Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ War theory for Israel ] [ Arab Israeli conflict ]

Arab-Israeli peace objectives

Israel needs no peace with Arabs

Israel does not need peace with Arabs

Arabs cannot make peace with Israel. Any such Arab-Israeli peace agreement would exist only on paper. In Islam, jihad is perpetual obligation. The military jihad is interrupted only temporarily by truces, and a truce with Arabs is what Israel has now. Arabs see themselves morally bound only by lawful agreements—and a peace agreement with an infidel state of Israel in Dar al-Islam is by definition illegal in Islamic law and allowed only to deceive Jewish infidels. That Jews are not infidels in Islam, but enjoy special status, will pose no difficulty for radical imams; Israel is not a theocracy, but a secular democratic state, thus Jewish infidel promoting the Great Satan’s values. Few Muslims concede that jihad in Islam is an outdated, unrealizable regulation like those common in mature religions or reinterpret it as peaceful competition with the West. Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists who oppose peace with Israel see jihad as military obligation and would honor no indemnity of Israel. Arabs have always violated cease-fires with Israel; why imagine they would observe peace treaties with Israel? Israel, on the contrary, would hesitate to violate peace agreement with Arabs and would constrain retaliation for Islamic terrorism.

If Israel would define why she needs peace with Arab countries, rather than demanding it, Israel could calculate feasible concessions to Arabs. Peace with Arabs is not required for Israel's salvation. On one hand, no large-scale war with the Arab coalition looms for Israel, and on the other, some authoritarian Muslim ruler bent on war can start a war with Israel regardless of any paper peace treaty. Arabs in the rich Muslim countries that can afford an expensive war with Israel are accustomed to prosperity and do not seek a fight.

Israel can agree to an armistice with Arabs. America and the Soviet Union ended several wars—Japan, Afghanistan; Korea, Vietnam—without formal peace agreements. Peace is irrelevant even for economic purposes: should Israel become an attractive financial center, Arabs will find ways to invest in the Jewish state. Muslims have already solved the ideologically much bigger problem of investing for interest at all, prohibited by Islamic usury laws.

Peace is important only if Israel wants to become a superpower in the Middle East and needs an unburdened economy, stability, and good relations with Middle Eastern neighbors of Jews. Even then, Israeli-Arab peace does not lead inevitably to fully normalized relations with Arab countries, witness the situation with Egypt which is at peace with Israel. Indeed, it is unrealistic for Israel to expect Arabs to start treating Jews as equals or superiors after centuries of Jewish dhimmi-ship and known weakness. Israel must first become economically and culturally attractive to Arabs, not only to Israeli ones. Then a diplomatic solution for Israel will follow.

Israel must end state of war with Arabs