Ian Lustick Quotes

  • For the U.S., as the largest player in the global environment, unintended consequences are magnified.
  • The ability to calibrate risk doesn't happen rationally.
  • From a social networking point of view, Pakistan is not very far away.
  • Americans should be wary of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt but not scared of them.
  • My academic specialization is Arab-Israel relations.
  • There's still a role for the Association for Israel Studies. But not as the endpoint of scholarship and not as a fortress to defend Israel.
  • Most Israelis do want to keep Israel safe. The question is how do you do that.
  • The disappearance of Israel as a Zionist project, through war, cultural exhaustion or demographic momentum, is... plausible... Many Israelis see the demise of the country as not just possible, but probable.
  • There is some big thing about the world that produced all these people willing to kill themselves just to hurt us. On 9/11 we learned we're part of that world, in the same completely crazy, drastic and arbitrary ways it hits other countries.
  • The leadership of the Palestinian Authority is not held in high regard by most of the population of the West Bank. They're seen as living relatively high off the hog and certainly not accomplishing anything vis-a-vis the Israelis.
  • Peacemaking and democratic state-building require blood and magic.
  • Strong Islamist trends make a fundamentalist Palestine more likely than a small state under a secular government.
  • Do I trust Yasser Arafat? Of course not. Why should I? Why should anyone trust a politician, whether Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Benjamin Netanyahu, George W. Bush, or Yasser Arafat?
  • Whether we agree with them or not, politicians aren't for trusting. They are for getting done what can be done to make really horrible problems into plain old lousy problems.
  • I think about terrorism in terms of popcorn. You can't tell which kernels are popcorn and which are not, but you assume you'll always have some kernels that are going to pop.
  • Democracies domesticate religious groups to become political players. That's how it works.
  • There's a good lesson for policymakers: It's not the presence of the U.S. that is a problem for many people in the Arab region; it's the type of presence we bring.