July 31, 2013

There is no “modest” chance for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, as Aaron David Miller suggested in his July 28 Outlook commentary [“Giving peace a modest chance”]; in fact, there is no chance at all.

The obstacles on the ground and in the hearts of the disputants are insurmountable. Israel cannot afford to give up the small defensive cushion offered by the West Bank, and the Palestinians have no intention of accepting a deal between the parties as final. Most of all, there is no Palestinian entity strong or united enough to meet Israel’s security requirements. And then there is the small demographic issue of relocating upward of a third of a million Jewish settlers from the West Bank. The Gaza fiasco demonstrated how well Israel is equipped to move even a handful of settlers.

I could list numerous other reasons why the two-state solution is way beyond reach, any of them enough to forestall even a conversation on the subject. If Secretary of State John F. Kerry thinks he can move the ball over the goal line, or move the ball at all, he is delusional. It appears that the Obama administration is changing the subject to avoid confronting the real crises in the Middle East.

David Kross, Columbia