A new kind of courage needed – Israel’s rock/hard place

While the neo-con Prime Minister of Israel is insulting our president and defying our foreign policy goals while here, proving himself once again to be among the rudest guys on the planet, Josh Marshall posted this today. His post at TPM acknowledges the hard truth Obama articulated the other day.

Just as no man is an island, no country can be either. On its present course Israel is on its way to becoming a pariah state, a status in which it cannot indefinitely or even perhaps long survive. Neither the fact that Israel faces a profound cultural animosity among the region’s Arab populations nor the bad faith that often greets its actions nor even the anti-Semitism that is sometimes beneath the animus changes this essential fact. The make-up of the 21st century world is simply not compatible with a perpetual military occupation of another people, especially one that crosses a boundary of ethnicity and religion. Only the willfully oblivious can’t see that.

8 responses to “A new kind of courage needed – Israel’s rock/hard place

  1. Moe,

    This issue is not so black and white. Israel’s population of 7.5 million is surrounding by 122 million Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Syria is experiencing a bout of instability, Egypt’s political future (and its official policy toward Israel) is currently in flux, Hibullah is ascendant in Lebanon, and Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza.

    To force a solution now is ill-advised. Demographics will ultimately dictate a settlement, but waiting until the region reaches a more stable equilibrium is a better policy than jamming through an agreement today.

    Even the best military can be defeated when it is outnumbered 16-to-1, or simply runs out of a buffer to defend itself.


    • Sean – I think we agree to some extent: but fair or not, Israel has to move more agressively toward a solution. There’s no guarantee that it’ll work, but we know the current situation is unsustainable for them – we know same old same old doesn’t work. There’s never going to be a time when they aren’t surrounded by 122 million Arabls. It’s entirely possible that Israel might not survive, soemting that hardly bears thinking about, but it’s possible. I beleive that the best way to work against that is to work with their adversaries. For instance, a divided Jerusalem has to be on the table.

      Waiting until the Arab world ‘stablilizes’? That could be a decade or two. The situation cannot wait that long.

      Things were moving toward a real settlement until Sharon and then Netanyahu came into office – very militaristic guys, both of them. It set them back.

      I’m not sure that I heard anything about ‘force’ in the US position. I did hear Netanyahu disrespect the President of the US in the Oval Office in front of the cameras. That’s what I heard.


  2. Whether it’s Gitmo or Gaza, situations like this are indefensible!


  3. It’s all just theater; Netanyahu gets to show the folks back home he can play hardball with the Americans, and Obama gets to play the fool, helpless and outmatched in the face of Israeli intransigence. Meanwhile, they’re both reading from the same playbook.

    One seriously bright spot: the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt is expected to be permanently opened on Saturday!


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