Sachs, Natan. “Why Israel Waits. Anti-Solutionism as a Strategy.” Foreign Affairs 94.6 (Nov/Dec 2015): 74-82.
In the absence of a final-status agreement in the near or medium term, banishing anti-Israeli and anti-Palestinian incitement from public rhetoric will also become more important. During negotiations for peace in previous years, Israel’s demands for a halt to such talk among the Palestinians often seemed like a play for time. But today, with so much time likely to pass before peace is reached, calls for violence from either side can have a pernicious effect well beyond their apparent scope by encouraging terrorist attacks against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders are unlikely to take serious interim steps toward peace in the near term. Yet the conflict has had many ups and downs over the years, and there will be opportunities for creative policy before long. And because a full resolution is not likely soon, it is all the more important in the meantime that Israel, the Palestinians, and the United States devise coherent policies that are at once realistic about the immediate future and consistently committed to longer-term objectives.
Israel’s anti-solutionism is not absurd, especially in the context of the country’s current geopolitical situation. Yet Israeli leaders can nevertheless be blind to the long-term effects of their actions, and there is much that could be done to improve them. For the Israeli-Palestinian issue, as for many others, it is in the pragmatic middle ground between cynicism and idealism that the best policies can be found.