Daniel W. Drezner

The Israel debate, encapsulated in one paragraph

Passover begins this evening, and with it comes the Four Questions that are asked at the Seder every year.  Contra Slate’s Micharl Rubiner, a good Seder should have some lively debate.  I bring this up because Ethan Bronner’s news analysis in the New York Times today nicely captures divisions within the United States and Israel over ...

Passover begins this evening, and with it comes the Four Questions that are asked at the Seder every year.  Contra Slate's Micharl Rubiner, a good Seder should have some lively debate. 

I bring this up because Ethan Bronner's news analysis in the New York Times today nicely captures divisions within the United States and Israel over the importance of the peace process going forward.  It also suggests two more questions that should be asked: 

[T]wo main issues are keeping American-Israeli tensions on the front burner: disagreement on the effects of what happens in Jerusalem on the rest of the Middle East, and the strength of the Palestinian leadership.  

Passover begins this evening, and with it comes the Four Questions that are asked at the Seder every year.  Contra Slate’s Micharl Rubiner, a good Seder should have some lively debate. 

I bring this up because Ethan Bronner’s news analysis in the New York Times today nicely captures divisions within the United States and Israel over the importance of the peace process going forward.  It also suggests two more questions that should be asked: 

[T]wo main issues are keeping American-Israeli tensions on the front burner: disagreement on the effects of what happens in Jerusalem on the rest of the Middle East, and the strength of the Palestinian leadership.  

The Obama administration considers establishing a Palestinian state central to other regional goals; it also believes that the Palestinians, led by Mr. Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, are ready to run a country. The Netanyahu government disagrees on both counts. It thinks the issue of Palestinian statehood has little effect on broader American concerns and is also dubious about the ability of the Palestinians to create an entity that can resist a radical takeover.

So, my questions to you: 

1)  Do you believe that the Israel/Palestine issue is central to wider regional policy concerns?

2)  Is the current Palestinian leadership capable of running an independent Palestine?

Discuss. 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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