“Israel, we got your back” Obama famously claimed in August 2012. So the question must be asked, how would U.S. foreign policy look any different if Obama’s goal were to put Israel on the road to extinction?
How for instance, Israelis are entitled to wonder, does it help for the United States to toss aside 50 years of policy in the waning days of an administration to delegitimize defensible borders for an Israel that is surrounded by hostile powers? How exactly does it help Israel for the United States to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran despite Israel’s strong objections? How does it help to put Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon? How does it help to send tens of billions of dollars in unmarked cash to an Iran committed to the destruction of Israel, and which the U.S. State department still considers to be the world’s leading State sponsor of terrorism.
It is probably true as John Kerry says, that the demographics of the Middle East require that Israel accept a two-state solution if it is to survive as both Jewish and a democracy. It depends on how democracy is defined. But it doesn’t mean that any two-state solution will do. A two state solution must recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state within defensible borders.
That poses a problem because Palestinian rejectionists refuse to concede Israel’s right to exist.
And why should they? They mean to win the war to eliminate Israel in the capitals of the West by isolating Israel and making it a pariah. They intend to do this by claiming the mantle of victimhood. They are, they claim, victims of Western colonial powers who seized their ancestral land in wars of aggression that date back at least as far as the Crusades. Their failures are the fault of the Western oppressors.
Except that there was that Muslim invasion of Spain that began in 711, not to mention Italy and France that came fast on its heels (historically speaking). Eventually Spain and Portugal fell under Islamic rule that lasted until 1492. Then there is that small matter of the Ottoman Empire’s entry into World War 1 on the side of Germany with an unprovoked attack on Russia, which was then allied with England and France.
But never mind. That was then.
Today progressives in Western capitals get to feel virtuous by simultaneously pulling the rug out from under Israel while insisting that Israel “take risks for peace”. This is the same crowd, by the way, that is busy creating safe spaces for undergraduates who live in terror that they might be forced to confront the horror of a gender specific pronoun.
There is a path to peace, but the path is not through Israeli settlements. Nor is it by surrender. Peace will come when the Arab and Persian governments of the Mideast stop using Israel as an excuse for their failures, liberalize their regimes and stop financing Hamas and their ilk.