My Atlantic colleague Jeffrey Goldberg has offered this observation on the issue of whether Israelis want peace with the Palestinians:
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.
I completely agree with Goldberg. Most Israelis I know want peace and some version of a two-state solution.
I helped establish the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation directed by former Israel government trade negotiator Daniel Levy, who was one of the whirling dervishes of the Geneva Initiative, as well as Amjad Atallah, who is now Bureau Chief of the Americas of Al Jazeera, because I not only thought that a two state deal was vital but believed in the many polls done then showing that both Israelis and Palestinians in their respective majorities favored a peace deal.
Goldberg wrote the item above as a counterpoint to something I had written suggesting I was saying that Israelis didn't want peace. He reposts from my piece on Obama and the Palestinian statehood bid:
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.
Jeffrey 'rounded up' what I actually wrote. Not a big deal -- but it does give me an opportunity to raise the issue of ineffective majorities and effective minorities in the Israel-Palestine divide.