No, really. The good news comes in the form of a bell that isn't ringing: The West Bank is more-or-less quiet. In the first two uprisings, the violence spread quickly from one half of the future state of Palestine to the other. Today, this isn't happening. I asked Walter Isaacson, who is the chairman of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, why he thought this was so. Walter, who by day runs the Aspen Institute, points to the work of the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who is growing the West Bank economy at a remarkable rate.
"There has been double-digit growth in the economy, and people have a stake in the future because of what Salam Fayyad and others have done to improve conditions there," Walter said. "And Israelis have responded by encouraging economic development. I think that people in the West Bank have a clear sense of what peace would bring them, and that's a prosperous state. If you just let all these engineers in the Palestinian territories and in Israel form joint start-ups, you'll see a vision of the future. Success is not achieved just with secret talks about politics but by laying a groundwork for prosperity."
What was true before the Gaza incursion remains true now: The best hope for a two-state solution is a vibrant West Bank that could serve as a role model for the people of Gaza.