Considering that all these abuses – oppression of women, torture in prisons, persecution of the Christian minority – already exist in the Palestinian Authority (not to mention Hamas-ruled Gaza), a diplomatic lull could be a time, particularly from an American standpoint, to question whether the dogged pursuit of a Palestinian state holds up to scrutiny.

Instilling democracy in the Arab world may not have been realistic; creating another dictatorship – apart from the security threat it would pose to Israel – would appear worse than pointless.

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Instead, a combination of Israeli assertiveness and U.S. benign neglect would convey the right messages to the Palestinians: that they, too, are subject to the cost-benefit calculi of human life and there are costs for clinging to radical positions rooted in a vision of Israel’s demise; and that their present situation of enhanced autonomy under Israeli security control is quite feasible for Israel, which has always had its own interests and attachments in the West Bank.

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