Soon, the EU and UN will recognize a provisional Palestinian state in the 1948 borders. The US veto in the Security Council will not make the resolution any less important. UN resolutions are not binding anyway, and the General Assembly’s approval confers sufficient credibility, regardless of formal ratification by the UNSC. The UN approval of Palestinian borders would be nothing new—since the 1967 war, they have reiterated their position that Israel occupies that land. Worse, Israel has confirmed that position. Thus it is too late now to protest. This recognition is, however, irrelevant: UN resolutions are unenforceable. Just as Israel and the Arabs have violated scores of resolutions before, so we can violate that one, especially since no one will take it seriously: even the Arabs don’t expect Israel to retreat from the Western Wall and government areas which are beyond the 1949 armistice lines. In that sense, the UN resolution will be self-defeating: painted in broad strokes, it won’t address practical issues but simply approve the armistice lines. Since everyone, Arabs included, agrees that some rectifications are unavoidable, the resolution won’t be automatically implementable, but will merely push both sides to agree on border rectifications—which we’ve been doing for twenty years already.

The South African debacle shows that the world cannot tolerate a problem for too long. Israel has failed to solve this issue for 43 years, and it only becomes hotter with every year of Palestinian struggle. Arab terrorism in the West buys Israel some respite, but also strengthens the voices in the West who demand that Israel be pushed to make concessions. Fortunately, since Arafat’s death the Palestinians have lacked a charismatic leader who looks as good on Western TVs as Nelson Mandela—who was also a terrorist. The West’s attitude will depend ultimately on Israeli resolve: no one likes to campaign for a hopeless issue. Israel may suppress Palestinian nationalism or pointedly drag out the negotiations; the one thing to be avoided is hope. Even negotiations may be branded as hopeless. As long as Israel does not announce any breakthroughs in the peace process, Western activists might lose interest in it.

The world leaders view acceding to Palestinian demands as the only way to calm the media and interest groups. Israel can counter that trend by showing the world that proclaiming a Palestinian state would create a problem of unmanageable proportions: Israel will fight that state in full force over any terrorist attack—of which there will be many—and plunge the region into war.

It makes no sense for Israel to refuse to cede the land to the Palestinians. In the end, our “occupation” of the West Bank will bring on the same sanctions which we would have incurred by expelling the Arabs. So expel them, live through a few years of sanctions, but afterwards enjoy a comfortable, homogenous state.