Thursday, April 17, 2014

Friedman Prepares American Jews for a Divorce from Zealot Israel

Tom Friedman at the Times is preparing American Jews for a one-state solution. He’s against it, of course; John Kerry is doing the “Lord’s work.” But the worthy business of Friedman’s column is explaining that the Israel American Jews fell in love with is gone, and it is now a society of rightwing zealots. “You did not go to summer camp with these Jews.” (Non-Jewish readers are chopped liver).

Friedman is inching toward Max Blumenthal’s view of that society, in more msm-palatable terms. The man who gave chalktalks on Israel’s military victory when he was in high school now states in neutral terms that young Palestinians want a one-state solution and that the Israel lobby has locked down Congress and the White House. That’s progress too (Dennis Ross used to debate Walt and Mearsheimer by saying, the lobby has Congress, yes, but it can’t affect the White House; horse feathers).

Friedman is Mr. Nutshell, and this time it works for me. Notice how he puts “Jewish state” in quotations.
We’re not dealing anymore with your grandfather’s Israel, and they’re not dealing anymore with your grandmother’s America either… 
Israel, from its side, has become a more religious society — on Friday nights in Jerusalem now you barely see a car moving on the streets in Jewish neighborhoods, which only used to be the case on Yom Kippur — and the settlers are clearly more brazen. Many West Bank settlers are respectful of the state, but there is now a growing core who are armed zealots, who will fight the I.D.F. if it tries to remove them. You did not go to summer camp with these Jews. You did not meet them at your local Reform synagogue. This is a hard core. 
But even the more tame settlers are more dominant than ever in the Likud Party and in the Israeli army officer corps. It is not a fiction to say today that the Likud prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, represents the “center” of Israel’s right-wing bloc. And it is not an accident that Israel’s housing minister, Uri Ariel, who comes from a pro-settler party to the right of the Likud, approved a tender for 700 homes in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, across the Green Line — just as Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talks were coming to a head. As Minister Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator, put it: “Minister Ariel purposefully and intentionally did what he did to torpedo” the peace talks.
Read the entire article