I find myself incredibly dispirited by the Obama veto of the UN Security Council resolution against the settlements. There hasn’t been a sadder more craven day in recent Amercan history. Two years after Obama promised in the largest Arab city that he would stop the settlement project, he caved to neoconservatives and the Israel lobby.
I’m not talking about the end of the two state solution. The two state solution probably died a long time ago. James North says that Israel might have preserved itself in 2002 with the Arab Peace Initiative; that was its best chance to survive as a Jewish state. But it rejected the offer.
That is Israel's problem, I am talking about America. The Israel lobby is in America, and it twisted the progressive president’s arm. Huckabee has now positioned himself as the defender of greater Israel, and because of the Israel lobby, Obama must accommodate the Huckabee position rather than taking it on and politicizing the question and trusting the people. He doesn't want Democratic money to go over to the Republicans. That’s the game. AIPAC and the Israel Project urged him to veto, and neocon Jennifer Rubin, supported fully by the Washington Post, told Obama that if he voted against settlements he would join a "pack of jackals" that is against Israel. He heeded her.
I am not crying about the end of Israel-- I would prefer a democracy in Israel and Palestine. What I’m crying about is my country’s inflexibility, its inability to support any semblance of fairness, any semblance of Arab self-determination
It may be 5 years, it may be 20, but Israel is finished; it will some day be a state of its citizens. And my fear surrounds the fact that the most powerful country in the world is the last to have figured out where things are going, we are living in denial, and feeding an Israeli denial of the reality that surrounds it. I believe that Obama made a deal with the Israelis not to bomb Iran and he would protect the settlements, but even that was a craven deal; and now as Iran fades as an existential threat because Israel has lifted its foot off that pedal, we will be bludgeoned with other existential threats. What will happen when the Palestinians rise up in another intifadah, or the Egyptians demand that Gaza be free, or Israel Arabs launch protests? The U.S. will snap to attention.
In Egypt we got on the right side of history. In Israel we are firmly on the wrong side. And if history teaches anything it is that such gross errors of judgment about the direction of civilization are not overcome peaceably.