Every so often, when matters get especially tough, we are urged to rethink our strategy, drop our military options and head to the negotiating table. Some new pitch is thrown (e.g. Northern Ireland). As the saying goes ?you don?t make peace with your friends?. True. But neither do you make peace with your enemies. A cease fire would do. Here?s what history has tought us so far: Every time our enemies have been on the weaker side of the balance we have chosen to ?re-elevate? and ?re-legitimize? them. That was the case after Arafat embraced Saddam Hussein in front of the public eye. At some point we have chosen to ?fight terrorism as if there was no peace and to fight for peace as if there was no terrorism?. Remember that one? We have actually gone the ? untinkable ? extra mile: evacuated an occupied territory unconditionally and dismantled all the settlements in it. Its population subsequently elected with a clear majority a party that has a public agenda of destroying us. As far as I know, the IRA?s aim was not to overthrow Brittain or repopulate it with Irish, but rather to gain independence. A subtle but critical difference I think. So how about trying something new this time? How about not going through the same steps we always went through. How about NOT funding the PA, how about telling them ?sorry, no negotiations, not in the mood right now?, how about NOT releasing palestinian prisoners as a good gesture. How about NOT sending shipments of weopons to Fatah. How about pushing public opinion in the direction it?s going now (for once not against us!). How about sitting passively and waiting for our paestinian brethren to come forward with concessions. Maybe time to try something new.
from the article: Applying lessons from Northern Ireland