This piece will be featured in the Nov. 3 print edition of The Boston Globe.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has come to epitomize the Israeli school of thought that dismisses peace with the Palestinians as being not only impossible but undesirable.
Ya’alon laid out his worldview last week during a four-day visit to the United States. He has become the most salient spokesperson for those in Israel who think that the only way for Israel to conduct its relations with its neighbors is through periodic wars and counterterrorism campaigns, referred to in Israeli security jargon as “mowing the lawn.” In short, he believes in conflict management rather than conflict resolution.
An hour with Charlie Rose and a lengthy interview with National Public Radio introduced the American public to a glib, cynical, ultra-hawk who seems nonchalantly unperturbed by Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its impact on his country’s standing internationally.
In those interviews, Ya’alon laid out the following argument: The Palestinian leadership doesn’t want a two-state peace agreement with Israel based on the 1967 lines. What they want is all of Palestine, and they will therefore continue to militarily fight Israel. Speaking of the Palestinians’ rejection of previous peace agreements, Ya’alon told Rose, “They rejected all of it because their aim is not to have a Palestinian state of 1967 lines, but to destruct the Jewish state.”
This article first appeared in The Boston Globe on October 29, 2014.