Does anyone in Israel have the vision thing?

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Steve Walt had breakfast at Harvard with Tzipi Livni. It was off the record, but he can quote himself:

I didn’t get a chance to ask her a question. I had scribbled one down in my notebook, however, and here’s what I would have asked:

“I would like to know where you think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is headed. I don’t mean where you want the conflict to go or what resolution you think is most desirable, but rather what outcome you think is most likely given where we are today and what the prevailing trends are.

“At present, most people say they want a ‘two-state solution.’ Barack Obama wants that, and so did George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Tony Blair, Mahmoud Abbas, Ehud Olmert, and you do too. So do I. Even Prime Minister Netanyahu has endorsed that idea at least once.

“Yet if current trends continue, a two-state solution will eventually be impossible and we will all have to acknowledge that reality.

Indeed, a growing number of people are convinced that this is already the case, either because Israel’s political system is too dysfunctional to change course, because the Palestinians are too divided to make a deal, or because there are too many settlers to remove.

“Former Prime Minister Olmert has warned that if the two-state solution fails, then Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state is imperiled. I think he’s right, and what I can’t understand is why more Israelis — and their supporters in other countries — aren’t deeply worried about this situation, and aren’t doing everything in their power to get a two-state deal done before it is too late.

“So my question is: where is this conflict headed, and what should be done today to avoid the one-state future that many now see as inevitable”

This is on the Foreign Policy site, mind you. Ball’s in your court, Tzipi.



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