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Cradle of Civilization

Reader comment on item: Why Israelis Shy from Victory

Submitted by Fred Hastings, Nov 3, 2018 at 18:04

Wow. I found your piece "Israel: 25 Years After the Oslo Accord" not only timely, given my return last week from my first tour of Israel and Jordan, but also spot-on in terms of filling in the gaps left by our affable but left-leaning Tauck guides who made it clear they preferred a two-state solution much in the manner of typical U.S. intellectuals and academics.

Tauck guide Alan, the son of an Auschwitz survivor who guided us through the Old City, the Temple Mount and the Holocaust Museum, came the closest to sharing some of the main sentiments expressed by you in your article. I recall Alan's constant refrain of "status quo" to explain the current impasse and why nothing is done to take it on. In this regard, it was your description of the mentality of the Israeli security forces that really caught my eye, an important element inherent in modern administrative states, a too-long neglected factor in modern governance which only recently has been given prominence. It's an idea that our guides didn't seem to have a clue about and yet, one that goes a long way in helping to understand the seemingly intractable stalemate. I have referred your article to a Vietnam-era roommate of mine and longtime friend who was one of my companions on this trip. He's a retired three-star USAF general and I am eager to hear his take, viewing him as a commander who cares less on the "emphasis on saving soldiers' lives rather than on achieving strategic goals."

I'm inclined to agree with your ultimate solution and appreciate greatly your added insights that more fully describe all the elements present. One thing this trip taught me is that while we talk endlessly about the cultural, religious and political aspects, we talk way too little about the human nature aspects, those enduring factors common to all tribes and conquests and protracted conflicts over the millennia, and ones which, thankfully, America's Founding Fathers seem to have grasped and applied to their design in ways in which most of the world still has not come to fully appreciate.

Regards,
Fred Hastings
Cutler, ME

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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