Richard Kemp: Risks of Withdrawal from West Bank!

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4806/israel-security

Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.

The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.

There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.

Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.

If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.

Nor can there be a one-state solution with democratic rights for all because that would spell the end of the one and only democratic and Jewish state and the beginning of a new autocracy and the next exodus of the Jews.

For those who do not want that to happen, the harsh reality is continuation of the status quo. But the status quo can be significantly improved, by gradual and progressive increases to PA autonomy in the West Bank, to the point where a state exists in virtually all aspects other than military security. That progress can only be achieved through low-key bilateral negotiations with concessions from both sides. It cannot be achieved by Kerry-like peace processes that demand big sweeping strokes to deliver groundbreaking, legacy-delivering announcements.

Nor can such progress be achieved in the face of a Western world that reflexively condemns every move Israel makes and encourages the Palestinian Arabs to believe that the fantasy of a two-state solution or a one-state solution on their terms can become a reality in the foreseeable future.

As so often in the paradoxical world of geopolitics, the well-meaning actions and words of national leaders and international organizations have unintended consequences. For the Israel-Palestine situation, the unintended consequences of Western actions are to deprive Palestinian Arabs of increased freedom and prosperity and to undermine the security of the only stable, liberal democratic state in the Middle East. If the West actually wants to help, its leaders need to face up to this unpalatable truth rather than continue to delude the Palestinian people as well as themselves.

Instead, Western leaders should use all available diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel and while they continue to brainwash future generations to believe in that goal.

Colonel Richard Kemp spent most his 30-year career in the British Army commanding front-line troops in fighting terrorism and insurgency in hotspots including Iraq, the Balkans, South Asia and Northern Ireland. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. From 2002 - 2006 he heading the international terrorism team at the Joint Intelligence Committee of the British Prime Minister's Office.