Thursday, March 21, 2024


Bret Stephens is certainly one of the brightest columnists in the New York Times. He doesn't belong to the more moderate Jewish intelligentsia but he is always worth listening to, since he is well- versed in international and American policies.

He has suggested now a very challenging alternative for the two- states solution which is haunting the Middle East. He elaborated about an "Arab Mandate for Palestine", that would meet a number of plusses, marginalizing Hamas and finding an alternative for the underperforming Palestinian Authority, involving the moderate, forward looking Arab states. Israel would gain absolute self-rule, without "attachments".

Obviously Stephens realizes the complexity of such a geo- political make-over and the concessions all parties would have to make and endure. The United Arab Emirates would become the  blueprint for such a daring remake. This would also have the benefit of marginalizing rogue players in the region.

This concept might appear over-ambitious.   On the other hand, everybody of good-will sees that the current players are not up to the nightmare they are facing. Netanjahu will never change for the better. Abbas is becoming a relic of the past. Hamas is a mass-murderer syndicate. There really is not one frequentable partner in this lot. 

The American Secretary of State is an ideal persona to start setting the political discourse on a new path. He is Jewish, like Stephens, and can hardly be accused of being tone-deaf after the tragedy of October 7th.  After all, the Jews are all too familiar with the Apocalypse to give it free-reign in Gaza. The madness must stop. There are enough moderate Arabs and Israelis who need to retrieve their voice so that Gaza can hope to become a hub rather than a tomb. The Palestinians need a breathing space, and to get rid of the evil in their midst. The Israelis deserve to continue on their path to excellence, in security and atonement.

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