The solution to the conflict seems self-evident: when two people contest the land, split it to satisfy both. Historically, such an approach has never worked. Nations split the contested territories based on the balance of power rather than equitably. Settled disputes keep boiling and erupt once the balance of power changes: the dominant power weakens or the determination to challenge it grows. If Arabs the accepted the 1948 refugees, why wouldn’t they accept the 2008 refugees? If they accepted that 2/3 of the Palestinian population was expelled in 1948, why wouldn’t they accept that 100 percent of the Palestinian population will be expelled in 2008? If the Arabs accepted a Jewish state on Palestinian land in the 1967 borders, why wouldn’t they accept it including Judea and Samaria? If, on other hand, Arabs in their hearts did not accept Israel or the 1948 displacement of the Palestinians, why appease them? Cleanse more land for the Jewish state. The Arabs won’t hate us any more after we drive them to Jordan.

There was no peace in 1966; why would peace ensue if Israel withdrew to the 1967 borders? The Palestinians are much more nationalist and militant than before, and the Arab armies have gained strength. Arab morale is on the rise while Jewish nationalism is dwindling. The border is not the problem. The problem is a Jewish state on Muslim land; that’s an insult for the Arabs. Jewish residents of Israeli towns resist Arabs moving into their neighborhoods; how much more would xenophobic Arabs resist Jewish invasion into their lands?

There was a peace process between America and Germany, after WWI; it resulted in WWII. Only the unconditional surrender in WWII when the Allies redrew the German borders at will and transferred ethnic Germans out of France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, created sustainable peace. A peace process with guerrillas is self-delusion. Whatever treaty Abbas signs, Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, PIJ, PRC, PFLP, and similar outfits won’t adhere to it. Fatah doesn’t fight Israel now—the militant groups do. What would change if Israel were formally to abandon Judea and Samaria? They would still fight the Zionist state. In fact, they would be emboldened by their apparent success in driving out a strong enemy, just like the victories in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, and Gaza encouraged Muslims worldwide. Unilateral withdrawal is more of a goodwill gesture than a peace settlement, but Arabs showered Israel with rockets after she gave them Gaza. Goodwill, especially forced goodwill, is never reciprocated.

Two people can settle their dispute because they fear each other and the police, and personal disputes are rarely critical. Nationalist disputes are central to collective mentalities, and their participants are unafraid to die and eager to kill. They want to achieve their goals rather than attain safety. Arab governments support Palestinian guerrillas as a viable alternative to an all-out war with Israel.

An annihilated enemy is the only good peace partner.