Death Wish in the Holy Land

Sharon: Nightmare Rubout Would Unleash Waves of Retaliation

But in this care, one can easily make the argument that the colonialists revel in apocalyptic irrationality as well. In 1923, radical Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky—spiritual father of not only of Menachem Begin but of Meir Kahane—wrote that the "sole way" for Jews to deal with Arabs in Palestine was through "total avoidance of all attempts to arrive at a settlement"—which Jabotinsky euphemistically termed the "iron wall" approach. Not coincidentally, a picture of Jabotinsky graces Sharon's desk. As the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim noted in a letter last year to the University of London's Institute of Historical Research, Jabotinsky held that the only time to negotiate with Arabs was after the "iron wall" had been built. "The mistake of some of Israel's leaders, and especially the leaders of the Right," Shlaim lamented, "is that they regard Israel's military superiority not as an asset in negotiating a final settlement of the conflict with the Palestinians, but as an instrument for perpetuating Israel's mastery over them. The politicians of the Right still believe that the only language the Arabs understand is force. . . . [but] Israel can only have peace with the Arabs when it is prepared to meet them halfway."

Death in the Holy Land
"Arafat: Thinking the Unthinkable After Missiles Hit His Compound" by Jason Vest

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