Israel Is Doing Better Than You've Heard

[Weekly Standard] Peter Berkowitz - Israelis face a formidable array of national security threats. Weapons continue to flow from Egypt into Gaza, Hamas continues to rain down Kassam rockets on the civilian residents of the Israeli town of Sderot and on surrounding kibbutzim. In the West Bank, Israeli security forces operate around the clock to foil terrorist operations before they cross over into Israel. In the south of Lebanon, Hizbullah has rearmed. And then there is Iran, which would present a grave danger to Israel should it succeed in becoming a nuclear power. There is a consensus among Israelis that the conditions for implementing a solution to the conflict do not now exist and are not likely to come into being anytime soon. Despite the intentions of Abbas and Fayyad, Fatah is too corrupt, the Palestinian educational system is too poisonous, Jerusalem too sensitive an issue, and Hamas too appealing to too many Palestinians. Most important, any political agreement would require the Israeli army and internal security forces to leave the West Bank, but few in Israel believe that can be done without paying an intolerable price - exposing Tel Aviv and environs, the center of the country's commercial life and home to half its citizens, to constant rocket attacks. Because it faces up to harsh realities without losing sight of the demands of justice, the evolving consensus reflects the strength of the nation. The writer is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a visiting professor at Georgetown University.

2008-02-01 01:00:00

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