Paul Greenberg

But if the old dream of an Arab Palestine flourishing side by side with Israel turns into the same old nightmare, this time the missiles will be falling not on little Kiryat Shmona in Israel's north, or on Sderot in its southern desert, but on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And the Israelis will find themselves at war with an enemy they've helped finance and arm.

How then should Israel enter into a partnership with Mahmoud Abbas' new semi-authority nestled against Israel's vitals? Very carefully.

A model Palestinian state, peaceful and prosperous, would be wonderful to behold on the West Bank. It might even prove an example to emulate in Gaza, aka Hamastan, as life there becomes more and more unlivable under its jihadist rulers.

There has never been a real chance for peace in the Mideast until there was a war - a civil war to determine who really represents the Palestinians. Just as the Israelis fought one at the birth of their state in 1948.

Out of all this violence, maybe peace will yet come. It's a hopeful thought. After all, that part of the world is known for producing miracles. But the Israelis would be even more foolish than usual to think they can base a security policy on hope alone.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.