Ian S. Lustick

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Vengeance Is Not a Policy

The astonishing spectacle and intimate horrors of the attack by Hamas and Islamic Jihad against Israelis make it even more difficult than usual to understand why it occurred and how it can be prevented from happening again. There is simply no escaping the gut punch of seeing or hearing people of all ages—including children, teenagers, the elderly, and the disabled—being brutalized, riddled with bullets, or dragged into captivity.

The terror and pain of the victims and the agony of their families—whose appearances, accents, and life stories are so familiar to U.S. and European audiences—make it supremely difficult to undertake effective analysis.…  Seguir leyendo »

The last three decades are littered with the carcasses of failed negotiating projects billed as the last chance for peace in Israel. All sides have been wedded to the notion that there must be two states, one Palestinian and one Israeli. For more than 30 years, experts and politicians have warned of a “point of no return.” Secretary of State John Kerry is merely the latest in a long line of well-meaning American diplomats wedded to an idea whose time is now past.

True believers in the two-state solution see absolutely no hope elsewhere. With no alternative in mind, and unwilling or unable to rethink their basic assumptions, they are forced to defend a notion whose success they can no longer sincerely portray as plausible or even possible.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just formed a new government in Israel. But nothing of substance will change. Peace negotiations will not resume; settlement activity will expand; war with Iran will still be threatened; and Israel will move even closer to becoming an international pariah. When President Obama speaks to the Israeli public, he will no doubt treat his counterpart cordially, but that won't mute the shocking honesty of what he has already said: An Israeli government led by Netanyahu cannot be a partner for productive peace talks.

In his visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, and in the weeks ahead, the president can clarify the full implications of Israel's isolation.…  Seguir leyendo »