by Karma Feinstein Cohen
With the approval of a United Nations General Assembly resolution requesting the International Court of Justice weigh in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli “annexation,” and the “legal status of the occupation,” Israel’s response has been underwhelming.
This is not just another largely meaningless UN resolution. It has the capacity to be the opening shot in a diplomatic war that could see severe ramifications and potentially lead to intense sanctions against Israel and some of its people.
This attack demands a robust and meaningful response from both the Israeli government as well as from Jewish leaders across the globe.
Firstly, because, as in any type of warfare, if you do not respond against the first wave of attack, you have lost your deterrence, and subsequent waves will be even more powerful.
The Palestinian Arabs will be emboldened by this decision which was loudly applauded by its leaders, who have repeatedly enunciated their roadmap towards isolating Israel diplomatically and economically.
Secondly, and most importantly, it is vital that Israel responds because, like all adversaries, the Palestinian Arabs have their pressure points. These must be understood and utilized to pressure them into giving up on their diplomatic terrorism.
The State of Israel collects taxes for the Palestinian Arabs, which they badly need. These must be held until they end their war. The Palestinian Authority, the institution leading these attacks on Israel, is only standing because it seemingly remains in Israel’s interests for it to survive.
Perhaps, it would be better to consider letting it fall.
No other Palestinian Arab body, party, or institution in Judea and Samaria would be able to lead such an attack on Israel in international institutions, legitimately or legally.
While this is the greatest fear of many in Israel’s senior political, diplomatic, and security echelons, the balance of the Jewish State’s interests has to be seriously tilted toward letting it fall.
We have seen recently that Palestinian Authority officials and employees have been actively involved in terrorism and physical and verbal attacks against Israel, so why should such an institution be allowed to continue?
It is high time that this threat was seriously placed on the table with other very real actions.
The State of Israel should cut off all contact and assistance to Palestinian Arab leaders, like PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Israel allows Abbas to continue his kleptocratic fiefdom because it is generally seen as the least of all bad options.
In addition, it should not allow Abbas free movement and other activities crucial to ensuring his reign and the war against Israel.
If Abbas is leading an attempt to ensure Israeli leaders are sanctioned, he should first feel what that is like. He should lose the immunity and impunity that successive Israeli governments have afforded him.
Palestinian Authority leaders should start to feel overwhelming pressure at every turn. They have become used to a limp response by Israel to its attacks in the international arena and have become further emboldened.
There is no better time than a brand-new Israeli government to state unequivocally that the rules of the game have changed, and there will be a strong and paralyzing response by Israel to the continued Palestinian attacks.
Israeli leaders shouldn’t just send threats behind closed doors but publicly announce a series of steps it will take in response to the passing of the United Nations General Assembly resolution, with an additional set of steps should they continue.
These steps should be designed with one singular goal in mind, to break the will of the Palestinian Arabs to continue fighting this war.
This is not just good for Israel; it will also be good for the Palestinians.
\If their leaders end their obsessive war against Israel on all its fronts, legal, economic, diplomatic, and of course, through violence, it will free up energy and resources for building Palestinian Arab society in all arenas, social, education, and infrastructure.
The Palestinian Arab war against Israel is also a war against a decent future for the Palestinian Arabs.
Nevertheless, a more peaceful, prosperous, and secure future for both peoples can only be attained once the Palestinian leaders have given up.
This can only happen when Israel forces them to do so.
It will take a change of direction by our security and political establishment, but all other paths have failed.
It is time for more drastic action.
Karma Feinstein Cohen is the Executive Director of World Herut, a Member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, and a Member of the Israel Victory Project.