Just yesterday a friend called me, extremely upset about Ilan Pappe’s account of Neo-Zionism in his new book, The Idea of Israel. (We’re Americans, one Catholic and one Episcopalian.)
She felt somehow that the hardening of the Zionist position as described by Mr. Pappe was the end of hope for peace among Palestinians and Arab and Jewish Israelis. I made two replies:
First, that it’s a mistake to assume that any given state of political affairs will continue on its present trajectory, without interruption.
Second, that nobody can predict when, where, or from whom will come the gesture that eventually results in negotiation between enemies and agreement on terms of peace. That was true in South Africa and Northern Island.
It may not be known for years, but perhaps President Rivlin has made a gesture that emboldens somebody else to respond in kind.