The horrific attack on a Jerusalem synagogue last month has generated heated discussion about the causes of violence. The latest villain — an old one, really — is inflammatory Palestinian rhetoric. But it’s the wrong explanation for a much deeper problem. Incitement can make matters worse, but it is rarely a primary cause of violence and often is its outcome.
We have been here before. From 1998 to 2000, I served on the American side of the Trilateral U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian Anti-Incitement Committee, which came out of the Wye River agreements. Benjamin Netanyahu was in his first stint as Israeli prime minister and, having opposed the Oslo agreements, he had been pressured into the talks by President Bill Clinton.… Seguir leyendo »
The debate over how to handle Iran’s nuclear program is notable for its gloom and doom. Many people assume that Israel must choose between letting Iran develop nuclear weapons or attacking before it gets the bomb. But this is a false choice. There is a third option: working toward a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. And it is more feasible than most assume.
Attacking Iran might set its nuclear program back a few years, but it will most likely encourage Iran to aggressively seek — and probably develop — nuclear weapons. Slowing Iran down has some value, but the costs are high and the risks even greater.… Seguir leyendo »
As the Palestinians seek U.N. support for a state of their own, Washington has advanced two arguments to dissuade them: first, that taking the issue of statehood to the United Nations is a unilateral move away from negotiations with Israel; and second, that the effort will be counterproductive because the United States will veto any such U.N. Security Council resolution.
These arguments miss the point. The United Nations may in fact be just the place to invigorate stalled diplomacy. The question should not be what would happen when the United States vetoes the U.N. resolution but what if it doesn’t.
Israelis and Palestinians have been in conflict for decades, and Israel has controlled the West Bank and Gaza for 44 years.… Seguir leyendo »