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22 October 2012

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jr786

"And do everything you can to get into their minds and try to understand how they see things, what their concerns are — their dreams, aspirations, hopes, feelings are. And where if at all there is room for common ground of one kind or another."

That's empathy, something which has been eradicated from American consciousness since at least 1860. I trace it to the Puritans, myself.

mbrenner

Bravo for Halevy's sanity. But let's bear in mind that this is still an Israeli perspective - Iran must be denied a nuclear capability at any price. In addition, there is no mention of complementary security arrangements in the region that might address the Iranians' legitimate concerns which inescapably would mean diminishing Israel's domination of Middle East security matters to some immeasurable degree.

US position? No different at the moment - however, there are other ways of looking at things from Washington

Babak Makkinejad

Halevi is making useful noises to support Mr. Obama's re-election.

It is too late for anything positive.

Alba Etie

Sheik bin Laden is dead. GM is alive . And it appears that saner 'old hands' are trying to rein in the Likudniks both here & abroad .

confusedponderer

I have always thought that the assertion that by talking to ones enemies one is legitimising them is supreme BS.

How is that supposed work? That the good- and greatness of Israel and America rubs off, and sticks like, for lack of a better metaphor coming to my mind, dog poo to a shoe? For one, neither Israel and America are all that good and great, and then, the rubbing off part, let alone sticking part, don't work all that well.

If spoken with conviction it is silly vanity essentially. Now, of course, when uttered in a more straight faced way, the argument serves the purpose to be an excuse for not doing something one doesn't want to do. In that there also is the aspect of vanity.

In talking with Hezbollah and Iran the US and Israel alike are addressing realities. What's wrong about that? Well, it is wrong for those who don't accept the status quo, don't accept realities - because the like their particular fictions better, and want to transform (read: subdue) said realities to this or that or the other thing.

JohnH

"In order to meet public opinion, both Israel and the US governments have tied our own hands."

Run that by me again! Where exactly is the groundswell of public opinion that prohibits talking to Iran? And if there were such a groundswell, why would the USG depart from current practice and pay any attention to it?

Let's not confuse AIPAC pressure with public opinion.

Margaret Steinfels

Confirming Mr. Halevy's candidate: "Who Threw Israel Under the Bus?"
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/opinion/who-threw-israel-under-the-bus.html?_r=0

PS

We talked all the time with the Soviets, who were a serious existential threat to the US. We still didn't always understand each other, but at least we talked.

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