An Unpleasant Choice

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/an-unpleasant-choice/245801/