Noah Pollak writes me to tell me how my priorities are all screwed up:
If it's really true that Israel needs Arab recognition to survive, what rational argument can you make to Syria and Lebanon and the Palestinians that they should make peace? Here you are offering the Arabs the choice between glorious victory and a humiliating U.S.-brokered peace, and you think they're going to take humiliation? If you really believe that Israel can't survive without recognition, then you should also argue that Israel is doomed, because neither the Palestinians nor most of the Arabs are going to give it -- especially not when the Goldbergs, Olmerts, and J Streeters keep saying that Israel will perish without Arab approval. This entire line is like some kind of bizarre Jewish solipsism.
Me, I think it's the other way around. I've spent all summer over here and what I see is a strong, young, vibrant, flourishing nation. And what I see on the West Bank and Gaza are societies that have made themselves so dysfunctional and self-hating that the UN collects their garbage for them. Somehow, the weaker and more divided the Palestinians get, the more powerful they become. And the more economically and militarily mighty Israel gets, the weaker it becomes.
I specialize, of course, in bizarre Jewish solipsisms. I don't disagree with many of Noah's conclusions, particularly about the strength of Israeli society, but I continue to believe that the best way to short-circuit the international campaign to deny Israel legitimacy is to make reasonable compromises with Israel's reasonable adversaries. And I continue to believe that Barack Obama could help that process along. And yes, I do believe that some of Israel's adversaries are reasonable.
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