Gary Epstein
And now for something completely different . . .

Nobody Asked, But Here’s The Answer

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Otherwise intelligent people still chatter about a two-state solution, as if that would hasten an enduring peace in the Middle East.  President Biden, still in thrall to Obama and his team of neurotic dilettantes, thinks that disposing of Prime Minister Netanyahu will move the ball forward.  For all we know, he may still share Obama’s fantasy that relaxing sanctions and shipping cash to Iran will bring about some sort of detente that will cause the Mullahs to become reasonable and a stabilizing force in the region.  Diehard aficionados of the Abraham Accords hypothesize that if they take hold and expand, they could be the game changer.

Nonsense.  It’s all nonsense. “Take the win,” is nonsense, prior to anything being won.

A two-state solution? There is no one to lead a Palestinian State that would even make a gesture towards accepting a Jewish State in perpetuity; and October 7 has put the final nail in the coffin of that solution for 90% of the Israeli electorate.  Accommodation with the Palestinians, even if Iran were to permit it, will not bring regional peace. The Palestinians do not want peace with Israel; they want its demise.  Even the total annihilation of Hamas would do nothing but kick the Gaza can down the road.

Replace Netanyahu?  Which replacement for Netanyahu will have a greater chance of effecting a permanent peace?  Gantz?  Lapid?  Bennett?  Deri?  Gallant? Ben-Gvir?  Lieberman?  Smotrich? The Haredi, Joint List, Labor and Meretz clowns? Once again, this is just Biden trying to accomplish one of the fantasies of his puppet master, Obama.  This “solution” is simply an expression of personal animus, not a recipe for lasting peace.  The people who don’t like Netanyahu would be happy.  The people who like Netanyahu will be unhappy, and, maybe, a bit fearful.  But peace?  Give me a break.

The Abraham Accords? Iran, utilizing its Hamas proxies,  sabotaged the Abraham Accords once, when they were on the brink of ushering in a modest improvement in international relations, which, itself, would not have implemented regional peace.  Jordan and Saudi Arabia, acting out of self-interest, assisted in the resistance to the Iranian attack.  But Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian terrorist armies are poised to undermine any regional transformation.  They have done so in the past.  Is there any reason to assume that they will not continue to do so, so long as it is within their power?

There is only one clear path to eventual peace in the Middle East and that is to render Iran incapable or unwilling to continue to destabilize it.

That means either inflicting a decisive military defeat or bringing about a regime change.  If Iran remains in its present form, nothing will work.  If Iran is removed from the equation, any number of possible solutions will make themselves available and viable.

Until that happens, makeshift measures and military skirmishes will tilt the balance one way or another, but nothing will alter the basic fact that Iran under its present fanatical leadership, is a destabilizing, malign, force for evil that is the source and the foundation of every negative aspect of the current situation.

Hezbollah is an incredibly complex problem, so long as Iran is there to support and direct it.  Subtract Iran from the equation and Hezbollah becomes extremely dangerous, but manageable.  Hamas is a mere shell of what it was.  Without Iran, it can never recover. The Houthis would not last beyond the next payday.  And if there were not a regime antagonistic to the US, UK and Israel in Iran, Russia and China would be deprived of their strongest protagonist in the region.

The Solution: Neutralize Iran.

So there–a solution that would actually work and have a long-term regional and global effect.

Now all we need to do is figure out how to accomplish it.  Military attack from without?  Protest, insurrection, and revolt from within?  Best of all, a combination of those two destabilizing forces?

I thank God every day that there are young men and women willing to put their lives on the line in defense of Israel. I thank God every day that there are military and political leaders who are willing to assume the terrible, fearsome responsibility of putting them in harm’s way in order to assure the existence of Israel.  I thank God every day that there are people charged with devising strategies to implement policies designed to protect us.  And I thank God every day that I do not have to make those decisions.  I appreciate those who do.

Other than ceding Syria to the Russians, the worst thing that Obama did was deny support to the protests in Iran at a time when the regime was weak and the Iranian people was galvanized by the murder of Mahsa (Jina) Amini at the hands of the Mullahs’ morality police. Had leadership and support been provided, who knows what might have happened? Instead, except for the brief Trump interruption, Biden and Obama have propped up the Iranian regime with sanctions relief, timidity, and massive infusions of cash.

Suppose we really interdicted the cash. Suppose the CIA and its sister agencies in the EU  coalesced the ethnic resistance, like the Kurds and the nationalists.  They are the most organized, but there is also a significant, if fragmented, opposition that yearns for the demise of the oppressive regime. There are residual monarchists, moderate Muslims, a cadre of influential secular thinkers, writers, intellectuals, and artists, and even some reformers within the system who have given up on the current despots. Is it beyond our capacity to bring them together in a common cause?

If a coordinated military response to Iran’s aggression were synchronized with an internal and unified revolution, the ability of the current regime to inflict external damage would be limited, as it was forced to turn inward to resist attacks.  And if the joint attacks were successful, the world would be a far better place.

Pie in the sky?  Perhaps.  But if Tom Friedman can draw a paycheck from the Times for writing the same useless column over and over and over and over about a two-state solution and how evil Netanyahu is, I can try this out this one time for free. Maybe someone will read it and figure out how to do it.

Hope is eternal.

About the Author
Gary Epstein is a retired teacher and lawyer residing in Modi'in, Israel. He was formerly the Head of the Global Corporate and Securities Department of Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm with an office in Tel Aviv, which he founded and of which he was the first Managing Partner. He and his wife Ahuva are blessed with18 grandchildren, ka"h, all of whom he believes are well above average. He currently does nothing. He believes he does it well.