Leon Wieseltier makes note of a particularly absurd statement in the Time Magazine cover story on the future of Israel:

"Nowhere in Time's piece, or in any of the other pieces in any of the other journals that express all the proper anxieties about what the Israeli army can and cannot accomplish in Gaza, is a more effective way of putting an end to Hamas's aggressions proposed. And nowhere in this piece is there any indignation about Hamas, about its vision or its violence. It appears that Hamas is so outrageous that it no longer provokes outrage. Its madness is accepted factually, in a sexy spirit of realism. The piece concludes with this: "Israel eventually will have to pull back to the 1967 borders and dismantle many of the settlements on the Palestinian side, no matter how loudly its ultra-religious parties protest. Only then will the Palestinians and the other Arab states agree to a durable peace. It's as simple as that."

A great sage once taught: He who claims to know the answer to the Middle East dispute doesn't even know the question.

I'm a two-stater, and have been so for some time, but I have never believed with anything approaching certainty that the creation of a Palestinian state would bring about an end to Muslim demands for all of Palestine. The wise men of Time Magazine should acquaint themselves with Faisal Husseini's parting words: "We may lose or win [tactically] but our eyes will continue to aspire to the strategic goal, namely, to Palestine from the river to the sea. Whatever we get now cannot make us forget this supreme truth." Or they should read Yasser Arafat's speech in South Africa shortly after Oslo, or, for that matter, with what Marwan Barghouti told me about the next phase of the conflict.

For reasons of demography, security and morality, Israel should negotiate its way out of the West Bank. But would this mark the end of the conflict? Only a fool says yes.

 

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