Fair. Look, I would say the way to think about this, since you asked who is to blame, is that in the short term, Hamas is to blame. They began the conflict and began sending the rockets up. They do have a maximalist position, which says we don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. They’ve softened it in various indirect ways, but never come out directly and said they will recognize Israel’s right to exist as long as it withdraws to its ’67 borders.Is there any legitimate rationale for using violence in terms of the threat that is facing Hamas, facing the Palestinians right now?Now you’re getting into one of the great questions of international relations, which is from their point of view, they would say this is a national movement to get an independent state, that the African National Congress used violence – many, many independence movements use violence.
They’re saying it’s a method of liberation.But as I say, if it were to end occupation it would be one thing. Given that they won’t recognize Israel, it becomes more difficult.I think Netanyahu doesn’t have as much blame in the short term. In the long term I would say the problem is this – what is his strategy? At the end of the day, you have the occupation for 47 years. In 2008, Ehud Olmert had a similar war against Gaza. I was more sympathetic then, because Olmert was engaged in a serious negotiation with the Palestinians to try to create a two-state solution. Benjamin Netanyahu has done essentially no negotiating with the Palestinians on that front. So it’s fair to say you are right in the short term, but what is the long-term strategy? Are you going to be back here a year from now, five years from now?
They don’t talk to each other without intervention. Egypt has been helpful in the past, a little unstable right now. Kerry is the main man in the latest round. Does he deserve the criticism he’s getting now?I don’t think so. I think that what Kerry is trying to do, to be fair to the American effort, was to create some kind of process by which there could be a negotiation, there could be dialogue, there could be some meeting of minds – even if on smaller issues like creative humanitarian corridors.