Irvine, CA–Israeli and Palestinian leaders recently sat down to discuss a peace deal–but the U.S.-brokered talks were fruitless. Many voices, such as the “New York Times,” acknowledge that “the biggest single obstacle to peace” is the refusal of Hamas, a member of the Palestinian “unity government,” to recognize Israel and renounce violence. But, we are told, if Israel would only make more generous concessions to the Palestinians and bolster their “moderate” leaders, then negotiations can yield peace.

“But we must reject the underlying premise of such talks,” said Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. “It is absurd to debate which combination of concessions Israel should offer and to which faction of Palestinians–because the very notion of diplomatically engaging the Palestinians is illegitimate. If there’s to be peace, the Israelis must end the threat of Palestinian terrorism by military force.

“Israel’s goal of peace is impossible to achieve diplomatically, because a legitimate negotiation presupposes that both sides share the goal of peace. But the Palestinians–both the self-righteously militant Hamas and the supposedly moderate Fatah–seek to destroy Israel. There is no way to negotiate with enemies who want to kill you. To engage them in talks is to concede their right to kill you; after that, all that’s left to debate is the size of the rewards the murderers will collect and in what installments.

“The Palestinian war must end eventually–and either they will triumph and wipe Israel from the map, or else Israel will protect the lives of its citizens and defeat the Palestinians. Instead of pressuring Israel to appease the Palestinians–and thus encouraging their aggression–the United States should endorse and champion Israel’s moral right to defeat them. If Palestinians learn that their war against Israel is futile, if their aggression is punished–they will give up their cause. That is a necessary first step on the road to peace.”

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