[Half a loaf]
Palestinians murdered the Fogel family two days ago. They broke into the family home and stabbed the husband and wife to death. And then murdered their three children, one of whom was a baby.
How does one deal with people who do not hesitate to murder children? The easy and obvious response would be to kill as many of their fellow Palestinians as one can get one's hands on. But the Palestinians have shown over and over that they have no respect for anyone's life, not even their own.
There also is not much deterrent value. The Palestinians have also shown over and over that they are unable to grasp the notion of their acts having consequences, that anything that happens to them is their own doing. Palestinians seem unable to grasp the connection between Israeli reprisals and the Palestinian atrocity that preceded them.
Which is to say that Palestinians are hard to motivate and hard to deter. The one thing they have shown to be a powerful motivator is Israeli settlement in the West Bank. The Palestinians quite rightly see the Israeli settlements as eroding the amount of land that they can reasonably claim in any eventual peace settlement.
Which is why the Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, responded to the wanton murder of the Fogel family not by announcing air strikes or commando raids. After informing Washington, he announced the construction of new apartments in Ma'aleh Admumim, a suburb of Jerusalem. The town and the new apartments are in an area of the West Bank claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians.
Since the Palestinians do not fear Israeli military reprisals but do fear construction of new apartments in the West Bank, that is a great response to their terrorism. It is a punishment feared by people who do not fear death.
It is also a good example of why Israel is a successful society and Palestine is a failed one. Palestinians act out their national purposes by murder of children and self-defeating rage. Israel acts out its national purpose and its anger at the murder of Jewish children by building homes in our ancient homeland. Having won the wars, Israel is now winning the peace as well.
If this cycle continues, in the end Israel will have settled the West Bank and the Palestinians will be left with nothing.
Which makes it ironic that Israel is pressing the Palestinians to make peace and accept a two state solution and the Palestinians continue to refuse to negotiate. The Palestinians have been fighting and killing for the One State Solution so long, Palestine and no Israel, that they are in the process of getting it. But it will be Israel and no Palestine. And they will deserve what they get.