Reuel Gerecht on Why I'm Wrong About the West Bank

I can always count on Reuel to read me, at least. This is in response to my Times op-ed, written with Hussein Ibish:

Peace comes when a democratic Palestine votes for peace with the Jews. Hamas does not appear to represent all faithful Palestinian Muslims, but Hamas's creed may well have considerable resonance--more resonance than the creed of Abu Mazen and his men--with devout Muslims.   What we have on the West Bank is a dictatorship.  Until it's not, we won't know where the Palestinian soul is. There are many reasons why Muslim Brotherhood ideology, financed with Gulf money and now synched with Wahhabi virtues, has become the most powerful intellectual force in the Arab world (it's only competitor is the democratic ethos, which has merged, at least in Egypt (and Tunisia) with the Brotherhood's identity. But one not insignificant reason has been the distasteful peace process between Fatah's elite and the Jews.  (The Israeli factor pales, of course, with local national issues and the larger overwhelming issue of modernization and the failure of secular dictatorships.)  The only thing that I'm willing to bet large quantities of money on is that economic vitality on the West Bank does not guarantee democratic success. The perverse truth is that Hamas might still do very well on the West Bank in a free vote.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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