By William Markiewicz

Israel declares that it will choose the time and place to retaliate for today’s Tel Aviv suicide bombing. Israel doesn’t have too much choice. Whatever its retaliation, it will always be against organizations composed of civilians: there is no Palestinian state and terrorists are civilians. There will of course be collateral victims that have nothing to do with any actions of the terrorists. What will we see? Blood spilled, homes ruined and thousands of demonstrators on the streets with hatred at white heat, a promise of new suicide bombers. Israel is peeling away like an artichoke, little by little. The physical effect is not huge; the psychological effect is devastating for a country whose inhabitants can’t be sure they’ll be alive tomorrow.

The war, to be an efficient action with clear results must be on the level of country against county, state against state. Otherwise it is either a bloody occupation like Iraq and Afghanistan or state terrorism against civilian terrorism, where the state retaliates against shadowy, anonymous terrorists hidden amongst civilians. When a state is at war with another state, the weaker loses, with consequences, meaning changing the situation to the winner’s advantage. Israel could easily win the war against Palestine – if Palestine existed. If it doesn’t exist, one has to create it. And this is the paradox. Israel, to fight Palestinian terrorism, must first create Palestine in order to have something tangible to hit. It practically requires a stroke of genius from Israel. First, to completely leave the Palestinian territory as defined in the Oslo Agreement for which Begin got the Nobel Prize. Then, declare all this released territory ‘Palestine’ and recognize it. The Palestinians, whatever their government, if any, will be obliged to accept the ‘gift’ and will have no choice but to organize themselves and make a state, having everything that’s necessary – freedom and territory. Anybody should recognize this Palestine, from friends to enemies of Israel. And whatever the Palestinians do in and from Palestine, Israel will have the legal and moral right to react. This or nothing. That’s all folks.

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