What would be a faster way to turn the American public against Israel than to have United States troops returning in caskets from Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, where they were serving as peacekeepers presumably protecting the Palestinians from the Israelis and vice versa. If such a thing exists we have been unable to think what it might take. The problem is that the path that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry may be taking in order to force a peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis includes American troops placed within the new Arab State of Palestine as a guarantee to Israel to prevent terrorism and a guarantee to the Palestinians against any Israeli interferences and guarding against IDF responses even if somehow a terrorist event should be committed. This idea is fraught with potential calamities and disasters beyond all imagination. Judging from the current situation in Iraq one can easily envision exactly how useless American troops would be in preventing all terrorist attacks while also being committed to performing their tasks while obeying all restrictions and limitations placed upon them by the Palestinian leadership. Add that the main function of American troops as peacekeepers would soon be realized that they are actually just potential hostages held whenever such were needed to make demands for concessions from either Israel or the United States. The best bet is that American peacekeepers stationed in Palestine to act as a deterrent against terrorism and to be guarantors of peace while enforcing the agreed upon border would be pulled either at the insistence of the American public or the demands of the Palestinians within the first year.
The path leading to this catastrophe waiting to happen will occur quickly and be in place before anybody either in Israel, the United States or the Arab World has time to react and prevent such idiocy. The most likely scenario will go something like this. Secretary of State Kerry will convince Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to forgo his litany of preconditions in return for a guarantee that the 1949 Armistice Lines, also called the 1967 Lines, will be the basis for the borders and that the Palestinians will have their Capital in East Jerusalem with complete control over the Temple Mount. Secretary of State Kerry will coerce Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to the talks by guaranteeing that the United States will enforce Israeli access to all Jewish Holy Sites especially in Jerusalem and that the United States will be the guarantor preventing any future terrorist attacks including rocket attacks. There will be a great meeting very likely in Washington on the East Lawn or the Oval Office with a signing ceremony where a tentative peace agreement will be signed. The agreement will spell out a proposed solution to such final issues as borders, Palestine being a non-military State defended by the United States, a solution to the Palestinian refugee resettlement with some ten to twenty thousand who have provable claims to lands lost within Israel being accepted by Israel with the remainder being absorbed by Palestine and possibly some remaining in the countries where they have resided with some having lived there over sixty years. And the cherry on top of this peace of cake will be American peacekeepers placed in the State of Palestine as the guarantors of all the implementations, peace, safety, and security for both sides. Presto, instant Americans placed in harms’ way under what will be the worst possible of conditions.
In order to appease the Palestinians, the American troops will answer to the Palestinian leadership operating under similar restriction as the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), who operate in a nearly complete ineffectiveness in containing Hezballah in Lebanon from rebuilding south of the Litany River, having to request permission in order to operate outside of their bases and perform any of their supposed duties. The American troops will find that their service will be utilized in such a manner that they will only have the effect of preventing any Israeli response to terrorism. The ability of the American forces to control or prevent terrorism will be virtually nullified by restrictions placed on them by the Palestinian government. They will become a protective force for the terrorist functions by blunting any operational abilities of Israel in anti-terror operations within Palestine, the only thing restricting terrorism on a massive scale currently. Eventually there will be American soldiers kidnapped by such groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Salafists or even al-Aksa Brigades, who are part of Abbas’s Fatah Organization, should the Americans actually manage to hold any terrorists from any of these groups or simply to make demands for any purpose from freeing terrorists held by Israel or any country worldwide or any other purpose where a hostage would give sufficient leverage. The American troops would also be living day and night wearing a virtual target on their backs and be targeted by any terror groups or individuals who are not supporters of Mahmoud Abbas; this is a very large and possibly majority of the Palestinian Arab population. Once Americans are taken hostage or murdered while presumably making Israel safe from the Palestinians, and this is how it will be played in the press and across the media, the relations between the American public and Israel will begin to grow strained. At some point Israel will likely ask that the Americans cut their losses and return to the United States as the price of American troops being harmed would be too high a price that Israel would rather the United States not pay. Israel has, in their entire history, never requested for American troops to come to their aid. Israel has always preferred to be responsible for the security of her people and country and have been consistently reluctant to allow others to be placed in harm’s way preferring to take such risks for their security themselves. This idea of injecting American troops into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is an awful idea whose time must be avoided and seen as poisonous to Israeli-American relations. Nothing positive can come from such a mistaken idea, such an abhorrent and noxious idea.
Beyond the Cusp