The following two sentences are from The Economist.

(1)If by then Sharon has bested his own settler movement, so much the better for peace.
(2)If not even he can extract 7.000 settlers from Gaza, grim times lie ahead.

I have no trouble with (1), but (2) puzzles me.
What does the first part mean?
Does the sentence lack "if" after "even"?

Apple
Original Post
There are two ways to frame the idea in the if- clause in Sentence 2. The first way is with the negative marking on the verb:

"” If even he (Sharon) Sharon can't extract 7,000 settlers from Gaza, grim times lie ahead

The second way is with a negative modifier on the grammatical subject, "he" rather than on the verb:

"” If not even he (Sharon) can extract 7,000 settlers from Gaza, grim times lie ahead

The word "even" goes with "he." It signals that if "he," the person most likely to succeed, is unsuccessful, the future will be grim.

Both ways of framing the idea are equally valid.

Marilyn

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