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Sarah: Good afternoon. As we sit here today, people in Foggy Bottom and Turtle Bay are devising plans for a Palestinian state for the day after the war in Gaza. Israel’s cabinet has categorically rejected the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Such an arrangement will grant a major prize, a prize that has never been seen before.” We remain very grateful to the United States for vetoing the Algerian resolution at the UN Security Council yesterday. The Algerian drafted resolution called for a ceasefire, which would reward Hamas for its October 7th atrocities. The US vetoed similar resolutions previously. However, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, and Barack Ravid of Axios have reported that the United States is drawing up plans for its contiguous Palestinian state stretching from Judea Samaria, or the West Bank till the Gazan coastline. This boggles the mind.


After the most horrific attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust, the international community is drawing up plans to reward Palestinians with a ceasefire and a state. One can well understand the average Israeli’s feelings of mistrust after the atrocities of October 7th.  They are also well aware that Palestinian Authority (PA) textbooks are being used to indoctrinate students against Israel and Jews in UNRWA schools in PA and Hamas controlled territories and in Syria and Lebanon and Egypt.

United States, together with and the rest of the world, is calling for is a contiguous Palestinian state. This state would stretch from the high mountain plains of Judea and Samaria through Gaza. The state would overlook the coastal plain of where most Israelis live. It would make Israel nine miles wide at its narrowest, leaving it with indefensible borders. According to the November, 2023 survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Survey and Policy Research, 82% of Palestinians living in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, support the atrocities of October 7th. Only 7% of Palestinians support Fatah or the PA. Yet the State Department is looking at resuscitating the PA.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has spoken about a, “revamped and revised” PA. We saw that show in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000 and in 2008, and it did not end well. What guarantees do we have that the new state will not become a proxy of Iran? Even if the PA was “revamped and revised”, what guarantee do we have that that power will not change hands resulting in Jihadist state. With indefensible borders and a Jihadist state in its midst, the survival of Israel would be in deep jeopardy. Neither the State Department nor the United Nations, for that matter, should recognize this Palestinian state without the consent of the Israeli government and the Israeli public.

Here to discuss these questions and more is Dr. David Wurmser. David Wurmser is the director of Middle East Studies, and a senior scholar at the Center for Security Policy, as well as a fellow at the Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy. David has served as Middle East advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney and a special assistant and advisor to UN Ambassador John Bolton, who will be hosting in a few weeks. He also served in the US Naval Reserve as an intelligence officer at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. David is the founder of the Delphi Global Analysis Group. Immediately following the 911 attacks, David consulted for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the US Department of Defense on a war related classified project to understand the nature and strategic significance of terrorist group networks and their interactions with states.

Before entering government, Dr. Wurmser founded the Middle East Studies Program at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In 1996, while at AEI, David published the book, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein. David received his bachelor’s degree and his MA as well as his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. In addition to his book, he has been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and in Commentary Magazine.


David, why does the State Department consistently return to conventional thinking and a failed foreign policy paradigm regarding the two-state solution? Why do policy makers not look back and reflect upon past mistakes?

Dr. David Wurmser: That is a really good question. Many of the current administration’s personnel have built their entire careers, and understanding of the Middle East, on the Oslo peace process paradigm. This paradigm keeps failing but they have no other way of understanding the situation in the Middle East. People like Samantha Power, Robert Malley, Hady Amr and Maher Bitar still wield significant influence over the administration. They are progressive ideologues who hate Israel. Maher Bitar and Hady Amr were BDS and Student for Justice in Palestine types in college. Maher Bitar worked at UNRWA, the United Nations Relief Works Agency. UNRWA is the center of the controversy right now. Samantha Powers has been writing articles about how NATO should extend its protection to the Palestinians against Israel, for twenty years.

Quite frankly, current policy makers are the same people as the Obama administration’s Middle East core. They are progressive and anti-Israeli, and do not view the Oslo paradigm as a failure. They see an opportunity to take Israel down a couple of notches. There is some question as to whether they are all in favor of Israel’s existence. In a call to major American Jewish organizations, President Obama himself said that Israel feels too strong, and its lack of vulnerability makes it more hard line and intransigent. That is the view they continue to perpetuate.

Then you have the traditional State department viewpoint. This view is that our interests lie with the Arab world. Although this perspective has softened over the years, the original viewpoint remains to some extent. There are many Arab countries. The US has its core interests in the Arab world. We have strategic interests anchored to our position in the Middle East. Since we are not able to achieve a reconciliation between Israel and the Arab world, we should not act against American interests for the sake of a tiny, semi-feasible country. That was the perspective of many in the policy establishment in 1948.


If one examines the historical record since then, one might come to the opposite conclusion. US support for Israel is not contrary to our interests. The Arab world judges the US through our relationship to Israel. They look at Israel as the forward position of the West. If we are weak in defending Israel, they see us as a weak-willed superpower. A weak-willed superpower is not a strong horse to whom they want to attach their cart. Ironically, we need to draw closer to Israel to enhance our relations with the majority of states in the Arab world. It is an understandable mistake to think the opposite, and reasonable people could disagree over it. The State Department essentially took the view that distancing the US from Israel would enhance US-Arab relations. I think this viewpoint has begun to soften.


I think you are also seeing the impact of our education system on policy making. Many people under 40 are now filling important government positions. These young people were educated in an academic environment very hostile to Israel. Although we are now you are seeing academia burst into overt antisemitism, it has been hostile to Israel for many years. The Middle East Studies Association, as an example, has been hostile to Israel for twenty years or more.


Although the State Department’s traditional views are changing, hatred against Israel amongst some government employees is growing. This is because of the rise of the ideological progressive sentiment amongst staffers in both this administration and in the Obama administration. The youth who are being educated by progressive ideologs at universities are beginning to fill the ranks of our government.

Sarah: Right. You hit on many different overlapping concepts. Let’s get back to the view that Israel is an outpost of Western democratic values in the Middle East. As long as Israel is perceived as a Western outpost, Russia, China, North Korea and Iran actually gain when there is friction between the US and Israel. Do people in the State Department understand that weakening Israel in not in the best interest of the US?

Dr. David: Yeah. Again, an excellent question, Sarah. The answer goes back to the need to re-examine assumptions. The assumption driving their decisions is that Arab rage is a function of Arab grievances. We have humiliated the Arabs and they are reacting to this humiliation. Our entire policy is governed by a need to address their grievances. For this reason, we need to appease Iran and to appease the Arabs at Israel’s expense. This goes back to Herbert Samuel and the days of the British Empire. Both the British and the French tried to address the grievances of the most radical elements of Arabs society, whether it was the national front in Syria or Hajj Amin al-Husayni. They validated Arab grievances. They validated extremism by addressing their perceived grievances rather than discrediting them.

Bernard Lewis always said, Middle Eastern grievances emerge from disdain and contempt, not actual grievance. Between the 700s to the 1400s, the Muslim world was seen as the future. They defeated Europe and viewed the Europeans as cold people or barbarians from a continent with no sun. How did the Europeans successfully start a thousand-year process of reversing the Arab expansion, the Muslim expansion? The Arabs view this reversal as an anomaly even though it lasted a thousand years. Their hatred is driven and fueled by contempt. Any sign of weakness or failure in the West is seized as incitement and as an invigorating principle.

You can look at this two-ways, either Arab rage is a result of contempt or it is a result of grievance. The latter view will lead to a policy of constant appeasement. The former will drive the west to show self-respect and strength. Policies driven by a perceived need to address Arab grievances will destroy us if we are wrong and Arab rage is actually driven by contempt. Historically, every time we excoriate ourselves in the Middle East, the results are disastrous and our allies become afraid and run for cover. Middle Eastern culture originates from Arab peninsular tribal structure. Tribes do not get very far if they do not find strong allies with common interests. It is a very clear-headed point of view. If the United States loses its way or if Israel acts weak and concedes, they are no longer worthwhile or useful allies and can be disregarded.

Sarah: You also hit upon the indoctrination that has been going on for decades, including that from people like Edward Said at Columbia and Hatem Bazian at Berkeley. We know many 18- to 24-year-olds are not in favor of Israel because of brainwashing. Could you hit upon the concept of intersectionality since it seems to dominate the way many young people think today?


Dr. David: Intersectionality or DEI. They both boil down to one central principle, there are oppressors and there are oppressed. Every behavior of the oppressed is legitimate because it is fighting evil. Oppressors, on the other hand, are evil. Even though they may behave in a way that appears to be enlightened, free and democratic, they are frauds. The 1619 project argues that slavery is the American system. It is not a flaw or a blemish on the American system. It is not a march toward freedom that was imperfect at the beginning, but is moving forward and correcting its mistakes. The blood spilled during the Civil War did not correct past mistakes. The view of the 1619 project is that the purpose of America was never freedom. There is no credit given for the Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights, as an example, because the US was nothing more than a structure defined around the perpetuation of slavery. Slavery was the soul of America. The Civil War did not change it, it just changed its form. The oppression continues unabated and has not been reduced at all. It is just disguised better and more slickly. That is the essence of intersectionality.


When you divide the world that way, the European colonialists are the evil white people who oppress people of color. The battle over Israel defines the Jews as white oppressors. There are many Yemenite, Ethiopian and other Jews in Israel who are not white. However, it is a no-win situation because Jews are not defined objectively as white oppressors. It is about whether you are placed in a politically correct or politically incorrect category. Those in the politically incorrect category are rammed into the role of the oppressor from which they cannot escape. Justice Thomas is white. Ethiopian Jews are white. Ahed Tamimi, a blonde haired, blue eyed Palestinian, is a person of color. Ultimately, it is a way of dividing up the world between good and evil. The good have the right to employ any means whatsoever to defeat evil. This includes the raping of women and the beheading and stuffing of live children in ovens. The atrocities we saw on October 7th are all justified because of the mass grievances driving the oppressed to extremes. They have no choice. That is really the view, and that is really the structure informing and defining the views of our youth.

Sarah: Right. As the war between Israel and Hamas approaches 140 days, we are seeing engagement from Iran’s many proxies. You just wrote a brilliant piece for the American Greatness publication discussing the work of US, French and British officials who are attempting to work out a way to contain the war between Israel and the Iranian backed Hezbollah. You wrote that Israelis understand that Hezbollah and its Radwan Force are more powerful than Hamas and can cause more damage to Israel. Yet you believe escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is inevitable. Why is this?

Dr. David: First of all, I think the fundamental paradigms that existed on October 6th in the United States, did not collapse on October 7th. On the contrary, America’s is going full tilt for Oslo 2.0, rather than questioning the wisdom of it. From their perspective, the Iranian regime is here to stay and it is authentic. The Iranian people may dislike the regime at times, but it represents the them overall. It is a powerful reality with many allies in the region and the US has to work with it. According to their paradigm, they need to achieve a strategic understanding with Iran. Only through a strategic understanding will Iran reign in it regional proxies and will the US achieve regional stability.

In Israel however, the fundamental paradigms existing on October 6th, collapsed on October 7th.  There is no coming to terms with the situation as it is and there is no stability. Iran is in a strategic struggle to the death with the West, with Israel and with Saudi Arabia. It is an all or nothing conflict for Iran. Everything has to be viewed through a strategic lens. For the United States, however, the situation is viewed the lens of accommodation and conflict management. That means that escalation is the worst outcome.


They supported war with Hamas because it furthered their ambition of achieving Oslo 2.0 and of making Palestine safe for Abu Mazen. The destruction of Hamas, at least at the beginning, appeared to be a common goal for Israel and America. In fact, however, it was one point of convergence along two very different paths. Nevertheless, for the first few weeks and months, the US and Israel appeared to have a common goal.

It also appeared the Israelis, did not want a two-front war at the beginning. It is a very dangerous to be in a full-scale war on two fronts. On that first day, it was quite fortunate that Hamas attacked and Hezbollah did not. The damage, destruction and pain Israel would have suffered, had Hezbollah attacked full force on October 7th, is unthinkable.


I can see the Israelis wanting to kick the can down the road on Lebanon until they are ready to deal with the Northern front. However, I am talking about weeks or months at most because the situation in the North in untenable. October 7th shattered the premise that Israel can allow its enemies to build up forces on its border under the assumption it can easily take the war to them if needed. Under current conditions, People will not return to live in the border areas in the North. Israel loses the third of its country if it does not address the security threat from Hezbollah. Israel will either go to war or enter into an agreement that pushes Hezbollah back. In my view, they need to be pushed back beyond the Awali River and not just the Litani River. Nevertheless, the objective of the State Department is de-escalation. Nothing else matters but de-escalation because this is consistent with the paradigm of coming to terms with Iran.


The Israelis communities near the border need to return to their homes. They will not return if they are within range of anti-tank missiles. The anti-tank missiles have a range of eight to ten kilometers. As such, eight to ten kilometers of Israel has become unlivable. If you can push Hezbollah back eight to ten kilometers, you could effectively create a buffer zone that protects the communities.  Unfortunately, a buffer zone does not help to protect them from Hezbollah’s precision guided missiles.  Essentially, I think the Israelis are thinking in tactical terms and I think it is a mistake. The Israelis are thinking in October 6 terms. They are thinking that if they create a wider wall between them and Hezbollah, they will be safe behind it. I think the point they are missing is that they are still leaving the problem in place. Also, Hezbollah probably will not agree. The families of the Radwan Forces come from the communities near the border and they will not leave their communities. The Radwan Forces will not withdraw to Litani when their families live south of Litani.


I think there is a bigger opportunity for Israel that is being missed. I do not think we appreciate that the Shiite community in southern Lebanon is a dagger in Iran’s heart. Iran needs control over South Lebanon Shiites because they are traditional Shiites who do not really agree with Iranian revolutionary ideology. Hezbollah is there to impose ideological rigidity on the Shiites of Southern Lebanon. They need to make sure no Shiite community has sufficient power to pose an ideological threat to the Iranian regime’s revolutionary ideology.


The real purpose of Hezbollah, is to subjugate the Amal Movement and subjugate the Shiite awakening that predates Iran’s 1979 revolution. The very first thing Iran did after the United States went into Iraq was to assassinate major Shiite religious figures. They could not tolerate an independent Shiite awakening anywhere, not in southern Iraq and not in Lebanon. Those Shiites live south of the Awali River in Lebanon. I think Israel is missing a strategic opportunity by not insisting Hezbollah be forced to the north of the Awali River and not just the Litani River.


Sarah: So, you are discussing some really important history that most people are not aware of. Can you talk about the rift between the Lebanese Shia cleric Ayatollah, Musa al-Sadr and the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and why this is still important today?

Dr. David: Well, the PLO came to Lebanon from Jordan, took the country over and basically destroyed it. They provided cover for Sunni Arab nationalism and oppressed the Shiites. Some young Shiites were attracted to the Soviet Union and communism, and they drifted to the PLO, even though they were Shiites. However, the PLO treated the Shiites badly in general. A cleric named Musa al-Sadr, came from Iran to Southern Lebanon. He created what is called the Shiite Awakening, and what is now known as the Amal Movement. He organized the Shiites into a militia, primarily against the PLO and the Palestinians. For the first time in a thousand years, he tried to resurrect some degree of Shiite self-protection. The Shiites were a minority who had never protected themselves outside of Iran.

After the Iranian revolution, the ruling Iranian clerics needed to take control over the Shiite Awakening to align their ideologies and ensure Iranian supremacy. To achieve their objective, they had to kill Musa al-Sadr. The Iranians, the PLO and the Libyans killed Musa al-Sadr. The closest relations the Iranians had after the revolution were with the PLO and Libya. That tells you Iran was after control of the Shiites of Lebanon. The Shiites of Lebanon created one of the key centers of Shiite learning and their community was respected across the region. It was a very dangerous thing for Iran to allow an independent Shiite presence in Lebanon. As recently as a decade or a decade-and-a-half ago, the Iranians were still having a great deal of trouble with the Shiite clerics of Southern Lebanon. They really need Hezbollah to crush any independent thinking. That is why Hezbollah cannot leave Southern Lebanon.

UN resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israeli Lebanese war, demands that Hezbollah withdraws north, basically to the Litani River. This withdrawal would leave those Shiites populations free of Hezbollah’s control. I think the Israelis are making a mistake by not sticking to UN resolution 1701. Instead, they are giving a prize to Hezbollah by drawing the line further south. Hezbollah is receiving a prize for rejecting 1701 for 15 years. They are being rewarded for infiltrating Southern Lebanon, for building up their forces, for attacking Israel and for bullying UNIFIL. All of their efforts have paid off. Hezbollah will be able to remain much further south than they were allowed to under 1701. This rewards both Iran and Hezbollah even though they violating the UN resolution. I think it also denies Israel a great strategic opportunity and one with the potential to weaken the Iranian regime in Iran ideologically. Weakening Iran should be the first thought on Israel’s mind from a strategic perspective. They should take a much tougher line in discussions on Lebanon.

Sarah: We spoke about UN Security Council Resolution 1701 requiring Hezbollah to retreat 30 kilometers north of the Litani River. Now the international community is talking about only ten kilometers. What has UNIFIL done or not done? What have the Lebanese Armed forces done or not done, and why is Israel agreeing to this?

Dr. David: Well, you are seeing application of the same concept you saw in Oslo and with the Maritime Agreement with Lebanon. The idea is that you can create an indigenous local force that is not under the control of Hezbollah or the PLO or Hamas. This force will do your bidding and you will not need to actually pay a price for it. The Lebanese Armed Forces are part of the Lebanese government, which is controlled by Hezbollah. Whether they wear a Lebanese flag or Hezbollah flag, does not really matter. There is a fiction in Washington that building the Lebanese Armed Forces is building a bulwark against Hezbollah. This is a similar fiction to the idea that building up the Palestinian Authority forces, or the PLO, or Abu Mazen, will serve as a bulwark against Hamas and against extremism. It is all the same fiction.

To incentivize the ceasefire, we will pour money into development of Southern Lebanon. The idea is if we give Lebanon an independent economic foundation, they will get rid of the Iranians. They will no longer need to rely on the Iranians. The Iranians will return home and Hezbollah will then choose to be a reasonable Lebanese faction. This is similar to the thinking behind the Lebanon Maritime Agreement. This is sort of like saying to the Czechs in the Cold War, we are going to pour lots of money into the Czech Army. We are going to arm you with the latest weaponry and then you can say no to the Soviet Union. This is a delusional idea which was never even considered back then. It is delusional and will not accomplish anything.

We have another problem with UNIFIL, apart from the fact they are completely useless and cannot even monitor the movements of Hezbollah properly. Let’s take a look at UNRWA and the UN’s role overall now. We have to have a good long, hard think about how complicit these international organizations are in the genocidal war against the Jewish people. UNRWA was teaching children to kill Jews and to annihilate Israel. UN systems have been complicit in the effort to destroy Israel and destroy the Jewish people.

I would go as far as to say the Red Cross has a history of anti-Jewish behavior. Count Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross during World War II, appeared to be a friend of the Jews. However, there are documents showing he was an agent of the SS and no friend of the Jews. This information is not well known. The SS used the Red Cross to whitewash camps like Theresienstadt. The British knew this but still used Bernadotte to present a plan in 1947 or 1948, that effectively destroyed any prospect for an Israeli state. They did this because Bernadotte had a reputation of being a friend of the Jews even though they knew he was not. A proper study of the Red Cross would show a long history of complicity. The attack on the Jewish people and the Bernadotte case is one such example.

We really need to think seriously about these international organizations from a western, an American and a moral point of view. These organizations have proven themselves worse than useless regarding Israel. They have been complicit in the attack on Israel and therefore cannot assist in maintaining peace in Southern Lebanon.


If the United States wants to put a hundred thousand troops in Southern Lebanon, that is fine. At this point, however, it looks more likely the United States is going to pull out its troops from Iraq in an attempt to appease Iran. If the US pursues this strategy, nobody in the region will take them seriously, and nobody will be able to rely on the US for their security interests. In the end, I think Israel has to create an umbrella of security over Southern Lebanon. This needs to be created by the Israeli army or some resurrection of the South Lebanese army. It is an awful thing to contemplate, but I think in the end the area has to be cleaned out by the IDF. They then need to set up a structure allowing Israel to reenter and intervene when necessary. They need to ensure the force in place actually does what it is supposed to do, rather than what they are doing now which has been useless.

Sarah: Right. People talk about UN Security Council resolution 1701, but they forget the real operative resolution is 1559. Israel complied with Resolution 1559 when they pulled out of South Lebanon in 2000. Unfortunately, Hezbollah is still there. Lebanon is still under foreign control, by Iranian backed Hezbollah.

Dr. David: Yeah. Sarah, you are correct. 1701 refers to 1559 and other resolutions. It does not just call for Hezbollah to withdraw 30 kilometers past the Awali River, that is only Stage 1. Stage 2 requires is it to disband. It is an illegitimate militia that has to be disbanded. It is not considered a legitimate organization in any shape or form by UN resolution.

Sarah: All right. We see also what’s going on with the Iranian backed Yemeni militia, the Houthis. They sunk a British vessel in the Red Sea on February 19th, and they’ve severely damaged a Greek ship. This morning, they claim to have attacked the Israeli flagship, the MSC Silver in the Gulf of Aden. What is going on? Where is the control? Where are the big guys? We had two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean, one has retreated. Where is the United States in all of this?

Dr. David: Again, I think our foreign policy is being held hostage by our attempts to appease Iran. The whole concept of the paradigm with Iran is horrifying. British foreign policy has been similar for 400 years, ever since the Spanish overcame their mastery of the seas. The impact for them was not only free trade, but also access to other continents for imperial control. The United States constitution requires we maintain a navy and raise an army. In other words, when war threatens, we will raise our armed forces. We have militias which we will mobilize, but we must maintain a navy at all times. This is because America is a continent, but also conceptually an island.

For us, freedom of navigation and freedom of the seas has been foundational. It has been the most important anchor of our foreign and offshore policy since the constitution. We built the Blue Water Navy for this. We built the Marines for this, and this principle is now is being surrendered for the first time in 220 years. The very foundation of the American defense strategy is being surrendered for an ideological pursuit of appeasement of Iran.  We are not willing to do what we need to do to keep strategic waterways open because we are afraid of a fight with Iran.

Sarah: Awful. Now I am going to turn the microphone over to our new director of operations, Sarah Grace Victor. Sarah will read some of the questions that have come in.

Sarah Grace: Thank you so much. We are facing a lot of questions from our neighbors about Israel. How do we confront people who push back against us on Israel? In the university context, for example, students are facing opposition. Jewish students are being assaulted. How do you encourage people to speak from a place of respect and knowledge? How do we turn on that switch to be helpful, but also push back in regards to the anti-Israel narrative?

Dr. David: There are really two different camps we have to worry about, especially among the youth. One is the progressive camp, and the other is the camp rising on the right. We have to be honest, there is a camp rising on the right too and that is a problem. This camp has to be dealt with differently from the progressive one.


As I discussed, the basic view of the progressive camp is one of intersectionality and the concept of oppressor versus oppressed. I think the most important thing is not to try and fit in with their white versus non-white classifications. The most important thing is to go back and make sure history becomes relevant again. One of the things happening in our universities is the utter distortion of history. There are a thousand books about the History of the Middle East which erase the history of the Jewish people. These books present Israel as nothing more than a European colonial presence. These are all books written in the last 20, 30 or 40 years and they cannot come up with contemporaneous sources to show that there was a Palestinian nation in 1850 or 1930. I think reestablishing a proper study of history and the role of the Jewish people in that history is very important. This needs to be funded by the Jewish community, by evangelical communities and by those in the West who care about western civilization. Once you understand the historical facts, the whole case for the Palestinianism falls apart.

The second thing is to drive home to the left is that violence and atrocities will not be rewarded.

They made a celebration out of October 7th and should not be rewarded by the prize of nationhood for their cause. October 7th was a day of evil and should not be changed into a day of liberation, as it would be if we create a Palestinian state. I think we need to go even further. I think we have to come to terms with the fact that the idea of a Palestinian nation implies the negation of the Jewish nation. The concept of a Palestinian state is not just a desire for self-determination for a disposed people in some corner of the Middle East. It is, and has been since its beginning, a negation of the Jewish people. That is why they cannot give up the idea that the Jews are not indigenous. That is why they are able to align their cause with the intersectionality crowd. Israel made a huge mistake at Oslo by recognizing Palestinians as a people.


Israel is dealing with a population issue. They should be considering how best to deal with a population that does not want to live under Israeli control. There are many practical answers to that. However, I think it is important for us to stop referencing the Palestinians as if they were a legitimate nation. The moment you consider them a legitimate nation, they negate Jewish claims to the territory. You have to teach history. You have to make it clear the Jewish people are the indigenous people and Palestinian nationhood is a fiction. There are Arabs who live in the area, there are Palestinian Arabs who live there. They have to be given governance and freedom, but not through creation of a Palestinian state. There has to be another solution. With respect to the left, you have to return to an emphasis on historical fact and, with that, the truth about Jewish indigenousness.

I think some on the right believe the Jews are trying to trick them into to fighting their wars for them. They believe the Jews are causing the US to become entangled in the Middle East. This is an antisemitic idea. They believe the US is involved in the Middle East because of Israel and not because it is in our best interest. The Iranians play this up by the way. They play it up by having commentators in the United States intimate that American servicemen are dying because of the Zionists.


I think the main point to be made, in this case, is that Israel is not asking America to fight its wars. On the contrary, it is actually fighting the West’s war. It is asking to be left alone to fight. Israel is asking not to be interfered with or tripped up and sabotaged. We need to let them win. Israel does not need us. It does not need our forces. It needs us to be there to help them with ammunition. At the moment, Israel does not need our forces, it just needs our support.

The answer to the right is to let them know that support for Israel will allow the US to reduce its presence in the Middle East. The US should subcontract to its strongest ally.  A powerful victory for Israel right now would result in other regional players, like the Saudis and the UAE, hooking their carts to Israel. Israel will be the strong horse and this will lead to a strategic peace between Israel and a number of other countries. That is a far stronger foundation for American influence in the region than a big troop presence. The right does not want to spend a lot of effort securing the Middle East. They may prefer to concentrate on Asia or move toward a more isolationist policy. Irrespective, a strong Israel is the foundation for preserving US interests in the region. So, the US should be the first to wish Israel a great victory and not try to sabotage it. That should be the argument to the right.

Sarah Grace: That makes sense. Recently, the US has dealt with a lot of terrorism in the region and a few US service members have been killed. I think we definitely have an interest in containing terrorism, and Israel is at the forefront of that. I think your point is well taken. I am curious to hear your thoughts on establishing governance structures the day after the war. What would that look like?

Dr. David: Right. Oslo, and the creation of the PA, legitimized the idea of the Palestinian nation state. This brought the question back to 1948 and the debate about who owns the land. This reopened the question as to whether Israel was legitimate or merely a colonial implant. Raising the issue of Palestinian nationhood, inherently raised the issue of 1948. We also need to consider the issue relating to 1967. There are too many Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, for Israel to absorb and still maintain its Jewish character. We must find a practical way for the Arabs to govern themselves. This can be Begin’s Autonomy Plan or something similar. In that case, the Arabs would have freedom and could live their lives without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. However, they would not have control over security nor would they have a sovereign state.


I think we need to return to the concept of a self-governing entity that is not a sovereign state. A state can create its own military. Israel cannot support a state in its midst with a military that can threaten its existence. A sovereign state can maintain independent foreign relations. Israel cannot support a sovereign state that could sign a treaty with Iran. Israel must also be allowed to enter and arrest terrorists about to conduct a major terrorist attack. Obviously, this would not be the case with the creation of an independent sovereign state. These are valid concerns and they address the question as to why an independent state is not viable.

With respect to autonomy, the Israeli army will likely not be involved in decisions such as whether sewers should be in Gaza City versus in Khan Younis. These types of decisions would be the responsibility of local administrators. How best to set up governance structures, touches on a deep and historical question relating to Arab society in that area. Traditionally, it is a more tribal society with ancient roots. The Palestinian authority, the PLO and Hamas are revolutionary organizations. Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the Palestinian Arab leader of the 1920s and 1930s was aligned with the Nazis. There was a German intelligence attempt in the 1920s and 1930s, and then a Nazi attempt in the 1930s and 1940s to undermine the Arab traditional society. From the 1940s onwards, the Soviets also acted to weaken Arab traditional society.  These revolutionary external forces are anchored to the idea of Palestinianism. We have to defeat the idea of Palestinianism, and return to local governance structures. Israel can work with traditional Arab structures. These would be anchored to traditional families or clans and they would work directly with the IDF and the Israeli government. They would manage the daily affairs of the people living in the areas. The Israelis would provide an overall security umbrella.

This cannot happen until Israel expunges Gaza from Hamas and it will take time. We forget but after 1967, pitched battles between Israel and the PLO continued in Judea and Samaria for a period of three years. This period was known as the Mirdaf or the Chase. It took Israel three years to purge Judea and Samaria from the PLO. We are in another period like the Mirdaf. During this transitionary period, the IDF must remain in the territory. Mordechai Kedar has proposed an Emirate plan for after the transition. I think this plan divides Gaza into five Emirates. I see this type of proposal as a workable long-term solution.

Sarah Grace: I liked what you said, David, about not rewarding Palestinian statehood when it is so intrinsically tied to the idea of destroying Israel. I think that is an important point to keep in mind.

Sarah: Thank you so much, Sarah Grace. It is going to take a tremendous amount of work to dislodge both the conventional thinking we see in the State Department and the decades of brainwashing of Palestinian students. I think it would be wonderful to host another webinar with you, David, devoted entirely to the role of international organizations like the International Red Cross. You mentioned the Red Cross had a dubious record with respect to the Jews. It does appear the way they have treated the Jewish historically, has not changed today. We know that medicines that were supposed to be given to the hostages have ended up in Hamas hospitals.

So, there is a lot of food for thought here. David, you were such a treat to talk to.


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Dr. David: Thank you.



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