Israel has historically been one of America's closest allies, but a small
contingent of writers is suggesting our closeness could cost more than it's worth. Last month, three high-profile columnists made the case
for disengaging from the long, fraught Israel-Palestine
peace process. Now some are saying we should diplomatically distance
ourselves from Israel itself.
Better For Us, Better For Israel Financial Times's Tony Judt argues that a little distance would help us both. "If the Jews of Europe and North America took their distance from Israel
(as many have begun to do), the assertion that Israel was 'their' state
would take on an absurd air. Over time, even Washington might come to
see the futility of attaching American foreign policy to the delusions
of one small Middle Eastern state. This, I believe, is the best thing
that could possibly happen to Israel itself. It would be obliged to
acknowledge its limits. It would have to make other friends, preferably
among its neighbours." He adds, "The perverse insistence upon identifying a universal
Jewishness with one small piece of territory is dysfunctional in many
ways. It is the single most important factor accounting for the failure
to solve the Israel-Palestine imbroglio. It is bad for Israel and, I
would suggest, bad for Jews elsewhere who are identified with its
- Cut Off U.S. PACs Making It Worse The Guardian's Andrew Kadi and Aaron Levitt report
on a group called The Hebron Fund. "The fact that the Hebron Fund
likely raised hundreds of thousands of
dollars for extremist Israeli settlers at a major US venue with little
public scrutiny is a troubling sign for those who hope that the US can
play a constructive role in achieving a just peace in the Middle East,"
they write. "Non-profit organisations like the Hebron Fund play a
in fuelling the Middle East conflict, but largely fly under the radar
in the US. [...] Until the public, advocacy groups, media and the US
scrutinise and rein in settlement non-profits like the Hebron Fund,
policy statements about peace in the Middle East will do nothing to
stop the daily violence and dispossession suffered by Palestinians.
- 'Looming US-Israel Split' The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan thinks
it's all about Iran. "That's the likeliest consequence of the current
awful choices the West has with respect to Iran's nuclear weapon
capacity," he writes. "I can see
this conflict coming and do not believe it can be contained or managed
without a more open and honest public dialogue than the cramped and
emotional one that occurs in Washington. The truth is: Israel and the
US have very different interests with respect to Iran, and if Israel
launches a war on Iran, against US wishes, then the alliance will never
be the same."
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