This Week’s Guest: Micah Goodman
If you follow Israeli politics, then you know that within the past year, the Jewish state has experienced two deadlocked elections. What explains this political stalemate?
According to Micah Goodman, one of Israel’s leading public intellectuals, Israeli politics is trapped in a Catch-67. Most Israelis have been persuaded by the right’s argument that peace with the Palestinians isn’t feasible any time soon and that withdrawal from the West Bank would be a security nightmare. But most also agree with the left’s argument that Israeli control over the West Bank is a demographic time-bomb that poses a threat to the nation’s character as a Jewish and democratic state. They think, in sum, that establishing a Palestinian state right now would be a disaster and that remaining in the territories would also be a disaster.
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How can Israel get out of this bind? By abandoning comprehensive peace plans and messianic solutions, argues Goodman. Rather than solving the conflict—or ignoring it—Israel ought to focus on shrinking it. How? By improving the day-to-day lives of Palestinians while maintaining an unwavering commitment to national security. Goodman described this plan in a recent Atlantic essay, “Eight Steps to Shrink the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” and now, in this week’s podcast, he joins us to explore these vital and thought-provoking ideas in even greater detail.
Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble, as well as the original Broadway cast recording of Fiddler on the Roof and “Above the Ocean” by Evan MacDonald.
Every Thursday, the Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic will bring to your car/earbuds/home stereo/Alexa the latest in our efforts to advance Jewish thought. For more on the new podcast, check out our inaugural post here.
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