The Palestinian problem is the American-propped democracy. No country has ever been democratic and liberal at this stage of formation: Ben Gurion’s forces fought his political opponents (ETZEL), if half-heartedly, and assassinated competing politicians (Arlosoroff). Forming a state is a matter of immense national resolve, of readiness to shed blood and kill opponents. Liberalism is great, but it only works in established societies.

Arafat had a chance to enforce order on his own and competing terrorist groups. More often than not, he closed his eyes to their terrorism but retained the ability to suppress any opponents. Hamas has only grown because Israel supported it against Fatah; without our support, Arafat would have extinguished it. Theoretically, Israel could have signed a durable peace with Arafat.

Since the US Administration pushed Shamir to allow Palestinian elections, the situation started to deteriorate. Arafat became accountable to his voters, who wanted no concessions to Israel. Several figures and parties competed on radical nationalist platforms, increasingly radicalizing the society. After Arafat’s assassination, no Palestinian leader has been sufficiently authoritative to enforce an unpopular peace treaty on the public. What the outsiders view as a mutual Israeli-Palestinian compromise, both peoples see it as national defeat, and are not eager to accept it.

Transparent elections allow fringe groups to compete in elections, and bring radical discourse into mainstream politics. At the very time, when radicals must be violently suppressed, they outshout the moderates in the Palestinian parliament. The fragmented political spectrum makes a dumper against Israeli reprisal attacks: each Palestinian faction blames the resultant suffering on the others, and no group changes its ways. Reprisals are not effective when people have someone particular to blame for them; now Fatah and Hamas blame the Israeli blockade of Gaza on each other’s actions.

Liberalism allows freedom of radical speech, newsprint, and broadcast. A relatively moderate government cannot torture terrorist suspects, summarily arrest them, and disband their front organizations.

Israel cannot remain unconcerned about Palestinian societal order. Unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria is not an option. Recall how Hezbollah used the pretext of the disputed Shebaa Farms to continue fighting Israel after her withdrawal from Lebanon. Palestinians, likewise, would keep attacking Israel because of this or that patch behind the Green Line. They would probably continue terrorism even if we sign an agreement with them and demarcated the border, but they most certainly will do so if Israel withdraws unilaterally.

The best choice for Israel is to expel all Palestinian Arabs to Jordan and help them overthrow the local monarchy. If Palestinians are allowed to stay in Judea and Samaria for the time being, the West must forget its liberal democracy nonsense and allow a strong, brutal leader to take power there—and perhaps we can make peace with him.

In the Middle East, liberalism does not leave peace a chance.