Gregg Roman, director of the Middle East Forum, was interviewed by Land of Israel podcast host Eve Harrow on July 3rd’s Knesset meeting of the joint US-Israel program, the Israel Victory Caucus.
Launched by the Middle East Forum in Fall 2016, the Israel Victory Project maintains that peace can only be reached when the Palestinians are forced to concede the futility of their century-long rejectionism and accept Israel’s right to exist. To advance this goal, the Forum created an Israel Victory Caucus in both the U.S. Congress and the Knesset, as well as apprised key members of the Trump administration of the concept, in order to promote legislation and policies that will supplant the failed Oslo “peace process” with persistent pressure on the Palestinians to come to terms with Israel’s existence. Such measures can range from stopping financial support to the Palestinian Authority so long as it continues to pay lifetime allowances to families of killed and/or jailed terrorists, to ending the “Palestine refugee” farce, to harnessing the widest international backing behind Israel’s political stance and sustained military effort to defeat Palestinian terrorism.
Palestinian rejectionism is two parts Palestinian, one part international community, and one part lack of Israeli strategy. Palestinian’s rejectionist Waqf-Fiqh mentality (“waqf” is the Islamic holy trust, and “fiqh” is Islamic legal doctrine), with its Islamic concept of never relinquishing lands that were once in Muslim hands, can be challenged by citing the precedent of the Balkans, and ancient Andalusia, now Spain, where Muslims gave up lands in 1492. The second rejectionist idea, “samud,” (steadfastness), encourages Palestinians to wait millenia, if need be, to defeat the Israelis, but Palestinians want to better their lives now and partake in the benefits of Israeli innovation. Third, the international community (and far left) indulge Palestinian “no’s” with donations that perpetuate the rejectionist cycle, but there are organizations working to separate monies for strictly humanitarian concerns apart from the political ones. Fourth and final is the Israeli security apparatus, fearing escalation or increased risk, which prefers keeping the status quo, instead of bringing about a resolution to the conflict on Israel’s terms.
This paradigmatic shift is likely to be arduous and protracted. But it is only through the persistent and systematic eradication of all possible sources of recalcitrance - military, economic, political, diplomatic, and propaganda - that the Palestinians can be disabused of their lingering desire for Israel’s destruction. Which is far more than can be said of the two-and-a-half decades of the Oslo “peace process” and which, in the final account, is in the best interest of the Palestinians who will at long last be able to focus on improving their own wellbeing rather than eliminating their Jewish neighbors.
Summary account by Marilyn Stern, Communications Coordinator for the Middle East Forum