Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Israel's position in U.S. Weakens - Beinart//Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Support for Israel in the United States is built on three legs: the devoted support of American Jews, sympathy for Israel as a refuge for the victims of the Holocaust, and identification with Israel as a liberal democracy faced by implacable enemies bent on its destruction.  The third leg is weakening because after almost fifty years Israel remains an occupying power, taking even more land and committed to preventing Palestinians from ever having a state of their own.  A militant tribal state is not what Americans have in mind when they think of democracy. - gwc

Peter Beinart explains in Haaretz

American political culture is growing more critical of Israel. There’s been a noticeable change even in the last few months. To understand why, one must realize that Americans have always felt most comfortable defending Israel in the language of democracy. To combat Israel’s “delegitimization,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often stresses the Jewish people’s biblical ties to the land. That rhetoric works among conservative Christians, but it’s too theological for most Americans. Stressing Israel’s democratic character, by contrast – the political ideals it shares with the United States – appeals to Americans of all stripes.
That’s why Israel’s American supporters keep claiming that Israel’s government wants to create a Palestinian state, even as top Israeli leaders themselves insist they don’t. If Israel doesn’t want to create a Palestinian state – if its leaders are comfortable permanently controlling millions of people who cannot vote for the government that oversees their lives – then the core rationale that Israel’s American defenders have been using all these years breaks down....

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