By William Markiewicz

The powerful can strike until the target is destroyed or gives up resisting, overwhelmed by fear. But if the target cannot be totally destroyed and loses its fear, the striking power loses most of its effect. Yes, Hamas et al want Israel to disappear, but Israeli strikes inflame rather than impede this desire. The Palestinians wanted peace with Israel until the Israeli Taliban killed Rabin. Things have deteriorated since then. Arafat made a blunder resisting Clinton and rejecting a reasonable peace proposal from Barak; did he feel too weak facing the growing pressure from Arab extremists, or too confident of Israeli weakness? We know the results of mutual obstinacy. Inevitably the moment came when healthy nationalistic sentiments turned into cold, revengeful, suicidal determination. Those ready for supreme sacrifice may not be countless but, ah, how deadly, and numerous enough to continue for a longtime. Like almost all Europe unified facing Mongolian invasions, the Muslim world today becomes unified against Israel and America. The extremists are ready to sacrifice the Palestinians, Iraq, Afghanistan, and who else, provided that Israel disappears and America suffers. Is there still a way to escape from this deadly turmoil? For this Sharon has to go, and quickly, like a bad memory. In the second step Israel must withdraw as quickly as possible from the Arab populated territories. In the third move, Israel has to isolate itself from its Arab neighbours with a steel cordon, and counterattack any strikes that cross it. It worked in Lebanon and in Syria and nobody attacks from Jordan or from Egypt; the same will apply to Palestine. If you are powerful, respect your neighbours' right to independence and the neighbours will respect your power. Otherwise your power won't help you because kamikaze have conquered their own fear. They are also ready to sow the virus of fear in your camp and if it works or not they won't be there to worry about it.

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