Jewish journalist optimistic about Israel's future

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 2:35 p.m. MST

Hoffman is also optimistic about the prospects for peace in the Middle East. For example, he doesn’t think there will be war with Iran (“I think Iran’s nuclearization can be stopped without military intervention,” he said). And no matter what happens in Syria, he says, “they are going to have to spend a lot of time rebuilding their country.”

“They are going to be so busy dealing with that they are not going to have time to worry much about us,” he said.

“As an Israeli, you would think I’d be happy to see the suffering of the people of Syria,” he added. “But when I see what’s going on there it makes me sick to my stomach. That’s the way we are as Jews. We cry for our enemies. We don’t want to see pain, even for them.”

And while Hoffman expresses concern at stalled talks with Palestinian officials (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has his hand outstretched to the Palestinian people, and he has been holding it out there for four years”), he says “Israel is willing to go a long way to move the peace process forward.”

Still, he continued, “there are some places that we can’t give up — areas of national and strategic importance,” he said. He cited Hebron as an area of national significance because of its history to the Jewish people, and a hill overlooking Ben Gurian International Airport in Tel Aviv as an area of strategic importance.

But Netanyahu has indicated that there is room for negotiation elsewhere, and Hoffman believes there are no more excuses for the Palestinians to not come back to the negotiating table.

“I have a lot of hope that things are getting better and better and better,” he said.