End the bloodshed first. Then they get a state. Not before.
good grief. I'm on the same page as Meryl Yourish. What's next, Blue Kryptonite?
I should clarify, of course. I don't think there's any point in establishing a Palestinian state if it's going to be just a glorified ghetto. The reason, Palestinian aspirations firmly aside, is because the last thing Israel needs is a mass of tightly restricted, humilated, and angry Palestinian nationalists next door, just outside their fence-with-gaps. As if the fence would do any good anyway.
Jonathan probably will disagree, which is always welcome, since his disagreement always results in further education on my part. I know Jonathan advocates the two-state solution and we do agree that a two-state solution is probably a necessary precursor to an eventual binational state. The settlement activity makes the binational state the only possible long-term outcome. The question then becomes, which of the other two options, Democracy or Jewishness, will the people embrace. As an optimist, I think I know the answer.
What is needed is a comitment to reducing the Palestinian oppression, which has to start with reform in Palestinian government first, but insisting on zero violence as a precursor is as always cart before horse. The legitimate Palestinian government with which Israel can make peace can never come into being unless Israel is willing to give them a chance to reclaim the mantle of self-interest, which is impossible as long as the assasination policy continues (note, the retaliation policy is something else).
If the Palestinian government is given a chance to re-define the Palestinian national self-interest, the violence will stop. But it will be a slow cessation, not an overnight one. And then, talk of a Palestinian state will actually make sense.
As for Syria, some fear of YHWH is a good thing. There has to be some way to change that nation's political calculus. Hezbollah is not Hamas, but Syria needs to redefine its own self-interest with a longer horizon than just short-term Israeli counterbalancing. So, dubious intelligence aside, Israel made a good decision to strike at Syria and I'm positive Assad understands the import quite well.
I can't find the link, but Jonathan's recent series of posts on the polling re: the Palestinian right of return is also essential reading. I'll try to find it...
also, Joe Katzman says being a Cubs fan is like being a Jew. ok, if the yarmulke fits...