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Where We Are Heading in Palestine and Israel: A Candid Analysis

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By Mark Naison

The following will probably please no one, but it represents my best assessment of the current political situation

  1. Israel cannot be defeated militarily, either by armed uprisings, attacks by neighboring states, or some combination of the two. If Hamas thought it could trigger a regional military response that would dramatically weaken Israel when it launched the October 7 invasion, it miscalculated badly.
  2. Israel’s political standing in the US, in the short run, is as strong as it has ever been. Not only have very few people in Congress called for a Cease Fire in Gaza, but several Congress members who have dared to criticize Israel’s actions in Gaza face primary challenges funded by Israel supporters that may well succeed.
  3. Global outrage at Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank is growing steadily, leading to a dramatic increase in pressures on businesses, governments, sports leagues and universities to cut all ties with Israel. This movement is gaining steam so quickly that it will soon reach the proportions of the movement to cut ties with Apartheid South Africa.
  4. In the US, disillusionment with Israel is reaching unprecedented proportions in the Jewish community, especially among Jews under 40. Right now, I estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of US Jewish population is openly or privately refusing to support the actions of the Netayahu Government in Gaza and the West Bank. That number could grow to close to 50 percent in the next ten years if there is no change in that government’s policies
  5. Although Israel cannot be militarily defeated, it will pay a fierce economic and political price if it retains its character as an Apartheid state. The global boycott movement will, within 5-10 years, achieve such large proportions that it is likely to result in out migration of some of the most talented and prosperous portions of Israel’s population. It will also create pressures inside Israel to launch peace talks with Palestinians, restrain right wing settlers, and move towards creation of a Palestinian state.
  6. None of this has to end well. It depends on a global consensus that Palestine can be peacefully transformed into a secure home to two peoples who have been at war with one another for over a century. Right now, the prospects look grim. But in 5-10 years, transformative changes could take place if everyone realizes that ethnic cleansing, of either Jews or Palestinians, is unrealistic as well as immoral and that equal rights for everyone is the only way to secure peace.

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