To achieve peace in the Middle East, as in any region, there is a necessary principle that every party must learn: the initiation of force is evil. And the indispensable means of teaching it is to ensure that the initiating side is defeated and punished. Decisive retaliatory force must be wielded against the aggressor. So long as one side has reason to think it will benefit from initiating force against its neighbors, war must result.This is undeniably true. Unfortunately, since Ghate doesn't know history, he has cast the roles incorrectedly. The Palestinians and Arabs generally did not initiate force when the Jewish statehood, or Zionist, movement got started in the late nineteenth century. The Arabs were largely on the receiving end of the coercion, as they were terrorized and dispossessed of the land they and their ancestors had worked for generations. The great myth is that the Zionist movement was ever weaker than the Arabs. Moreover, as Paul Johnson wrote in Modern Times, the Irgun (a Zionist guerilla organization that had Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir as members) attack on the King David Hotel (British headquarters) in Jerusalem in 1946 was "the prototype terrorist outrage for the decades to come."
(Ghate's column gets worse as it goes along. E.g.: "Israel is a free country, which recognizes the rights of its citizens, whatever their race or religion, and which prospers through business and trade. It has no use for war and no interest in conquest." Don't you just love when someone does an a priori analysis of an empirical matter?)
This history does not justify Arab violence against innocent Israeli civilians -- such as Hezbollah is committing in northern Israel -- but we ought to keep the context in mind when we size up events there.