An Unpleasant Choice

Meirav Arlosoroff on the choice Israel faces:

"...(I)t can be said that the disadvantage involved in continued, permanent rule over the territories would render Israel an outcast in the international community and lead to the disintegration of domestic and international support for the country and perhaps even all-out war waged by the Arab countries against it - in the absence for support for Israel. The disadvantage involved in withdrawing from the territories is that a scenario such as what occurred in the disengagement from the Gaza Strip could also occur in the West Bank, which would be turned into a "Hamastan." Israel would find itself in a situation of constant war with the Palestinians, including missiles falling on its city centers.

These are two ominous extreme scenarios. It is not at all clear what the probability is that either would transpire, but that is not at all important. The only questions that should concern Israel are what the chances of survival are if one of the scenarios actually occurs and under which will Israel manage to cope more successfully. As long as the foreign policy debate in Israel is not conducted with consideration for managing the maximum risk entailed in each option, we are not much different from the captain of the Titanic.
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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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