Israel’s new plan is to ‘shrink,’ not solve, the Palestinian conflict. Here’s what that looks like

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Benjamin Netanyahu


The new Israeli government that toppled long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this summer is full of contradictions.

There’s pro-peace leftists, pro-settlement right-wingers, pragmatic centrists and even for the first time an Arab Islamist party, all sitting together in one governing coalition.

On the most divisive issue — the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — there is almost no consensus, which is just how Micah Goodman likes it.

Many have taken to calling him the court docket thinker of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, an ultra-nationalist former settlement chief, who has publicly embraced Goodman’s paradigm of “shrinking the conflict.

” But different centrist and leftist ministers have additionally come calling. Even the Biden administration has seemingly taken on what Goodman calls his pragmatic and fewer ideological strategy.

While the White House stays dedicated to a two-state resolution, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in May that the instant precedence was to “rebuild some trust” between Israelis and Palestinians.

Goodman himself is bemused by all the newfound interest from politicians, diplomats and generals. Earlier in his career he wrote books analyzing ancient Jewish texts, which he says was exactly the right training for tackling an issue as contentious as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The foundational idea of the Talmud is to always listen to two sides of the argument,” Goodman tells CNN. “The Talmud admires people who ask ‘why are we wrong?’ Thinking only one side, or only your side, is correct is anti-intellectual.”

Yet the extra far-reaching measures outlined above are extraordinarily unlikely given the make-up of the present Israeli coalition. This does not deter Goodman, nevertheless — in his thoughts it solely bolsters his thesis.

Calculating the Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


What will the Israeli and Palestinian economies look like in 2024? That may depend largely on how the region’s longstanding conflict evolves—or fails to do so.

RAND’s Costs of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict study estimates the net costs and benefits of five scenarios, compared with the conflict’s current trajectory.

Use this calculator to explore the effects of modifying key assumptions. Assumptions influence either the conflict’s direct costs (expenditures) or its opportunity costs (lost opportunities).

The economic impact of each assumption draws on existing evidence, as documented in Appendix B of the full report.

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