Netanyahu's March of Folly

Carlo Strenger on what might be heading in Israel's direction:

Netanyahu's real goals have never changed since the 1990s, when he presented his long-term view in books, articles and op-ed pieces. As he wrote in his book A Durable Peace, he believes that Palestinian sovereignty should be limited to four cantons surrounding major Palestinian cities, on an area of no more than 40 percent of the West Bank. His current actions indicate, that he continues to move toward settling as much land as possible. The goal, it seems, is to prevent Palestinians from applying the principle of the right of return, even to a future Palestinian state.

Of course no Palestinian leader would ever accept Netanyahu's plans, and Netanyahu knows this as well as anybody else.

It is less clear how he envisages the near and far future. His government has already indicated that it will revoke the Oslo agreements if the Palestinians seek UN recognition for their state in September. This might indeed suit Netanyahu - if he wants to make a Palestinian state impossible, he might actually like the idea of rescinding all previous accords. In his view, this gives Israel full freedom to do as it wishes in the West-Bank.
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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.