The 'Then Maybe They Will' Doctrine

The power of wishful thinking.

Prof. Steven Plaut

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For the past 30 years, the Israeli political establishment has been a prisoner of the "Then Maybe They Will" doctrine. Each and every major policy decision made by Israel's political establishment has reflected the power of wishful thinking and faith in the make-pretend.

If Israel gives Sinai back to the Egyptians Then Maybe They Will stop the Nazi-like anti-Semitic propaganda in state-run media. If Israel gives Sinai back to the Egyptians Then Maybe They Will stop the smuggling of explosives and weapons from Egypt to Palestinian terrorists.

If Israel "recognizes" the "Palestinian people," Then Maybe They Will recognize Israel. If Israel agrees to limited autonomy for "Palestinian" Arabs at Camp David, Then Maybe They Will stop seeking Israel's destruction, and the world will not try to set up an independent Palestinian Arab terror state.

If Israel recognizes the right of the "Palestinian people" to self-determination, Then Maybe the Arabs Will recognize the right of Jews to self-determination. If Israel grants its Arab citizens affirmative action preferences, Then Maybe They Will stop cheering terrorists and stop seeking the annihilation of Israel and of its Jewish population.
Then Maybe They Will reciprocate with friendship towards the Jews.

If Israel agrees to hold talks with representatives of the PLO, Then Maybe They Will put a stop to Palestinian terrorism. If Israel agrees to hold talks with representatives of the PLO, Then Maybe They Will suppress the Hamas and Jihad terrorists, and prevent the Hamas from taking power within the "Palestinian Authority." If Israel holds talks with terrorists, Then Maybe They Will renounce their genocidal ambitions and seek peace.

If Israel provides the "Palestinian Authority" with arms and funds, Then Maybe They Will not be used for terror atrocities against Israel. If Israel officially agrees to let the "Palestinians" have a state, Then Maybe They Will abandon their agenda of annihilating Israel. If Israel turns the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinians, Then Maybe They Will not use it as a base for terror attacks against Israel.

 
If Israel expels all the Jewish settlers from Gaza as a gesture of friendship towards the Palestinians, Then Maybe They Will reciprocate with friendship towards the Jews. If Israel refrains from retaliating against the Hizbullah terrorists after they murder captive Israeli soldiers in cold blood, Then Maybe They Will not seek to kidnap any more soldiers.

If Israel allows the Palestinians to hold "elections", Then Maybe They Will not elect the Hamas. If the Palestinians elect the Hamas, Then Maybe Hamas Will not pursue a program of aggression and terrorism against Israel.

If Israel turns the other cheek after Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza, Then Maybe They Will stop being fired. If Israel ignores Hizbullah border violations, Then Maybe They Will stop, too. If Israel conducts a unilateral withdrawal from all of southern Lebanon and allows the Hizbullah to station rockets on the border, Then Maybe They Will not shoot any.

If Israel refrains from retaliation after dozens of Kassam rockets turn Sderot into the Israeli Guernica, Then Maybe They Will stop all by themselves. If Israel sets free thousands of jailed Palestinian terrorists, Then Maybe They Will renounce violence and not murder any more Jews. If Israel agrees to one ceasefire after another with the Arabs, Then Maybe They Will eventually comply with one.

If Israel agrees to evacuate the Jews from the Negev, Then Maybe They Will stop firing Kassam rockets at Israel. If Israel allows the "Palestinian Authority" to control parts of the West Bank, Then Maybe They Will not fire rockets at the Jews the same way they do from Gaza.

If Israeli politicians raise the minimum wage, Then Maybe They Will not thus cause unemployment to skyrocket.

If Israeli politicians arrange for the state to pay for 75% of the costs of Israeli universities, Then Maybe They Will not become centers for anti-Israel leftist sedition. If Israel allows bands of far-leftist traitors to seize control of many departments in its universities, Then Maybe They Will not collaborate with Israel's enemies. If Israel allows dozens of foreign "solidarity" protesters to enter Israel for purposes of helping terrorism, Then Maybe They Will not attack Israeli soldiers and police violently, nor collaborate with terrorists.

If Israel sits back while the Syrians exert their hegemony over Lebanon, Then Maybe They Will rein in the Hizbullah and stop border attacks on Israel. If Israel agrees to the stationing of UN troops in Lebanon, Then Maybe They Will actually do something to stop terror attacks on Israel. If Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria, Then Maybe Syria Will seek peace and reject the idea of using the Heights to attack Israel again.

If the Israeli courts and the Attorney General suppress freedom of speech for anti-Oslo dissidents, Then Maybe the Arabs Will stop anti-Semitic incitement. If Israel criminalizes and bans "radical" Jewish dissident organizations, Then Maybe the Arabs Will do the same with Arab terrorist groups. If the Israeli media and chattering classes demonize the settlers, Then Maybe the Arabs Will want to make peace with Israel.
If Israel agrees to place its neck in the Oslo noose, Then Maybe the Arabs Will not pull the rope.

If Israel sets up street signs in Arabic and otherwise demonstrates its goodwill towards Arabs with endless gestures, Then Maybe They Will reciprocate with renunciation of hatred and violence against Israel. If Israel allows Arabs in Israel to build illegally, including on public lands, turning a blind eye to violations, Then Maybe They Will become pro-Israel and loyal. If Israel over-funds Arab municipalities, covering their fiscal deficits run up intentionally, Then Maybe They Will become pro-Israel and loyal.

If Israel grants all religions unlimited freedom in Jerusalem, including Muslim control of the Temple Mount, Then Maybe the World Will acknowledge the legitimacy of Israeli control of the city. If Israel agrees to let the Muslims control the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Then Maybe They Will respond with friendship and moderation.

If Israel agrees not to build weapons of mass destruction, Then Maybe the Arabs and Iranians Will not seek to build any either.

If Israel agrees to place its neck in the Oslo noose, Then Maybe the Arabs Will not pull the rope.




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