Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, declared, “I personally will not head any government that recognizes Israel.” The message is clear. Even if we squeeze a half-hearted yes from Hamas, what would be the value of that agreement? They would lie and seek a way to undermine Israel. Arabs are unburdened by ethics, always the product of centuries of civilization. Just like Europeans in the Middle Age, Arabs today are notoriously crafty, deceptive, and do not honor agreements. Even if they sign a peace with Israel, they will wait for a chance to strike.

Arab leaders and factions pay little regard to their own promises but specifically denounce treaties signed by their predecessors, their internal enemies. Israel concluded the silly and treacherous Oslo agreements with Arafat; Hamas rejected them. Israel had the essence of a peace treaty with Lebanon in 1983 and saw it revoked a year later. Palestine will have to justify their Saudi and Iranian subsidies. The Sharjah emirate of the UAE, another recipient of big Saudi money, became an Islamic fundamentalist state. Palestine will become a fundamentalist, aggressive Islamic state. An ineluctably poor economy, large welfare programs, and many universities will produce religiously and ideologically charged youth. There is no way to employ the burgeoning Palestinian population; jobless Arabs will devote their free time to anti-Israeli activities. Imagine an American inner city full of raging black nationalist and socialist propaganda; something like that is taking place in Palestine.

Muslims are prohibited from making peace with infidel states, let alone in ostensibly Muslim lands. Truce is the only sharia-sanctioned form of international relations. A truce is a legal springboard for jihad. Hamas offers simple conditions for a long-term truce: partition Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinian non-nation, let millions of descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees return to Israel, and unobstructed access to Israel for Palestinians. There is also an equivocal condition: the absolute rights of Palestinians to their land; a legal basis for the eventual takeover of Israel.

Suppose that Israel emasculates itself by giving East Jerusalem to the Palestinians; Arabs control that part of the city, anyway, and Jews are prohibited from entering our holy places there. Suppose the US convinces Hamas to abandon the demand for the return of the refugees. The Palestinian state is established. What precludes any other radical Muslim group from continuing the war? It doesn’t take a regular army to dispatch suicide bombers to Israel.

The West is used to dealing with states. When a peace treaty is signed, that’s it—the war is over. Not so with Muslims. The 2006 Lebanese war shows that Muslim governments cannot and often do not want to check their radicals. The Palestinian government might sign a peace treaty, but Palestinians in their hearts won’t agree to peace. Hardly any country with such strong opposition to peace has ever entered into a lasting peace with its neighbor.