There is no dispute of the fact that Israel can defeat all the Arab armies combined, and the imbalance of power has greatly tipped in Israel's favor especially after the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars. It's obviously clear that the gap in military readiness between Arab countries and Israel could not be greater, and this gap will either shrink, or Israel will have to sustain this unbearable life for decades to come. In other words, Israel's quest for ultimate security and military readiness will exhaust its brain power and resources in the long run.
On the contrary, the Palestinian people have nothing left to lose. Palestinians now number 8.5 million people, and in 20 years they will number over 20 million. As their number increases, more of them will either continue to be dispossessed, living in deplorable refugee camps in unwelcoming host countries, or they will continue to live under Israeli military occupation. It cannot be ignored that the prospects of the average Palestinian making it in this world are extremely limited, and this sense of desperation and helplessness has driven the average Palestinian, literally, to the point of madness. Palestinians mostly feel that the whole world saw them being raped, and did nothing.
One of Israelis' major mistakes is that they think that Arabs will not fight if they know in advance that they will lose. As has been repeatedly demonstrated (i.e. the 1973 and 1982 wars), Arabs are willing to commit themselves to a long term struggle, especially if humiliated and cornered. Israelis perfectly know that demographically and strategically they lack the resources to commit themselves to a sustainable and a prolonged struggle; that's exactly why they have perfected the art of mechanized warfare, where they must decisively neutralize their enemies as swiftly as possible. As it has been already demonstrated in the War of Attrition in 1969, the 1973 War, and the invasion and the prolonged occupation of Lebanon between 1982-2000, Arabs were capable of neutralizing the Israeli might (regardless how well it's equipped, trained, and financed) by bleeding its resources in a prolonged and a sustained struggle. In those regards, it's worth quoting a cable that was sent by the U.S. ambassador in Damascus to Washington in response to the Israeli rejection for a comprehensive peace proposal that was offered by Husni al-Za'im, Syria's president in 1949, soon after the 1948 war. The cable stated:
"Unless Israel can be brought to understand that it cannot have all of its cake (partition boundaries) and gravy as well (area captured in violation of truce, Jerusalem and resettlement of [Palestinian] Arab refugees elsewhere) it may find that it has won Pal[stine] war but lost peace. It should be evident that Israel's continued insistence upon her pound of flesh and more is driving Arab states (and perhaps surely) to gird their lions (politically and economically if not yet militarily) for long range struggle." (Righteous Victims, p. 264)
Similarly, Abba Eban, a veteran Israeli Foreign Ministry official, predicted that Arabs will resort to force in response to Israel's intransigence on the political path between 1971-1973. He also predicted that Arabs will go to war even if they know they might lose. He wrote:
"All the time, the Israeli defense strategy was frankly attritional. The logic was that if the Arabs were unable to get their territories back by war or by Great Power pressure, they would have to seek negotiations and to satisfy some of Israel's security interest. This view made no provision for the third Arab option---neither docility nor negotiation, but a desperate recourse to war in the hope that even an unsuccessful attack would be more rewarding than passive acceptance of the cease fire lines." (Iron Wall, p. 309)
It's rarely debated among Israelis, how the Israeli Occupation Force (I.O.F.) has a corrupting influence on the Israeli society. This point was elegantly articulated by a pro-Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld (renowned Israeli military strategist and historian) as follows:
"...war makes the victor stupid. In retrospect, the smashing victory of 1967 was probably the WORST thing that ever happened to Israel. It turned 'a small but brave' people ...., who with considerable justification believed itself fighting an overwhelmingly powerful coalition of enemies for dear life [click here to read more on this subject], into an occupying force, complete with all the corrupting moral influences that this entails. The military lesson of the 'feat of arms unparallel in all modern history' began to be studied almost immediately. Not so its moral consequences, which were clear only to very few -- among them, rumor has it, Prime Minister [Levy] Eshkol, who within days of the capture of East Jerusalem was wondering how one would ever 'crawl out again.' In the event Israel and the IDF refused to crawl out, and before long they were confronted with new challenges that they found difficult to overcome." (The Sword And The Olive, p. 199)
Ironically, this belligerent Israeli attitude has not only driven the Israeli public to become radical and uncompromising over the years, it has also immensely radicalized the Arab and Muslim public as well. Since the 1948 war, one of Israel's major mistakes that it was incapable of converting its military gains (along with its strategic location) to permanent political gains. Sadly, many Israeli politicians are usually recent graduates from the Israeli Army, who often solved Israel's political problems from security and military points of view. It should be emphasized that despite all of Israel's military might, most of its citizens still feel unsafe. What is even more tragic that Israeli military conquests and wars were not fought for the sake of peace, but for ideological, territorial, economic, and security gains. In a nutshell, Israelis lack the wisdom to strategically shape their political future, and over time they have perfected the art of day to day survival by the power of arms; a modern day Sparta. The deficit in political wisdom, besides the militant state of mind, has made it hard to incubate pragmatic Israeli politicians who could solve their country's strategic long term challenges. In that respect, it's worth quoting the most underrated Israeli politician, Moshe Sharett, who wrote in the early 1950s:
"[The Arabs have] extremely subtle understanding and delicate senses. [It was true he conceded, that] there is a wall between us and them and there is tragic development in that this wall is getting taller. But, nevertheless, if this wall can be prevented from getting taller, it is a sacred duty to do so, if at all possible." (Iron Wall, p. 97)
To simply reply to this belligerent Israeli and Zionists question: no matter how strong Israel gets and no matter how much the Western World supplies it with sophisticated weaponry, Palestinians shall always proudly identify themselves with that piece of land which they derive their names from. Palestinians are honored to carry Palestine's name, and to identify with its indigenous way of life. Let's never forget the fact that Palestine was raped and pillaged for over 200 years during the Christian Crusades, until its complete liberation in the 13th century. In that respect, it's ludicrous to entertain the thought that the Palestinian people would submit to the Israeli might after only 56 years of ethnic cleansing, dispossession, and occupation.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that Ben-Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister) recognized that the victory in 1948 was achieved not because the Israeli Army was more heroic but because the Arab armies were rotten and corrupt. He became obsessed with the fear that a charismatic leader would modernize Arab education, their economies, and unite all the Arab states. He wrote on November 11, 1948:
"The Arab people have been beaten by us. Will they forget it quickly? Seven hundred thousand people beat 30 million. Will they forget this offense? It can be assumed that they have a sense of honor. We will make peace efforts, but two sides are necessary for peace. Is there any security that they will not want to take revenge? Let us recognize the truth: we won not because we performed wonders, but because the Arab army is rotten. Must this rottenness persist forever? The situation in the world beckons towards revenge: there are two blocs; there is fear of world war. This tempts anyone with a grievance. We will always require a superior defensive capability." (Simha Flapan, p. 238)
Until a just and a fair solution comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which must end the conflict once and for all, Palestinians will wait. Literally, the Palestinian people have nothing left to lose, and Palestine, The Jewel Of All Jewels, is worth waiting for.
- Zionist FAQ: Why do Arabs ONLY do not understand the language of force?
- How The Spartan Jew Was Born
- NYTimes: Olmert Says Israel Should Pull Out of West Bank
- The Stability and Value of Israel By Michael Neumann
- NYTimes: Get Tough on Israel By ROGER COHEN
- YNetNews: War failure our fault
- Looking at the end of Israel? By Jonathan Power
- Jewish Identity Can't Depend on Violence by Arun Gandhi