent Palestine into full membership of UNESCO. These representatives sit in the voting chamber of a United Nations organisation that is their global body for education and vote for a "Palestine" that teaches incitement to its children, denies the rights of Israel, racially rejects Jewish history and heritage in its schoolbooks, classrooms, and summer camps.

In such radical scenarios the deep scar, referred to earlier, will only be removed with major and painful surgery. No amount of cosmetic work will do the job. No wishful dreaming, or willful misconceptions, will change the truth that those who should have known better refused to side with their constitutional obligations because it did not fit into their slanted political lexicon.

In such a world, should Israel be one of the individual nations that remains obligated to stand by its principles? Or should it enter into the law of the jungle where the vast majority of the world powers now roam?

We need to establish some clarity and sanity into the Palestinian statehood debate. It will not be what some wish it to be. It will be the truth. To understand what the truth is one simply has to look examine Palestinian words, their acts on the ground, their outrageous demands. The truth is founded on facts, not Palestinian fiction, or European interpretations.

Perhaps Israel should follow the successful Islamic example of “taqiyyeh.” Taqiyyeh is an Islamic term. You can agree, even sign an agreement, to gain a benefit and, once obtained, can then be discarded to allow you to progress to an even better advantage. This tactic allows you to lie and deceive your opponent and break your word or contractual obligation. Yasser Arafat was a typical example of a taqiyeeh deceiver. 
Palestinians feel no compunction to have a terrorists returned to them and, within days, renew intensive rocket fire on Israeli towns and villages in advance of the second stage of the prisoner release. Israel may feel morally bound to continue the second phase of the release of five hundred and fifty terrorists to Gaza which was part of the Gilad Shalit deal. However, in light of the loss of Israeli life, injuries, and property destruction, Israel should consider imposing a new condition to their release.
Israel should tell the Palestinians that their prisoners will only be freed following eighteen months of a total terror freeze by them. 
If the Palestinians can come up with the excuse of a settlement freeze as a  precondition for direct talks then Israel should learn from their methods.  Palestinian should be told “a total terror freeze for eighteen months and you can have your 550 terrorists back." Should there be a single act of terror the clock stops ticking and start over again. No rockets. No mortars. No suicide bombers. No knife-wielding Arabs. No kidnappings. Nothing. For something you get nothing. For nothing (no terror) you get five hundred and fifty Palestinian murderers.

If the Islamic Winter, that is the upheaval of a Middle East that has never known democracy, is irrevocably turning into a Shariah winter, so a future Palestinian state will inevitably become an Islamo-fascist Hamas/Islamic Jihad regime.
One fire we should light is the one that says that Israel cannot, must not, make any concessions to a Palestinian society that voted 73% for Hamas. This is not the spark of deception. This is the flame of truth.

In such a vicious neighbourhood, with such dangerous and deadly foes, there are some in Israel who are daring to look beyond the notion of a Two State Solution. This is yet another fantasy movie that is being replayed with no connection to facts on the ground. With the best will in the world, and successive bipartisan Israeli leaders have called for such a solution, this has been repeatedly rejected by the Arabs for a hundred years. There is nothing that indicates that either a Fatah-led Palestinian Authority or Hamas are willing to reach a solution that does not end in the eliminate the Jewish State of Israel. 

Israeli experts are capable of thinking outside the box. Unlike their European counterparts, this type of thinking is not cocooned in the fuzzy world of fantasy. They analyse the facts and the underlying currents and come to the conclusion that, as long as a radical Islamic nieghbourhood rejects the presence of a Jewish entity in their midst, friction will always drive the agenda. 
They reckon that time will prove the Two State principle to be dead in the water. Not that they favour the present status quo, in this case. Neither do they welcome a One State Solution, either. 
The range of options include Jordan is Palestine based on 1922 League of Nations resolutions. It also includes a "Three States for Three Peoples" solution which positions a Palestinian state in northern Jordan which was originally the Arab Palestine. This plan goes under the sub heading of "A Better Life for the Palestinians. A Better Life for the World."  Another idea is breaking down the Palestinians into their ethnic tribal origins and creating eight city states each one being a self contained sheikhdom. The reasoning behind this proposal is that the upheavals in the Arab world are, in essence, the disintegration of lines drawn a hundred years ago by the Supreme Allied Powers that failed to take tribalism into consideration.

The analysts and experts know that time is on their side. They know that, sooner or later, the wonderful dream of a pragmatic two state solution is doomed to failure. The alternatives are being discussed right now behind closed doors. This is a flame not yet lit, but one that will burst into life when the spark is required. This spark will awaken the dreamers out of their fixated mantra when the clash of conflict demands a reassessment of wonderful notions that are leading nowhere.