The Power of Political Minorities

Steve Clemons


I am not going to argue that a majority of Israelis don't want peace.  Of course, they do, and this is something that we should applaud -- but that has been true for a very long time -- and the fact is that majority perspectives don't seem to matter when it comes to Israel-Palestine deal-making.

What matters are the minorities, particularly the violent ones -- Hamas in Palestine, and the settlers who keep pushing out the frontiers of what they consider to be Greater Israel in the Occupied territories.

Both of these minority groups are rejecting the two state peace track -- and any successful outcome will depend upon resilience, upon strong support of those who want peace against the minorities willing to do do anything to capsize a track -- even the initiation of the process -- towards a fair, final deal.

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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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