What I am confused about:
- Whether Martin Luther King is correct in saying that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
- How, if at all, earthly events, such as conflicts between peoples, are influenced by one or more transcendent forces.
- What percentage of Israelis and Palestinians are truly willing to accept a peace agreement without then trying to undermine it in pursuit of greater “justice” for their own people.
- Precisely how Israel is striking the balance between its stated goals of destroying Hamas’s military capabilities and minimizing civilian casualties.
- The percentage of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank who currently support violent resistance.
- What will happen to Europe’s Jewish population during the next year or two, and where the Jews who flee Europe will go.
- What will be the future of J Street – the American left-leaning organization that used to call itself “Zionist” but that made a conscious decision to stay away from a recent pro-Israel demonstration in Boston.
- What the future has in store for the movement for a two-state solution – will it grow or shrink, become more impassioned or more muted.
- To what extent the Israel-Palestinian conflict will impact the broader interfaith movement.
- Whether America will ever impose preconditions to its military assistance to Israel.
What I am Confident About
1. In the face of Hamas’s threat, Israel has two choices: to respond with excessive force or inadequate force. The so-called third alternative, “perfectly proportionate force,” is a utopian dream, one that only Hal the Computer might expect to accomplish.
2. Until this latest round of fighting, Israelis had grown complacent about the status quo, despite how bleak it is for the Palestinians; that attitude was bound to alienate even those Palestinians who are willing to live in peace with a Zionist state.
3. The United Nations can no more be trusted to protect Israeli security than a fox can be trusted to guard a hen house.
4. Most Israelis will continue to believe that the fighting in Gaza has absolutely nothing to do with its continued settlement policies in the West Bank, but I will continue to believe that the two are related.
5. Far from increasing Israeli security, its West Bank settlements merely undermine her security; they cause Palestinians to thoroughly mistrust any Israeli leader who claims to support the two-state solution but does not vocally advocate dismantling the settlements.
6. The “two-state solution” involves a “Jewish State” side-by-side with a “Palestinian State,” and those who haven’t embraced those terms but who have claimed to support that solution have actually been undermining its chances.
7. Nobody should talk publicly about the Conflict without carefully reading Hamas’s Charter and reflecting on the meaning of Articles 7, 31 and 32; it should convince anyone who cares about Israeli security that negotiating with Hamas is like negotiating with Al Qaeda.
8. In this region, the ubiquitous fear and mistrust has now morphed into out-and-out hatred, which tragically enables people to feel good whenever the “enemy” suffers and causes them to view the death of “enemy civilians” primarily in terms of its public relations impact.
9. If America was faced with the same situation that Israel faces, there would be far more Palestinian casualties and far less international criticism.
10. Those who truly care about peace, and not just justice for one side or the other, must continue to fight through their emotions and keep their eyes on the prize; now is no time to lose hope that, someday, peace will come to the Holy Land.