The rumors flying this morning out of the Middle East are that on September 20, the Palestinian Authority will formally apply to the United Nations for recognition as a sovereign nation. The script, as it seems to be written, is that the General Assembly will push for it hard, the Security Council will lean towards it, and the US will exercise its veto — unleashing a fresh wave of anti-US and anti-Israel sentiment. It’s a stunt, of course, and a flagrantly transparent one. And a stupid one, but that won’t it from largely working.
I have my own idea. The US abstains, the measure passes, and the West Bank becomes a sovereign nation.
And at that point, every single terrorist attack launched from the new state of Palestine becomes an act of war. And Israel, having an actual nation-state (technically and legally, at least) to confront, declares that it recognizes a state of war between itself and Palestine, and Palestine gets to see what happens when one sovereign nation really pisses off a vastly stronger one.
That could be a tidy way of settling the whole Israeli-Arab conflict for at least a decade, as the world gets a reminder of just what Israel can do when it’s not held back by the US and the international community. Further, a lot of her adversaries have had to do without the Soviet Union to back them up. Yeah, Russia’s tried to fill the void, and China might see it as an opportunity, but the Soviet Union was the Big Bear In Their Corner — and the bear’s a lot scrawnier now.
Of course, it would never happen, as too many people think “there is nothing worse than a war,” and a lot of those are setting our foreign policy right now. But it’s a bit more likely than it was under the Bush administration, as the Obama administration is considerably less Israel-friendly.
But sometimes you just have to rip off the bandages, and a quick, decisive war could be considerably less harmful, in the long run, than another few years of a constant level of terrorist attacks.