Israel's right-wing wants to maintain the occupation status-quo - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News Israel's right-wing wants to maintain the occupation status-quo At a recent debate with J-Street's Ben-Ami, rightist intellectual William Kristol helped answer a question the right has been avoiding: What do you intend to happen if you do not end the occupation? By David Landau | May.17, 2012 | 8:16 PM | 2 Text size Comments (2) Print Page Send to friend Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share this story is by David Landau related tags Israel US Barack Obama A civilized, serious debate about Israel held on New York's Upper West Side this week understandably aroused correspondent Chemi Shalev's wistful jealousy. Pro-peace activist Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder of J-Street, and rightist intellectual William Kristol, founder of The Weekly Standard, crossed oratorical swords over the painful issues of peace and occupation, and, while most of the audience seemed to side with Ben-Ami, both men were heard and treated with dignity, and treated each other with dignity, too. "As an Israeli observer," Shalev wrote, "I must admit I found myself envious of the ability of the two debaters and of their audience to conduct such a potentially volatile political debate in an atmosphere of mutual respect. In Israel, I suspect, such civilized debates may no longer be possible." Shalev attributed the respectful atmosphere, in part at least, to the relatively moderate tone and tenor of Kristol's remarks. He was not vulgar or offensive in reference to President Obama. And he proclaimed his support, in principle, for the two-state solution. Indeed, both debaters strove to eschew emotive extremism in their presentations.