In his best seller, Goodman, a research fellow at Jerusalem's Shalom Hartman Institute, provides a good analysis of the evolution of Israel's extreme Right and Left (adherents to Peace Now and "Greater Israel") regarding the Palestinian issue. He correctly notes that both movements have impossible dreams.
The author claims that the 1967 Six-Day War sparked an ideological debate among those who wanted to annex all parts of the biblical Land of Israel and those who advocated for peace with Israel's neighbors. In his opinion, this debate has created an unbridgeable divide in Israeli politics between Left and Right. The concerns of the Left have shifted from building a socialist society to living in peace with Israel's neighbors and ensuring a democratic Jewish state. In contrast, the Right, which initially placed emphasis on human rights, has moved to adopt the idea of redemption in Greater Israel.
Goodman recommends resisting ideology and adopting pragmatism, but—and this is the main weakness of his book—he ignores that this is what Israel is already doing, with the support of a huge majority of Israelis. Indeed, following the 2000 Palestinian terror campaign, Israelis have no illusions about peace with the Palestinians and are engaged in conflict management to reduce terrorism, prevent a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority, and create more prosperity among Palestinians despite widespread corruption and mismanagement.
Emphasizing ideologies on the extremes, which have limited impact, ignores the main thrust of Israeli politics, which is pragmatic and always has been: Menachem Begin agreed not to annex the West Bank in 1977 to include Moshe Dayan in his government. At Oslo, Yitzhak Rabin was not swayed by peace visionaries but envisioned security-for-land. Under pressure from the Obama administration in 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu announced support for the two-state solution and in 2013 agreed to discuss John Kerry's peace plan.
Goodman's preoccupation with ideology paints an unrealistic portrait of Israel's society and politics. Actually, there is a continuum in the positions of Israelis on national security. The majority of Israelis are centrists ready for a territorial compromise but resisting risky concessions until the Palestinians show signs of moderation.