A reader takes issue with Mearsheimer's protestation that

Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term. In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens. In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream.

My reader writes:

This is naïve. Assuming no genocide, the American South ran an apartheid state for almost a century. You can look at America’s historic treatment of Blacks and Indians to see where Israel is headed.

The influence of America and Europe is declining, and the international consensus on human rights against practices such as torture and rendition has unraveled. Assuming a shift in alliances, do you think China or Russia would care what Israel did to its Palestinians?

The militants aren’t afraid to kill, maim, or steal. Others, perhaps a majority, don’t agree with the militants' tactics, but aren’t about to stick their necks out. They’re also not going to mind if the problem just “goes away.” We’re on the brink of a brave new world of brutal nationalistic strugglesthink early nineteenth century Europe on an International scale with nukes.

I fear my reader is right. The "forever war" is the point. Hussein Ibish sees the following scenario as the likeliest:

[Mearsheimer] takes a perfectly reasonable observation -- that because of the occupation Israel is charging headlong down the path towards self-destruction -- which is undoubtedly true, but attaches to that accurate assessment the weird corollary that this somehow means Palestinian victory. As I keep saying, again and again, it is entirely possible for either or, quite possibly, both sides to lose everything in this conflict. Nothing about it is a zero sum.

Just as both Israelis and Palestinians require a peace agreement to secure a reasonable future, both of them are likely to face wretched futures as far as the imagination can justifiably be stretched in almost any scenario likely to be produced by a lack of peace (leaving aside, of course, science fiction-like fantasies that have no relation to the political and other forces that actually produce outcomes).

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.