Saving From Itself Israel
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Ah, but it turned out that
Abba Eban, the former Israeli statesman, is famously reported to have said in 1973: “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The quotation resonated because it was largely true.
Palestinians were locked for years into a self-defeating dynamic of violence and self-pity that led to terrorism and intransigence. Feeling misunderstood, they shrugged at global opinion and lashed back wherever they could, undermining their own cause.
Yet now, as a rabbi noted on my Facebook page, it is
Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems locked in a self- defeating dynamic in which it feels misunderstood and gives up on international opinion. It lashes out with force in ways that undermine its own interests. It is on a path that could eventually be catastrophic.
There’s no question that
These aren’t easy, and a Palestinian-Israeli deal may be impossible for the time being. But
Israel could also cultivate Turkey, a central player in the effort to press
Israel is also antagonizing its support base in the United States, which is critical to protect it from those existential threats.
Peter Beinart wrote a powerful article in the most recent New York Review of Books exploring the way young Jews in America feel much less identification with Israel than their elders did. Mr. Beinart noted that even the student Senate at Brandeis University, which has strong Jewish ties, rejected a resolution commemorating the 60th anniversary of
One basic problem, Mr. Beinart said, is that the Zionist movement has become increasingly conservative politically. “For several decades,” he writes, “the Jewish establishment has asked American Jews to check their liberalism at Zionism’s door, and now, to their horror, they are finding that many young Jews have checked their Zionism instead.”
For many Israelis, all this seems profoundly unfair.
How do we change this dynamic? One necessary step is a major investigation of what happened. Another is a quick end to the blockade of
When you visit
President Obama needs to find his voice and push hard for an end to the
Above all, he needs to nudge
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs