Do Israelis Want Peace?

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Polls show that a majority of Israelis support a two-state solution and territorial compromise. The Israelis I know, left and right, would much rather not send another generation of sons and daughters to army service. Obviously, Israelis will differ on the contours of a peaceful compromise, as do Palestinians. The basic question underlying every discussion of the peace process is this: Is the maximum the Israelis can offer equal the minimum the Palestinians can accept? The answer, so far, on both sides, has been no, but I don't doubt that most Israelis, and most Palestinians, seek a deal of some sort, and would like the peace process to progress in a way that ensures their security. My colleague Steve Clemons, however, doesn't share this belief about the Israelis:

What Obama doesn't get is that a substantial portion of Israel's population loves not having a deal and never wants one.  They are OK with a peace process to nowhere -- but that is not acceptable for the less-endowed, less-powerful Palestinian side.  Hamas is in the rejectionist corner as well, seeing its fortunes rise as earnest efforts at peace go nowhere.

I'm sure that in a follow-up post, Steve will offer us proof for this assertion!

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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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