But in any event. Outgoing Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has come out and said that for Israel to achieve peace, it will need to withdraw from nearly all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and that any territory that was kept would need to be counterbalanced by swaps. Kevin Drum thinks it might be fun to press Gov. Palin as to whether this is the sort of decision we ought not "second guess". I've noticed that many right-wing "allies" of Israel turn against it in a heartbeat whenever it seems willing to make the concessions necessary for peace. Remember how Pat Robertson called Ariel Sharon's stroke a divine punishment? That's what I'm talking about.
But also, this passage from Olmert's interview caught my eye:
“With them, it is all about tanks and land and controlling territories and controlled territories and this hilltop and that hilltop,” he said. “All these things are worthless.”
He added, “Who thinks seriously that if we sit on another hilltop, on another hundred meters, that this is what will make the difference for the State of Israel’s basic security?”
I don't think we can be glib about how particular strategic territory might be important for Israel's security. But I do think its reasonable to say that the marginal importance of any given hill or ridge is vastly outweighed by the need to achieve a more or less permanent settlement. A paradigm shift amongst the Israeli political establishment that takes that insight to heart would be a tremendous step forward for the peace process.