There he goes againeditorial in The Jewish Week to bash Israel yet again.
When future historians write about this period in U.S.-Israel relations, this editorial will warrant serious mention. The unease felt by some American Jews about Israel's direction is moving into the mainstream. Over the past few months, I've spoken with lay leaders of many of the largest Jewish organizations (organizations that would very much prefer not to be affiliated with such left-wing outfits as J Street), and the question they ask is this: Just what is Bibi doing? If American Jews are forced to choose between their liberal values (and most American Jews are liberal) and support for a Jewish state that seems to be growing increasingly illiberal, these leaders say that Israel -- and not the Democratic Party -- will be the one to suffer.Do those unelected 'American Jews' speak for American Jewry? Does American Jewry still back the Democratic party (Goldberg's holy grail) to the extent that he thinks they do? Given the poll numbers in the upcoming midterm election, one has to wonder.
The Israeli government doesn't seem to understand that the status quo is unsustainable. As I've written (over and over again), I am not arguing for an immediate pullout from the West Bank; the times are too dangerous, and the Palestinian Authority too weak and corrupt and cowardly, for such a move. But in the meantime, Israel could help create conditions so that a Palestinian state could one day be born. What this means is simple: Netanyahu should take no steps that further entangle Israel in the lives of Palestinians. It also means that Israel should try to negotiate in good faith with President Mahmoud Abbas, who is the best interlocutor Israel is going to have, despite his many obvious flaws. If nothing else, Netanyahu should call his bluff.Netanyahu and his predecessors have called Abu Mazen's and his predecessor's bluff numerous times. There was Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat (2000), Ehud Olmert and Abu Mazen (2008) and Netanyahu and Abu Bluff (2010). How many more times does it have to be called? What incentive do the 'Palestinians' have to negotiate seriously if everything is going to be frozen forever anyway? Why should they ever compromise?
And yes, the status quo is sustainable. It's been 47 years since 1967. The 'Palestinians' have shown no indication that they are ready to accept Israel's 'right to exist' in any borders. What alternative do we have but to sustain the status quo?
It also means understanding that while most settlement expansion that is now taking place in the West Bank is happening in areas that will most likely come under Israeli control in the event of a final peace deal, the Palestinians haven't agreed to this division yet. Unilateral moves do not help. They certainly don't help Israel's international standing, which is lower than it has ever been, and they certainly don't help maintain Israel as a cause that garners bipartisan support in the U.S.So let's make sure the 'Palestinians' have nothing to lose by not compromising? That's going to get them just rushing to the table. /sarc.
There really is no alternative to the status quo.