Although not vituperative, I found Thrall’s article insidious for its anti-Israel tropes. This is very much in keeping with the high-toned anti-Zionist viewpoint that the NYRB occasionally features, most controversially showcased nearly ten years ago with Tony Judt’s suggestion of a one-state solution. Still, I don’t think that Thrall’s bottom-line conclusion is necessarily wrong. A muddling along with ceasefires and further unilateral withdrawals does seem more likely than a negotiated two-state solution within the coming year.
not because of some Zionist version of Nazi Germany’s Nuremburg Laws, as readers may infer, but because there is no civil marriage authority in Israel; hence, people of different religions cannot intermarry, nor can Jews marry each other, in Israel, without an Orthodox rabbi presiding. It’s not that I approve of this lack of civil marriage (au contraire), but interfaith couples can go to Cyprus or elsewhere, and return with legally recognized marriages. Unfortunately, Jewish-Arab couples would have trouble integrating into either Israeli Jewish or Arab society upon their return.
The unofficial Geneva Accord of 2003 did address the refugees issue in a compromise way that both sides could live with; and this is one of the issues that Olmert and Abbas were haggling over when other circumstances intervened, unfortunately, ending their negotiations in 2009 (just when they were really getting to their end point). That there was meant to be a concluding round of negotiations, to be presided over by Bush and Rice in their final weeks in office in Jan. 2009, was confirmed by Yasser Abed Rabbo when I visited Ramallah last year with Partners for Progressive Israel.