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Violence Should Not Determine Policy

As terror groups continue to call for violence against Israel and her people in the wake of America's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, there are two ways said terror can be responded to. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz says we should respond to such violence with police and military action, and not by giving in to terrorists' demands:

Many who are opposed to President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital point to the call for violence by Hamas and the scattered violence on the West Bank as evidence that Trump was wrong. But violence should never influence US policy. The leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian groups use violence as a deliberate tactic to get their way. If policy-makers allow this tactic to deter them from doing the right thing, it will only incentivize the opponents of a peaceful resolution of the conflict to threaten and employ violence every time they do not get what they want. Violence should be responded to by police and military action, not by giving in to the unreasonable demands of those who use violence as a tactic.

Palestinian violence is rarely spontaneous. It is usually well organized by leaders who decide when to turn it on and off. The reason violence — whether rock-throwing or more lethal forms of terrorism — is used is because it works. And it works because policy-makers often make or refrain from making controversial decisions based on the fear of violent reactions. Palestinian leaders, especially Yasser Arafat, honed the tactic of terrorism as a way to extort concessions from the world. Many countries submitted to this violent extortion, so it continued and spread. If we stopped rewarding violence, it might well abate.

Palestinian leaders called for a violent intifada when they turned down the generous offer of statehood made by former President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000-2001. The result was 4,000 deaths. They again called for violence when Israel opened an exit from the Western Wall Tunnel into the soukh area, even though the new exit brought considerable new business to Palestinian shopkeepers and restaurant owners. And when Israel placed security cameras on the Temple Mount to protect Muslims attending the mosques, the response was not a reasoned call for negotiation or law suit in the Israel Supreme Court – it was violence...

Tags: Terrorism

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