The cycle of violence

The chain of tragic events in the Middle East is a reminder that military superiority alone cannot impose unpopular political settlements – even more so when the weaker side is determined to resist. Israel has won many wars. It enjoys unmatched military superiority. And the Israeli dedication to an expansionist national strategy leaves no room for internal ruptures. By using unorthodox methods and violating all sense of human rights, the Israelis have killed, injured and arrested thousands of fighters and civilians. They have destroyed infrastructure and homes, believing that this would crush the resistance and the morale of the Palestinian people, forcing them into exile. Instead, these acts fueled hatred, despair and an urge to retaliate. The Palestinian extremist groups do not have to look hard for volunteers. Many people want to become suicide bombers and murder as many Israelis as possible – be they children or elderly. The Sharon government arrogantly believed that it could curb terrorist attacks by raising a wall. It has failed to grasp that security is primarily a political issue, and thus no amount of repression or police measures, however strict, can offer a 100-percent guarantee of safety. A terrorist will always find a crack in the system. The assassination of Palestinian militants has not averted suicide operations inside Israel. Israel must break the vicious cycle of violence and seek an honest and stable solution. The creation of a viable Palestinian state will be in the interests of Israeli security. Were they not blinded by the arrogance of power, Israelis would have long realized that a stable and sovereign Palestinian state would make it easier for them to control its extremist elements. Palestinians would be more cooperative if they were given a state and a normal life, as they would then feel they have something to lose.