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Dov Waxman: Welcome to Israel in Depth, where scholars, authors, artists and leading experts come to discuss topics about Israel in depth. You're listening to a podcast by the Nazarian Center of Israel studies at UCLA. I'm Dov Waxman, the director of the Nazarian Center and the host of this podcast. Joining me for this episode of Israel in Depth is Dr. Ian Lustick, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and a longtime expert on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He's the past president of the Association for Israel Studies and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Among his many books are some important contributions in terms of Israel studies and scholarship on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arabs in the Jewish State: Israel's Control of a National Minority, which was published in 1980. For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, published in 1988. Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France, Algeria, Israel in the West Bank, Gaza, published in 1994. Trapped in the War on Terror, published in 2006, which is actually about US policy toward the war on terror. And most recently, Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One State Reality, which was published just last year by the University of Pennsylvania. And will be the focus of our discussion today. Dr. Lustick, thank you for coming on this podcast.

Ian Lustick: My pleasure, Dov.

Waxman: So I want to dive into the book because I just finished reading it. And it is really a very powerful read. It's short, it's succinct. It's very tightly argued. And it makes, I think, a provocative argument and one that is going to get a lot of attention, both in the field of Israel studies but well beyond as well. Essentially, as I see the book ...it consists really of three parts. The first part, why the two-state solution has failed, why the two-state solution is no longer viable. It's important to know when we explore that you yourself were a long time advocate supporter of the two-state solution. So you write this from the perspective of somebody who did support the solution, but has come to believe that it is no longer a possibility. And I want to talk a little bit about that. The second part of the book focuses on why scholars, analysts, experts, diplomats, are unwilling to grasp this fact, unwilling to acknowledge the two-state solution is no longer viable. One, what the consequences are for this denial for this refusal to recognize reality. And then the third part, the end of the book, then moves into what are the what, what's the significance? Or what implications does it have if we recognize that the two-state solution has failed? What are the new possibilities for politics, and what alternative paradigm should we adopt? So I want to talk about each of these elements because I think that really, that's filled with interesting, provocative arguments, particularly on the nature of Israeli politics and Israeli culture. So let's begin, first of all, then, with your arguments with your analysis for why the two-state solution has failed. You put forward three different reasons it seems for, for why the two-state solution has failed. Can you can you walk us through those reasons?

Lustick: Yes, thanks, Dov. Well, first of all, I would just clarify that in a way, I'm not arguing that the two-state solution failed. It was never implemented. And what I'm arguing is that it's no longer available to be implemented. So it has disappeared, it's vanished. It was possible as an available plan to get to a prettier picture of the future than we have today. It still exists as a pretty picture, but there are many pretty pictures of the future that we can imagine. Two states, three states, confederation, cantons, parallel states, all kinds of pretty pictures. What has disappeared is a plausible route to getting to that picture through negotiations. So if we then reformulate that question just a little bit: why is that no longer available? And you're right. I was a very early supporter of the two-state solution. In 1969, I first endorsed it. I found that there were Israeli intellectuals and Palestinian notables on the West Bank and in Gaza that I spoke to during my first time in the country. And I, I developed that idea. I actually organized a worldwide petition campaign in 1971 and '72 among Jewish activists to call for an end to civilian settlement in the occupied territories and the establishment of a non-belligerent Palestinian state; we got 450 signatures. At that time, we were condemned by many people as anti-Semitic because we were for a two-state solution. I have the the honor of now being attacked as anti-Semitic, because I know no longer support the idea of working for a two-state solution. But that's what happens when you keep your eye on the actual ball and time passes. So why? What changed? How come I could work from the early 70s to the early aughts, desperately trying to find a way to implement this and then decide - no, it's not possible anymore? Well, the fundamental thing is that, although Palestinians and Israelis - always takes two to tango, and they both make contributions to the inability to get to a better place between them - you can't get away from the fact that Israel is overwhelming the more powerful of the two. And the circumstances in the West Bank and Gaza after the war that created the opportunity in principle for majorities on both sides to support a two-state solution as a minimally satisfying outcome to the conflict...those circumstances were dominated by decisions that had to be made by Israel. As long as the Palestinians were willing to do something reasonable in that regard, the ball was really in Israel's court. And the fact is, Israel never produced a government in a timely way that was willing to take the risks and pay the costs, including the Rabin-Peres government, to implement a two-state solution. It might have, I believe, that was approximately a 30% chance that Oslo could have come out successfully. But in the event, it did not. And in the process, Israel, the factor that was most important, went through a massive transformation. It's been 53 years since the occupation began. And I outline in general Israel should be seen from an American idiomatic point of view, to have been changed from a kind of New Jersey or Connecticut blue, then purple state - and it's now a deeply red state. It's Alabama; it's Oklahoma; it's Nebraska. That is just an overwhelming change in the character of Israel. It is not capable as a polity of producing a government that would negotiate any kind of an agreement with the Palestinians that they would accept, and that government could actually implement.

Waxman: So just to. Just to interrupt you there for one moment, cause I want to emphasize that...I think this is an important point you're making that the reason for the absence of a two-state solution as a viable possibility doesn't lie simply in this or that political development in the expansion of Israeli settlements or Netanyahu's government. But rather, in your analysis of how the Israeli polity has evolved. And in Israel's nature, if you like as a polity today,

Lustick: Very well put, Dov. I myself and many others have rightfully, over the decades focused on settlements, as the most obvious obstacle and the most purposefully Zionists obstacle to the realization of a two-state solution. And no matter all the things - the ups and downs of the decades since the 1960s, to now with the wars and peace and initiatives - the one thing that's never changed is this upward trend of settlements and settlers, which was initiated early on by the Labour Party. But the current ...but the really decisive shape of it was formulated under the Begin government and Sharon's leadership in the late 70s and early 80s and has never stopped since then. But it is wrong to only focus on the settlements. The question is deeper. It's why is Israel a place that would have so extravagantly produced this settlement juggernaut, when it was such a decisive way to prevent the one kind of negotiated solution that was available to the two sides. What is it? And as you mentioned, right, it's the tip of an iceberg. And in my in three chapters of the book, I go through three distinct, contributing processes that produce this transformation in Israel. One is the, the flaws in the iron wall. And the second one is the cultural and psychological and political legacy of the way Israel has encountered and remembered the Holocaust. And the third is the effects of the enormous power of the Israel lobby in the United States. As a veto on US policy, my argument is that that affected Israeli politics by destroying the careers of ambitious, capable, moderate Israeli politicians. So those three factors, and I need to explain them a little bit more. The first one, the flaw in the iron wall. Jabotinsky came up in the 1920s with the truth that Zionism didn't have a solution to the Arab problem in the sense that it didn't have a way to say to the Arabs, here's a deal we'll offer you that we would have taken if we were you. And in the end, we'll all benefit and we'll have peace. Zionist leadership, and Jabotinsky was willing to admit this, knew that they didn't have anything to offer the Arabs. What the Arabs wanted and what Arabs needed and what the Jews would have wanted and needed had they'd been the Arabs, it was diametrically opposed to what the Zionists wanted, which was to transform Palestine into as much of Palestine as possible into a Jewish state overwhelmed with a Jewish majority. Therefore, the argument was, we have to expect the Arabs to attack us repeatedly. We would do the same if we were them, but we have to repeatedly defeat them, defeat them so rigorously that they eventually split. And most of them say to themselves, okay, we Zionism is not correct. It's not right. But we have to come to terms with it. We have to negotiate a solution. That would take, Jabotinsky thought, a long time. But once it happened, negotiations would take place on the basis of equal rights of some sort between the two peoples. Now, what happened, and the reason I say that there was a flaw in the iron wall, is the Jabotinsky's strategy worked up to a point. The Arabs did attack repeatedly. The Zionists did repeatedly defeat them in the 30s, in the 1940s, in the 1950s, and the 1960s. And the Arab world and the Palestinians, in particular, did split in the among between rejectionists and acceptance front people, Palestinians. Most of them were willing to come to terms with Israel. What Jabotinsky forgot is that a normal people (as he put it) like the Palestinians, would become more moderate when they repeatedly failed to get what they wanted. He failed, Jabotinsky to realize, that a normal people like the Jews would become more extreme in their demands if they constantly succeeded in getting what they wanted through war. So in fact, the whole center of gravity of Israeli political demands for what it looked like to Jews they needed in Israel expanded. As Shamir used to say, what's burning? Why should we give to them what they can't take from us. So so as the Palestinians became more vulnerable, instead of going back to first principles and negotiating an outlook, Israeli political system moved, kind of naturally, psychologically and politically to more extreme maximalist definitions of what Zionism needed. Not just some territory in Palestine, but as much of it as possible. Not just Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, but Arab endorsement of Israel as a Jewish, national state, etc, etc.

Waxman: So can I just stop you there. Because I found this to be a very compelling argument. You've written about Jabotinsky's iron wall before and the impact this had on Zionist thinking. And I think this this insight that it that it failed to take into account the impact on Israel or power in a sense that, you know, almost the corruption of power, and the maximum is more the ambition that that comes about as a result of that. Of course, the counter argument would be from from those like Netanyahu and others on the right, that the iron war strategy hasn't yet finished, if you like. That it's still, that it's still indeed working. And that we're right at the point today. And this is something that you've heard among some even in the United States as well like Daniel Pipes, you know, that actually Israel's on the brink of victory. That now, finally, the recognition that Israel has defeated the Palestinians and defeated the Arabs and has won will now create new opportunities. And that in a sense, some advocates of the Trump 'peace plan' see that as precisely this moment. This moment where Israel has...That the Palestinians are at their lowest point and are prepared, therefore, even if the leadership isn't prepared to accept Israel on its own terms or a Jewish even in enlarged borders. How would you respond to that. That essentially it's not that the Israelis...that the iron wall strategy worked and the Israelis didn't respond. That it hasn't yet had enough time, if you like, to bring about the result Jabotinsky predicted.

Lustick: I'm very familiar with Dan Pope's argument of this...the Palestinians need to surrender. What my point is precisely that if Jabotinsky were here, he'd say no, you don't understand my argument to begin with, I should have added another paragraph to my article. And in that paragraph repeated the point that the objective is not to annihilate the power or ambitions of the Palestinians, but to bring them to the point where they're willing to negotiate with us on the basis of equality. And that will happen, not when they are ready to surrender, but when they decide that on the whole, they can't defeat or destroy us. Once they decide they can't destroy us. We who would have enough power to continue to hurt them should stop doing that. So what we're seeing in the argument that, wait a minute, the iron wall hasn't finished yet. It hasn't done everything we could do with it. Is precisely an escalation and the whole point of use of force that is way beyond what Jabotinsky imagined it would be. And what it does is it negates the possibility of reaching a peace agreement with the Arabs that's bargained, which is what Jabotinsky imagined, as opposed to an unconditional surrender in which whatever terms Israel wants are stipulated. And that basically means no Palestinian national rights whatsoever.

Waxman: So it doesn't..capitulation.

Lustick: What I'm saying, yeah capitulation. It's a symptom of what I'm saying that the way that the success of the iron wall in its early stages set...made it impossible for Israel to achieve the success of the iron wall strategy in his last stages. Was just a lead to successful negotiations. So then there are two other factors that reinforce this legacy of the iron wall. One is a 'Holocaustia'. I've published a couple very long articles together about this. And the book summarizes this argument, and it's a difficult argument. But one of the things that we who live now in a world dominated by a particular way of looking at the Holocaust don't realize that in the first decades of Israel's existence, Israelis didn't look at the Holocaust the way they look at the Holocaust now. Of course, the Holocaust had a massive effect. But the biggest effect on Israel is not the Holocaust itself, which destroyed 6 million Jews, many of whom would have been candidates to come to Palestine. The biggest effect was on the way the Holocaust was remembered. At first it ...what I do is I study the competition in Israel among four different ways to remember the Holocaust and characterize it. And I won't go through them all now, but they include things like: seeing the Holocaust as an object lesson in Israel human rights, that it was real crime against humanity and it should never happen to anyone again. That's what we learned from the Holocaust. Or the idea that it was a proof of Zionism because it was Zionists who fought in the ghettos (not entirely true), but the who fought in the ghettos in the forest. And the Zionists knew that Europe was a deathtrap and should be left. That idea of the Holocaust was proof text for the truth of Zionism was very important. Another one was that the Holocaust was a kind of wasting asset because gentiles were so unlikely to feel guilty about what they did to Jews that as long as they felt guilty about the Holocaust, German reparations and other gentiles support for Israel should be extracted. And Ben-Gurion and Sherratt use that idea of the Holocaust as an asset that would disappear soon in the early 50s to get those reparations from Germany. But what happened was that another version of the Holocaust, the Holocaust as all you need to know about what it means to be Jewish in the world. That it's always 1938, that there's always a Nazi Germany out there, that all gentiles are always likely at any moment to switch to their authentic selves as vicious anti-Semites poised to commit genocide. This is what we hear in Israel more than any of the others now. Begin actually saw the Holocaust that way, and took advantage as I show of the aftermath of the Eichmann trial (something that Ben-Gurion never really intended the Eichmann trial to do this) to open a door for all Israelis to feel that they were about to be slaughtered by the Arabs, who were the new Nazis. And Begin used this so that it's become such a culturally and psychologically deep fact about Israel, that the whole idea of compromising with non-Jews and trusting them looks more like being played for a sucker, like a friar in Hebrew, than it does a reasonable thing to do to advance our interests. So from a political, psychological and cultural point of view, 'Holocaustia,' as I call it, has made it much more difficult than it would have been to reach any kind of an agreement with Palestinians that would have involved some kind of trust, some kind of compromise with gentiles, especially since more than anyone else, Palestinians were figured as the point of the anti-Semitic spear.

Waxman: Just to follow up on that, I mean, obviously, and you note this in the book. That there was a time, a brief window of opportunity, if you like, where an Israeli government was, to some extent prepared to negotiate the into existence, the establishment of the Palestinian state, although not necessarily a state, with all the prerogatives of a of a state. And that was of course the Rabin Government in the early 90s. If the if this 'Holocaustia,' this particular conception of the Holocaust has become hegemonic in Israel, has become the frame within which how Israeli Jews understand Jewishness and the Jews place in the world as you write, I think, and very powerfully make that point. When did this happen? I mean, what was it something or clearly, you know, that this really accelerates under Begin and has really accelerated in the last decade or so with the march of the living and the introduction...and the role that the Holocaust Memorial..the kind of state takeover of this of this collective memory. But how would we explain the Rabin Government or the willingness of Israeli Jews in the 90s, to consider and more ...to support the possibility of concessions and compromise? I mean, what I'm considering..Isn't there a battle over the memory of the Holocaust. The frame that you're describing is one that Begin and Netanyahu and others on the right have propagated. But there's always been this counter frame and you you discuss that, a kind of Universalist reading of the Holocaust that people like Shimon Peres, in making the case even for Oslo, alluded to. And so, so there's kind of a battle over over the use of the�Holocaust, if you like in Israeli collective memory.

Lustick: A good question. If we look at the Rabin Government, a couple things. One is that Rabin was a real sabra in a way. He didn't actually go down that 'Holocaustia' path. He didn't live the Holocaust the way Begin did. He was much more open to older views of it, and in his coalition were people like Shulamit Aloni�and Yossi Sarid, who when they were Education Minister, deliberately tried to change the way the Holocaust was seen to move it toward the idea of a crime against humanity. And their efforts were scotched. Once they left the office, those textbooks were completely replaced by those that the Begin government had initiated. So, if you go deeper and ask why was Rabin ready, at least to start on a road toward a two-state solution? It was precisely because he had felt the iron wall of the Arabs. That is, the 1973 War produced such heavy casualties in Israel and had a profound effect on Rabin and others...who said before the Knesset, it took the Yom Kippur War for us to realize that we would pay a price for not negotiating peace. Now, it was not enough. I said there was a 30% possibility, but that's because there were not only the 'Holocaustia' problem, and you say, where did it begin? Well, it did begin really to take hold as a hegemonic concept with Begin. But didn't completely consolidate until the 80s and 90s. Because not until the 90s did presidents and prime ministers of Israel have to make speeches, have to go to Auschwitz on a Holocaust Memorial Day. That was never the case in his 50s, 60s, 70s. This is a new thing.

Waxman: This would probably surprise many...who think that the Holocaust has always been omnipresent in Israeli political culture.

Lustick: Yeah, but not on the present in the same way. But as I said, there's a there's a third factor that I think people need to realize. In addition to the flaw in the iron wall, the psychological and political legacy of the Holocaust. The American Jews mainly, but not only Jews, saw in the Holocaust, something that they were guilty about. They didn't help enough. Israel was the way they were going to help prevent another Holocaust. And the way they did is it to set up a lobby and it was encouraged by Israel that would do as much as possible to prevent the United States Governments from doing things that the Israeli government didn't want done. Whatever they were. Now, these cues, mainly who set up the AIPAC, for example, which is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - the Israel lobby at large. They didn't do it because they wanted Israel to become an extreme right-wing country that would settle the whole West Bank and give up the opportunity for negotiators to have two-state solution. No, they never wanted that. But the unintended consequence of them being so effective in setting up this single issue movement, and doing so in a country - the United States - that was organized ...dedicated single movement lobby in the Congress, on foreign policy. It will get its way. That's why the United States is three to four standard deviations away from the international consensus when it comes to Israel Palestine. And there's only one other issue on which we have always been there at three to four standard deviations away, and that is Cuba. United States and Israel are still the only countries in the world that want to boycott Cuba. Why? Because There's a Cuba lobby. That shows how the unintended consequence of this policy was to way inflate American support for Israel or tolerance for anything Israeli governments would do. Almost never, almost never did the United States actually put any pressure on an Israeli government in the direction of peace. That meant - and this was the unintended consequence for Israel - that all these Israeli politicians like Shulamit Aloni, like�Yossi Balin, like Yossi Balan, like Haim Ramon, who might have been Prime Minister and might have been able to have brought Israel to the point of a negotiated solution with the Palestinians. They all failed, because always their predictions that we were not able...we the Israelis could not survive internationally or with American aid, if we insisted on settling the whole West Bank in keeping it. In fact, they we're always wrong. The United States never lived up to their forecasts or their predictions. And they all exited politics. Last one, Tzipi Livni. For the same reason, the United States just never did that. So one of the themes in my book is the unintended consequences of actions that produce the outcome we have that no one wanted. Even revisionist and right wingers didn't want a situation like we have now.

Waxman: And I think that's just to just to jump in for a second. I think it's very important because it might be read or understood as if this is kind of the politics of blame or assigning responsibility to one side or another. But in emphasizing these unintended consequences, you're really looking at the effects of broad kind of cultural shifts, military strategies, rather than individual decisions taken or not taken.

Lustick: And the last...and now looking forward, the unintended consequences of de facto annexation, in my book, is the creation of a political arena that is one state reality from the river to the sea, and that will incubate over a long period of time, a democracy that includes Arabs, Jews and non-Jews. It will no longer be a Jewish, Zionist state that we know. That will be the unintended consequence of what has occurred in the disappearance of the two-state solution. Yes, there'll be the same kinds of long generational struggles that the United States went through before Blacks became full citizens with voting rights that the Democratic Party needs to win an election, even though the Democratic Party was the strongest proponent of Jim Crow for decades. That this is the struggle that is now needs to take place. And it's concealed by a lot of phony, really phony objections to annexation. Because annexation has not...has already occurred. It's just not the kind of annexation that yet allows equal political emancipation for everyone who lives in the united country. That's the struggle that lay before us.

Waxman: So with regards to annexation: I mean, one of the probably make more controversial elements of your book in the end is this is your not necessarily support for annexation, but at least you take them kind of more benign long-term view of it.

Lustick: In a way, I think I do support annexation. The difference is I support real annexation, not what Netanyahu is likely to do, which is to extend Israeli law, jurisdiction and public administration to certain areas - and only without any implications for changing the citizenship status or political rights of anyone other than Jews. In other words, to do in the parts of the West Bank, what was done in East Jerusalem, which is not to annex East Jerusalem, to say you annex it. But not to really annex it, because to really annex it would be to do what you did in the Western Galilee, which is eventually to make all those people as citizens and then create a reality 50 years later in which the Joint List - an Arab party - is the third and perhaps, in the next election, the second biggest party in the country. Now you take, take that and look ahead a few decades, and you will see what is lies ahead. And I believe those are better problems. There are better problems to fight about - the emancipation of excluded groups within ....to consistently pretend that there's a two-state solution that you can't get. But in the meantime, deepen a silent apartheid whose name can't be spoken.

Waxman: So just return... A core part of the argument here is that acknowledgement of the one-state reality. Acknowledgement of the fact that one state governs the entire between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea leads - the logic of that - leads to abandonment of the two-state paradigm and support instead, at least if you're a progressive, for this kind of gradual democratization of this of this single state that exists. The question I had in reading this is that, couldn't want to acknowledge the existence of a one state reality and still make the case that the best way to reform or change this one-state reality is by allowing for succession, if you like. By allowing for the establishment of a of a Palestinian state, rather than democratizing that. In other words, two states can remain ... while acknowledging the one state reality that exists.

Lustick: So I think actually that occurred. But let's look at it closely. When Britain annexed Ireland in 1800, it did not allow Irish Catholics to become full citizens with voting rights. That took 40 or 50 years. But once the Irish masses did get the vote at the end of the 19th century, they built a home rule party - a secessionist party, and dominated British politics for decades. Until after World War One, as a result of what you could call an Intifada, there was a succession, and Ireland became - most of Ireland became - a separate state. In other words, first Britain democratized - it was one United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland for Catholics and Protestants - and then went to a two-state solution. It's a political process. It's not something that's only a negotiating process. It was never, that the Irish Catholics and the British got together and decided. No, it was 120-year political struggle. At first, the struggle was to get political rights for the Irish and then how they use them was another question.

Waxman: So your book. You're...doesn't preclude�the possibility of partition then. Merely the possibility of a negotiated partition in the near future.

Lustick: I'm very careful to say, look who knows. Just as what could come. I don't really care in the end which shape institutionally a better set of problems takes. All I want is a better set of problems than we have now. And when I look at comparable questions, how to previously excluded groups, whether those are women, or Blacks or Irish Catholics, how did they eventually get absorbed in a democracy? It is through very long struggles in which the dominant groups divide in some of them see advantages in starting to include representatives of the excluded groups. And I think, for example, women got the vote, not because men and women sat down and negotiated a situation in which the men say okay, it's really your right - it's fair, we'll give you the vote. But some men decided that they would lose to other men, unless they started giving the women who would vote for them the vote. That's the kind of dynamic that also brought Blacks into this country and how it brought Arabs in Israel able to even form political parties in the 1980s. Because the both the Likud and the Labour Party needed their votes and couldn't take the steps they usually took to prevent it.

Waxman: So in that respect. I mean, you offer toward the end of the book, The kind of a Whig interpretation of history that eventually, these these policies that start off marginalizing, excluding others that over the course of time, through these kind of protracted political struggles, gradually move in the direction of democratization or liberalization based upon the interests of these conflicting groups. So this is not a moral story, moral progress so much; it's kind of an interest-based account of this evolution. One might argue at this moment in time, particularly in the backdrop of racial protests that have swept across the United States, that that confidence, that expectation in this process of democratization. Slow, to be sure but gradual process of democratization is, in fact, overstated. And that perhaps things could move in the opposite direction or more Palestinians in this one state reality could remain a permanent underclass as many African Americans contend. For example, despite the progress they are to become a kind of multiracial democracy. The United States even over the last century or so hasn't reached that point. So what comfort, what confidence should we have the Israel where, as you've written, there are these strong anti-democratic tendencies. Will undergo a similar evolution? Wouldn't it be a better strategy to simply say, to put your bet on nationalism rather than the force for democratization. Nationalism as in, to create another state?

Waxman: Well, I did bid on nationalism and in the long run. But there's more than one way of nationalism expressing itself. And right now, as I say, not only I - I haven't found no observer who can imagine how Israeli politics could produce the kind of government necessary to have a two-state solution. And therefore to pursue something that's impossible, only consolidates the worst of all possible worlds, which is apartheid, when you can say it's apartheid. And no basis for mobilizing the world community or Israelis for a more democratic outcome. I think you're you're definitely right, that we should avoid a kind of Whiggish interpretation with unfounded optimism. I have two things to say about that. And then I think we can close. One of them is that the international - that my argument does, that expectation does assume a dominant liberal democratic culture internationally. Because if you don't have that international liberal, democratic international political culture, then Israel could maintain an apartheid where it says what it is, without any problem - much problem - for a long, long time. And so that's why people who are progressive on the Palestinian-Israel issue, they are part - we are part - of a worldwide struggle for a liberal democracy in the governments of China, right now with the United States, of Poland, of Hungary, and so on. These are our enemies. These are our opponent. We must fight those policies because it's all one struggle. The other thing I would say is you referenced what's going on in our country today: a massive, unexpected wave of revulsion against racism that comes out of a fundamentally fair-minded democratically oriented, liberal society. Well, that's inspiring and that's reassuring that in the long ark of history, limited democracies bend toward inclusion because they can't resist the implications of commitments to human dignity and equality upon which they are founded. So that's a reason for optimism. But it's a long reason, a long distance reason - and it's a call for sustained struggle on a new basis. It's trying to see the tragedy of investing so much energy in a road that is leading only to the institution, greater institutionalization of a silent apartheid rather than greater opportunities for democracy.

Waxman: So thank you. I think, for readers this marriage, if you like. The kind of a pessimistic take on the prospects for a two-state solution today, combined with ultimately an optimistic understanding, albeit over many decades of the prospect for an eventual resolution, if you like the conflict, but one that will take place over generations rather than in kind of a political timeframe that most people have, which is measured in months or years.

Lustick: Yeah.

Waxman: I would just say to anybody listening to this, this book is really filled with insights, not only about the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but as I said, also, as it's become clear through this conversation about Israeli society, politics, and the effect that American politics has on shaping Israeli politics and the incentives available to Israeli policymakers. So whether or not you agree with every element of the analysis, there's a lot there that's rich and thought provoking. As somebody who has long been a supporter of a two-state solution, and has adhered to that two-state solution paradigm. I can say that, personally, particularly the chapter where you kind of described the two state as almost like a supporters of the Flat Earth Theory. It was challenging, but it's one that for any analyst of the complex, any scholar, any student of Israel in the conflict, you have to really take seriously this argument that the frame, the paradigm that most scholars have been using to understand Israel and understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at best outdated - if not, as Ian I think very compellingly makes the case...really, really counterproductive today. So I would encourage people to read this book. To grapple with it. And I want to thank you, Ian for talking about it. It's been fascinating conversation. And allowing me to present some counter arguments. And I and I look forward to having you back on the show, to talk maybe about some of the consequences of annexation as they unfold over the the months and years ahead.

Lustick: Thanks Dov, it was a lot of fun.

Waxman: You've been listening to an episode of Israel in Depth. Produced by the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Thank you for listening.