Paul, Ms. Atwood is indeed a good writer, but she is making the exact same mistake that thinkers have been making for nearly a century. It's not unlike a subpar chessplayer who envisions victory, but fails to consider how the enemy will respond at each step of the grand plan. Consider this: Israel's supposed winning strategy is to create 2 states IN ORDER TO PRESERVE A STABLE JEWISH MAJORITY. The problem is that our enemies know that, so of course, they easily block the creation of such a majority by allowing terror/missiles to continue as needed. They would only agree to a final settlement if the Arab refugees were allowed to become full Israeli citizens with voting rights. This is why negotiating is futile, and always has been. Therefore, Israel must stop negotiating and take two steps. First, it must stop relating to the conflict on the national level, and finally relate to it on the religious level. This would allow Israel to quote the Quran against the Islamists, who currently are allowed to cover up the blatant Zionism of the Quran (cf Q:5:20ff, 17:1-8, 17:104, et al). Second, the only workable final settlement will include a mechanism for maximal democracy for all inhabitants, while protecting the few laws and customs that make Israel a specifically Jewish state. These Jewish aspects of the State of Israel would be protected by either a separate house of representatives so designated, or else by a royal family (many states are constitutional monarchies for similar reasons). You may think my alternative is "out there", but when you consider what an abject and bitter failure the pursuit of the 2-state, secularist solution has been since the advent of Zionism, you should at least reconsider its wisdom, and begin to consider creative alternatives.
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Palestinians report third round of Israeli airstrikes in southern Gaza (Haaretz)
from the article: Mideast peace needs prophets, not yes-men