The latest New York Review of Books (December 3 issue, not yet online) contains an article by Edward Witten entitled “The New J-Lobby for Peace”. It’s about J Street, an organization set up last year to lobby in Washington in favor of Middle East peace. Witten is on the organization’s advisory board. For more about his views on J Street from last year, see this article.
At the moment, he’s both hopeful that J Street will start to have an effect, and fearful that it might be too late, writing:
The rise of J Street gives strong promise that Jews with a more liberal outlook on the Israeli-Palestinian problem will now have a voice in the American political system.
The real question about J Street may be not whether it will grow but whether it is simply too late. Numerous trends, including the spread of Israeli settlements, the increase of the Palestinian population, the rise of Hamas, and growing Orthodox influence in Israel, may be putting a two-state solution out of reach.
Witten has been involved in this issue for a long time, on the board of Americans for Peace Now since 1991. It’s great to see such a prominent member of the physics/math community standing up on this issue, and encouraging that he sees something positive happening. I share his hopes for J Street, as well as his fears that it may be too late.
Sorry, but I’m not allowing comments on this posting. While I think this is a very important issue and wanted to make people aware of Witten’s article, I don’t want to host political discussions on this blog, especially on this topic.
Update: The Witten article is now available on-line here.