How to squeeze Israel, gradually
How to squeeze Israel, gradually

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.”

Squeeze Israel more gradually!

That’s the advice a former U.S. Mideast emissary is offering Jared Kushner, courtesy of the op-ed page of Tuesday’s Washington Post.

David Makovsky, formerly the right-hand man to the Obama administration’s top Mideast envoy, Martin Indyk, was given the front-and-center spot on the Post’s op-ed page in order to tell Kushner what he’s doing wrong in his Mideast peace efforts.

There is more than a little irony in the fact that Makovsky presumes to lecture the current U.S. Mideast negotiators, after he and Indyk spent years at the exact same task and completely failed. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

According to Makovsky, Kushner’s big mistake is that he is trying to achieve too much, too soon. Kushner should seek “short-term gains” instead of “a grand peace deal.” What Makovsky has in mind is “incremental economic progress,” meaning that Israel should make one-sided economic concessions to the Palestinian Authority and the United States should start pouring money into the PA again.

Such economic “progress” would “create the political space to deal with tough policy issues later,” Makovsky claims, because it “would give Palestinian something to lose and would mitigate the chances of an explosion.”

Makovsky apparently wants us to forget that it’s all been tried before, with dismal results. From 1994 until last year, the U.S. donated a total over $10-billion to the Palestinian Arabs. Other countries around the world gave billions more. The Palestinians have had plenty “to lose,” yet they have continued to wage war against Israel anyway.

The notion that economic improvements will “mitigate the chances of an explosion” is an absurd fallacy that State Department Arabists have been promoting practically since time immemorial. Yet it has never proven true. Even at the peak of post-Oslo international largesse, the Palestinian Authority—not just Hamas, but the PA, too—actively sponsored suicide bombings, sniper attacks, stabbings, and the lynching of Jews.

The essence of the Makovsky Plan is to gradually squeeze Israel. He knows it’s too hard to get Israel to surrender everything at once, so he counsels doing it step-by-step, slice-by-slice.

 Here are some of the other “small steps” he has previously recommended:

 — Allow the PA to build in areas that the Oslo accords do not give them the right to build. (Politico, 3-30-15)

 — Admit 100,000 workers from Gaza into Israel every day. (JNS, 7-3-15)

 — “Stop [Jewish] building in 92 percent” of Judea-Samaria, and stop building even in existing communities that are “on the edge of the security barrier.” (Wash. Post, 2-26-16)

 — A U.S. declaration that moving the American embassy did not mean that the U.S. recognizes the Old City of Jerusalem as part of Israel’s capital. (NYTimes, 1-22-17)

 — Immediate restoration of $200-million U.S. aid to the PA. (The Hill, 9-23-18)

 And where will all this lead? What does Makovsky have in mind when he says that the U.S. will “deal with tough policy issues later”?

We know the answer to that because we know the demands that Makovsky and Indyk were making of Israel during the Obama years. They wanted to establish an independent Palestinian Arab state alongside an Israel that would be nine miles wide at its mid-section.

We know that’s where the border will be, because that’s where the Palestinian Arab cities of Tulkarm and Qalqilya are located. They are two of the largest cities under PA rule. There’s no way they will ever revert to being ruled by Israel. Tulkarm and Qalqilya will sit on the western-most edge of Makovsky’s State of Palestine. And only nine miles of Israel will separate them from the Mediterranean Sea.

In the days leading up to the 1967 war, Israeli mothers living in the narrow coastal region kept their children home from school, because they feared that an Arab tank column would cut the country in half, and they didn’t want their children to be trapped on the other side. That’s the kind of precarious fate that will again await Israel if Makovsky’s Gradual Squeeze Plan is ever implemented.

For those who sit on the comfortable banks of the Potomac and pontificate about what Israel should do, it’s all a matter of semantics and clever arguments and theoretical lines drawn on theoretical maps. But for every citizen of Israel, it’s a matter of life and death.