Nakba “Nonviolence” Will Destroy What’s Left of Land-for-Peace
During the 1990’s the skeptical critique of land-for-peace was that it was structurally asymmetrical. The Israelis were expected to give up tangible land for intangible promises of moderation, a dynamic that encouraged Palestinian abuses. Israeli withdrawals were measurable, while the Palestinians could claim that they were cracking down on extremists and no one could know for sure. Israeli withdrawals were one-off events, while the Palestinians were in the continual process of moderation. Israeli withdrawals were expensive to reverse—requiring military campaigns and costing diplomatic capital—while the most that Palestinians ever lost was “faith” in negotiations. Israeli withdrawals exposed Israeli civilians to terrorist attacks, while the Palestinians at worst got to keep a status quo ante in which thousands of people were very pointedly not dying. And so on, and so on.