The late Ariel Sharon, a longtime Israeli soldier and political leader, confided his thoughts to his close friend Uri Dan, an Israeli journalist. Their beliefs can be found in This Burning Land, by Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin.
“The bond between the two men was built on an unshakable belief. The Jews and the Arabs had been fighting for generations, and… no resolution was on the horizon,” reads This Burning Land.
As Sharon and Dan saw it, “the Arabs had never genuinely accepted the presence of Israel,” and so a two-state solution was not possible nor even desirable. They “accepted the conflict as a permanent feature of life in the Middle East, part of the world they were born into, and part of the world they would leave behind… In their minds—and in the minds of a fair number of Israelis and Palestinians—if you did not accept the enduring nature of the conflict, then you did not understand the conflict at all.”
The 2010 book did not state the views of Benjamin Netanyahu, who at that time was beginning a long run as prime minister. But the idea of a long-lasting conflict helps to make sense of Netanyahu’s interview Friday on NPR’s Morning Edition, as well as several past conversations.