Yet the world’s outrage is reserved for Israel’s announcement that 3,000 apartments will be constructed on land claimed by Israel on the West Bank, all built in settlements whose existence until a bilateral agreement was reached was accepted by the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. Incidentally, decisions by Israeli zoning boards that permit construction in future repeatedly provoke global hysteria about the bulldozers moving in next week. Perhaps if the Palestinian Authority would make peace, those buildings would never get built…

What has experience taught us? Simply this: The Palestinian leadership’s priority is not getting a state of their own – they have missed many opportunities to do so – but to gain total victory. Taking a state is only acceptable if it serves to promote that goal. Even if moderation provides material rewards, they prefer militancy. But after all, suffering – even if self-inflicted – brings massive political gains for them.

What has the world’s behavior taught us? Simply this: Nothing we can do will suffice. If Israel were to accept unconditionally a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with its capital in east Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority would then demand that all Palestinians who so wished to do so and had an ancestor living there before 1948 must be admitted to Israel with full voting and all other rights. And then what would the UN do? What has diplomacy taught us? That the other side will not keep commitments and those guaranteeing those commitments will not keep their word to do so. Not only that, but when they break their word, they will complain that Israel doesn’t take enough risks and make enough concessions, and defends itself too vigorously.