Peace in the Promised Land

A Realist Scenario

Almost three years have passed since the unseasonably warm day in June 2002 when a number of the authors who have contributed to this issue of Chronicles met near O’Hare Airport to sketch out one of the most ambitious projects that we at The Rockford Institute have ever undertaken.  We approached the project with a sense of humility and a certain trepidation, not only because the conflict over Israel and Palestine was older than almost anyone in the room (and almost equally stubborn) but because we knew that many others, from think tanks on up to the United Nations, had attempted to address this issue—and failed.  And with each passing failure, the problem has grown more intractable.  More importantly from the standpoint of the American interest, the political divide on this issue in the United States has grown ever wider.

Nine months after the shocking events of September 11, that divide was more like a chasm.  Both the Bush administration and the Likud government had made it clear that, in the new War on Terror, Jerusalem was Washington’s firmest ally.  The equation of rock-throwing Palestinian teenagers with Muhammad Atta and his fellow hijackers was so common as to be trite.  It was clear that merely offering another road map for peace would doom this project to failure.

Yet we knew that we could bring something to the discussion that others could not.  The...

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