In this excellent book, Benjamin Netanyahu sets forth in concise and logical terms the reason why there cannot and should not be a sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. Netanyahu is obviously a partisan of Israel but his case is built methodically on facts and reason and any fair reader will be hard pressed to refute his position.
The first part of the book is a relatively brief synopsis of the relevant parts of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict with a special focus on the British Mandate to rebuild a national Jewish home as well as the myths and facts behind the so-called Arab refugee crisis. Netanyahu makes a clear and convincing case for the proposition that the Arab world created, enlarged, maintained and used the refugee situation as a weapon against Israel. He proves his case that the Palestinian Arabs have no moral "right" to either replace the Jewish state or to create a rump sovereign state on the West Bank and Gaza.
In the next part of the book, Netanyahu sets forth his geo-political philosophy which bears a striking resemblance to Churchillian/Reagan notions of deterrence through strength. He describes the two kinds of peace, the peace between democratic states such as today's France and Germany or the United States and Canada where security is simply not an issue and the peace between belligerent states such as exists between Israel and all its neighbors. Netanyahu points out that a nation dealing with a non-democracy can never risk its security in pursuit of a paper peace agreement. Even where a state of peace exists, a change of regime of the non-democratic state can lead to a repudiation of the treaty.
In the final part of the book, Netanyahu applies these ideas to the Israeli-Arab conflict. He is an expert on Israeli security issues and many of the things he has to say about Israel's security needs are not commonly known. For one thing, he writes of Israel's need for "strategic depth." Israel has a standing army of only 150,000 men. Thus, if attacked, she would need 2-3 days to fully mobilize her reserve forces. During these 2 or 3 days the standing army must hold the enemy at bay. If an attack came from a Palestinian state on all of the West Bank , this strategic depth would be gone. As Netanyahu argues convincingly, Israel cannot trust its security to the good will of a neighboring Palestine. This was true when the book was originally written in 1993. ....
Netanyahu does not argue for any of the radical right wing positions. Although he argues that the Arabs have no historical claim on Judea and Samaria and the Jews do, he does not advocate either expulsion or permanent Israeli military control. Instead he argues for granting the Arabs the right to control their own lives on a day to day basis and to avoid contact with Israelis if they so desire. He makes an unassailable argument, however, that Israel's security needs preclude the granting of a fully sovereign state on this territory. Unfortunately, the Arabs are not likely to accept this so continued conflict is the likely future. The book is well written and very concise. It is hard to argue with Netanyahu's logic and those not pre-disposed to reject his words will enjoy this book a great deal.