Prof. Steven PlautSteven Plaut teaches at the University of Haifa and is author of "The Scout" (available from Gefen Publishing House). More of his writings can be seen on the New Plaut Blog, as well as in numerous electronic and print newspapers.
Q: With Obama about to visit the country, should Israel agree to attend new negotiation sessions with the Palestinian Authority?
A: No. Nothing positive can come out of it. For twenty years Israel has been attending “talks” with the Palestinians and these have achieved absolutely nothing other than Israeli capitulation. In each round of talks Israel has given away more and more assets and made an ever-growing number of concessions, getting nothing in return.
Q: Why give up hope that the Palestinians will agree to some sort of deal?
A: Because they have yet to comply with a single punctuation mark in any of the agreements they have already signed.
Q: So what should Israel offer the Palestinians?
A: Nothing at all.
A: Israel should make demands instead of making offers of concessions. It should make no new offers of anything until long lists of its own demands are fully met.
Q: But how then can Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians?
A: It can’t. Making endless concessions has no more chance of achieving peace than offering nothing. In other words, since the Palestinians are uninterested in peace, no offer of any sort will produce peace, and therefore they should be offered nothing at all.
Q: What is the best way to pursue a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict?
A: By abandoning all attempts to pursue a solution. The pursuit of “solutions” has been the root of all evil in the Middle East these past two decades. Israel should stop looking for solutions and instead pursue military victory.
Q: Do you seriously want Israel to send troops back into Gaza after the redeployment by Sharon and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza?
A: Yes, of course. It was obvious at the time of the Israeli unilateral withdrawal that military reoccupation of Gaza was only a matter of time, inevitable and necessary. The sooner it is done, the better.
Q: Doesn’t Israeli occupation cause terrorism?
A: No, removal of Israeli occupation causes terrorism.
Q: What should Israel offer Syria?
A: The right to retain Damascus and other Syrian territory east of the Golan Heights in exchange for Syria’s abandoning its demands for the “return” of the Golan Heights.
Q: Do you seriously expect Syria to agree to that?
Q: How should Israel deal with terrorism?
A: First and foremost, by recognizing that there is no NON-MILITARY solution to the problems of terrorism.
Q: What should Israel do with terrorists?
A: Summarily execute them without trial whenever they are captured while engaged in violence. Capital punishment should be instituted for all other terrorists.
Q: How should Israel deal with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad?
A: By killing as many of their members as it can.
Q: What is the best strategy Israel can adopt with regard to Gaza and the 'West Bank'?
A: R&D, or Reoccupation and De-nazification.
Q: How should Israel deal with the Qassam rockets?
A: By R&D, or Reoccupation and De-nazification. There is no way the Qassams will be halted through “talks.” They can only be halted by Israel’s reestablishment of complete military control over the Gaza Strip.
Q: Should Israel return Jewish settlers to Gush Katif in Gaza?
A: Yes, of course.
Q: What should Israel do about settlements on the West Bank?
A: Build more of them. It’s the best way to take Palestinian statehood off the table once and for all. In any future deal based on “limited autonomy” which was of course the original concept Israel accepted at Camp David “settlements” will represent no impediment at all to implementation.
Q: How should Israel deal with Hezb'Allah?
A: By helping to resolve the parking congestion problems in the towns and villages of southern Lebanon that are strongholds of Hezb'Allah and loyal to it. That is, by constructing large new parking lots there.
Q: How should Israel deal with domestic Arab radicals?
A: Israeli Arabs openly identifying with the enemies of Israel or endorsing terrorism should be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and deported. All Arabs sitting in the parliament, working as senior civil servants or as judges must be required to take an oath of allegiance, on a sacred book of their religion, to Israel as a Zionist state. The extended families of any Arabs involved in terrorism or anti-Jewish violence should be deported and their property seized.
Q: What about the Temple Mount?
A: The PLO must be completely stripped of control over it.
Q. How can "hope for peace" be created in the Middle East?
A: By eliminating all hopes among the Arabs that they will destroy Israel.