PK — What explanation isn’t a list of benefits for the course proposed? The question is not so much whether the follow-on effects would be real (they would) but whether a negotiated settlement is possible on any terms. The question of whether Israel would negotiate with Hamas or Fatah seems to answer itself. Would Hamas be able to repudiate the sovereignty of a Palestinian state negotiated without them? Possibly. Would they still be able to retain significant (armed) support? Possibly. But if Palestinian society is cleft that deeply, what can anyone do about it? Why not incentivize and forge forward with the partners you’ve got? The alternative is to sit back, relax, and watch the chaos. And though any good paleocon would jump up and shout “Exactly!” — at least before things took their turn in Iraq — now we’ve got to ask whether sitting on both our hands instead of just one of them is the best way to retake the initiative…or whether, by simply throwing more soldiers and more money at the problem, we might content ourselves with a simulacrum of proactivity. “Keep digging, Watson” is not an adequate reaction, as Israel regrettably has learned. The status quo is now inimical to Israeli security interests — as Hezbollah, regrettably, has learned.
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