Do Israelis Want Peace?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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!

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/do-israelis-want-peace/245544/