- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2002

The United States should seek a victory for safety, prosperity and freedom in the Middle East. Anything short of victory for those values will be a defeat. The forces of hatred, terrorism and ferocity dominate Palestinian society today. These forces glorify the suicide bomber, teach hate for Israelis and educate the young to fight a war of annihilation against an Israel that is not recognized by Palestinian schoolbook maps.
A truce buys more time for the forces of terror and hatred to spread their poison, recruit more fanatics and plan more murderous attacks. A cease-fire guarantees that the voice of any moderate Palestinian who would advocate living with Israel in peace will be silenced by death.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not been seen as an equity argument with negotiable issues. It is not. This is a war to the death between a Jewish people determined to have their own state and a Palestinian people whose current dominant faction is determined to destroy the Jewish state and drive out the Jewish people.
Clausewitz warned that the most vicious and brutal of wars are those fought between people rather than states. He noted that conflicts between states can be negotiated but conflicts between people have to be won. He went on to warn that brutality and exhaustion are the hallmarks of peoples' wars.
From reading "Mein Kampf" and studying Hitler, Churchill knew that Western civilization faced a mortal threat. While "normal," "more reasonable" and "more sophisticated" leaders kept trying to appease Hitler, Churchill consistently believed Hitler had to be defeated because he and the Nazi movement were demonically opposed to the West.
Franklin D. Roosevelt came out for "unconditional surrender" as our policy toward the Axis powers because it was the one goal that guaranteed they could not survive. He knew that over time the anger of Pearl Harbor would fade and "reasonable" voices would call for negotiated settlements. He was convinced that America could only be safe in a world in which Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy were defeated. His assertion set the standard for the Second World War and guaranteed the decisive defeat of those three powers.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan came to power at a time when the establishment had sought detente with a rising Soviet Empire. They were, however, committed to defeating rather than dealing with the Soviet Union and they launched economic, psychological and military campaigns against the Soviet Empire. Within a decade they had won and the Soviet Union had collapsed. It was a victory that could not have occurred within the earlier system of containment and cooperation with the Soviets.
What is needed today is the same clear-sighted understanding of what is at stake in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For Israel to survive, the forces of terrorism and hatred must be totally defeated. Therefore, a campaign must be undertaken to eliminate them from the Palestinian territories, break their financial ties from Arab states, and eliminate the propaganda that grows new generations of terrorists.
This campaign might begin by declaring Yasser Arafat a terrorist and exiling him from the Palestinian territories. As a known terrorist, Mr. Arafat could well be banned from travel to the United States.
Countries that want to have good relations with the United States should be informed that they can no longer support the forces of terrorism without severe consequences including financial subsidies to families of suicide bombers and organizations of terror. Additionally, shipments of arms and weapons will not be tolerated. Countries need to understand that their actions matter more than their words and that aid to terrorists puts them squarely on the side of terrorists.
After isolating the terrorists from their outside support it is necessary to create a Palestinian government which is willing to seek a peaceful, prosperous future as a neighbor to Israel. This will require funding and training of a police and intelligence infrastructure that can support the anti-terrorist leadership and can root out the terrorists. Such an emerging peaceful government should be rewarded with statehood, respect and a substantial Marshall-type plan to help create a prosperous future.
For its part, Israel would have to be committed to cooperating with a Palestinian government that ends the hate propaganda, replaces the school textbooks and crushes the terrorist's organizations. Israel would have to reward such reforms with systems that enhance Palestinian dignity, open markets to increase Palestinian prosperity, and border changes that minimized unnecessary friction between Palestinians and Israelis.
This is an enormous challenge. Those who seek to bridge over five decades of violence with small measures will find themselves mired down in new hatred and new violence. Getting to peace in Israel and Palestine will take a serious and intense effort. The focus must be on victory and on the defeat those opposed to peace. The difficulty will predictably arise as the traditional establishment applies the appeasement mentality because of its exhaustion with the conflict.
As the bombings in Israel and the Israeli operations in Palestinian territories continue, the calls for a truce will grow. If that happens, a victory will be won for the terrorists and the cycle of violence will persist. An armistice is time to recruit yet another generation of suicide bombers, to study, to improve their techniques in order to become more efficient and effective killers, thus guaranteeing a future of death, hatred, and hopelessness for the Palestinian people.
There can be no improvement in Israeli-Palestinian relations and no hope of a Palestinian state willing to live peacefully with Israel without defeating the terrorists. So long they exist any Palestinian leader willing to publicly work with Israel for peace will be extinguished and the propaganda of hatred will continue.
This is a historic moment when the choice is clear and unavoidable. After September 11, the United States committed itself to defeating terrorism. This is terrorism and it needs to be defeated.
Let us clearly and proudly announce we are for a peaceful, prosperous Palestinian state and we are prepared to defeat those who would block the growth of such a state. Let us denounce proposed truces and focus on winning this war against violence and fanaticism.

Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. www.newt.org.

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