In the Daily Beast. Peter Beinhart's incisive analysis, Jews and Americans Losing Ability to Shape Mideast, serves as a wake up call for American Jews, and progressive Democrats, who support Israel, and our national security goals in the middle east. And, also, to Benjamin Netanyahu, and his right-wing "Likud-Shas" coalition.
Beinhart argues that the US, and Israel are losing our historic ability to control events in the middle east, "and that if Israel and the U.S. don't work toward a Palestinian state near 1967 lines, others will seize the initiative in shaping the Middle East."
Beginning in the early 20th century, Zionists created facts on the ground. Sometimes the great powers applauded; sometimes they condemned, but acre by acre, Jews seized control of their fate. As David Ben-Gurion liked to say, “Our future does not depend on what gentiles say but on what Jews do.” The Arabs reacted with fury, occasional violence, and in Palestine, a national movement of their own. But they could rarely compete, either politically or militarily. We went from strength to strength; they never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
That world is gone. America and Israel are no longer driving history in the Middle East; for the first time in a long time, Arabs are. In Tahrir Square, Egypt’s young made a revolution.
President Obama bowed to reality and helped show Hosni Mubarak the door; Benjamin Netanyahu stood athwart history, impotently yelling stop.
Netanyahu and his American backers are demanding that Obama rewind the clock, but he can’t. The Palestinians no longer listen to functionaries like George Mitchell. They have lost faith in American promises, and they no longer fear American threats. Instead, they are putting aside their internal divisions and creating facts on the ground.
And, in other news, Fatah has re-unitied with Hamas, Hamas has pronounced its desire to become a responsible member of the world community, the Palestinians have announced their intention to apply to join the United Nation, and be recognized by the General Assembly as a sovereign state.
"Anyone else thinking, "hey, wait, are they allowed to do that without our permission?"
Well, apparently, our permission is no longer even sought, for such endeavors. But, don't panic, this could turn out to be a good thing for us, and the prospects for peace.
These are the issues Beinhart is trying to get us to think about more clearly.
This is only a nightmare if you've bought into the backward, and dysfunctional Netanyahu nightmare mindset. From the perspective of the US, and Beinhart's perception of Israel's best national security interests, this could be a giant step forward, to a successful implementation of a two state solution. A last chance, perhaps.
One expert tells, us that over 151 countries will endorse the Palestinians Declaration of Independence. Given such an overwhelming expression of support for freedom, and democracy, in the very tradition President Obama helped launch with his Cairo speech, why would, and how could President Obama risk the enormous political cost and apparent hypocracy, damage to our perceived legitimacy, and standing in the international community, by having to veto such an overwhelming, and symbollic UN decision.
What would we be saying? Democracy is good for every other country, and peoples of the world, except for the Palestinians, for no other reason, than because our allies in Israel insist on it?
A gruesome position for an ally to put us in. This would damage our US standing in the international community, and also our national security. And, even worse for the state of Israel. Read Haaretz, and the Jerusalem post, if you want to see what a fuss this is creating in Israel.
But, it may not matter, anyway, as the General Assembly can apparently, invoke Article 377 to overiden, by calling an emergency session, with UN rules we sponsored to override a Soviet veto decades ago, would be embarassing, for all of us. And, would also, percipitate an international crisis with our other world allies.
Do you start to see the golden beams of sunlight shining through, the new ever larger "daylight gap" in our divergent national security interests, that Netanyahu, and AIPAK are sadly, opening ever wider, between two nations.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, of what Peter Beinhart is calling our attention to, also giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and our allies in Israel a heads up on.
But, Peter Beinhardt knows Israeli politics well.
While Netanyahu and the gerontocrats of the American Jewish establishment yearn for a return to the days of George W. Bush, Fayyad has developed a strategy for the post-American age. He knows that if Netanyahu continues to entrench the occupation and Palestinian leaders keep nonviolently demanding a state near the Green Line, it won’t ultimately matter what Obama does.
The more America sticks by Netanyahu, the less relevant America will become. Other powers will begin taking matters into their own hands, and their strategies for achieving a two-state solution will have none of the tenderness of Dennis Ross. Just last week, German and French companies pulled out of railway projects in the West Bank.
The Palestinians are taking control of their destiny because Israel has not. Zionism, which at its best is the purposeful, ethical effort to make Jews safe in the land of Israel, has become—in this government—a mindless land grab, that threatens Jewish safety and Jewish ethics alike. Once upon a time, when the Arabs were hapless and America was omnipotent, Israel could get away with that. Not anymore.
If Barack Obama cannot get Benjamin Netanyahu to endorse—and work toward—a Palestinian state near 1967 lines, events will pass them both by. Others will take the initiative; in the Middle East, the U.S. and Israel will increasingly find their destinies in other nation’s hands. For those of us raised to believe that Americanism and Zionism were can-do faiths, it is harder to imagine any crueler irony than that.
Peter Beinart builds on his track record of foreseeing change in the US-Israeli relationship before most others. And, here is he alerting to us an emerging change in the traditional balance of power in the middle east.
We are in a new regime now.
The momentum is shifting to the UN. Experts are telling us the General Assembly will be very likely to vote to accept the Palestinian state as a member nation, and will have at least 151 countries endorsing their Declaration of Independence.
So maybe President Obama's new strategy is to punt to the UN, until after the 2012 election?
When Palestine is accepted into the UN as a sovereign nation, all of it's terroritorial issues with Israel, become subject to UN jurisdiction, giving the international community much greater power. Let's let the UN do the dirty work, and the things President Obama would face criticism for, if he tried to do the same from the US stage.
Letting the UN "run point" on these next most difficult stages, presents so many comparitive advantages to Presidents Obama's position, that is is hard for me not to imagine that this is his highly tuned, calculated strategy.
Rosenberg writes in the TPM that Obama appears to plan to do nothing before 2012 that would depart from Netanyahu's blueprint.
Could President Obama be saying to Prime Minister Netanyahu, "Congratulations, you, and AIPAK, are getting exactly what you want out of the American political system. Please keep those cards and campaign donations coming in."
"And, good luck at the UN. Stay in touch."
And, no one will blame President Obama if he smiles, and thinks to himself, "and, remember this, next time you decide to humiliate, and manipulate, the President of the US, and your strongest ally."
It would appear, President Obama has decided to wait until his second term to resume great attention to the middle east. But, this delay will probably not be to the advantage of Israel, the way Natanyahu, and the Likud-Shas coalition sees it. By that time, Palestine may be a fully recognized soveriegn state, and their land and border claims will now have full standing in the UN Committees, and World Courts.
I recommend everyone with an interest in peace in the middle east, and who hopes for a peaceful, and stable two-state solution to the Israel - Palestine deadlock, read Peter Beinhardts excellent, and thought provoking essay. It may be time for a new optimism for the prospects of a peaceful, establishment of a fully sovereign, free, and democratic Palestinian State. That we can quicly transform into our model to new democratic Arab states, in Egypt, Tunesia, Jordan, Syria, etc.
Peter Beinhardt officially launches a new outlook that will receive much debate, and interest. And, more importantly, Beinhardt, provides American Jews, and progressive Democrats safe cover for remaining friends with Israel, while splitting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and his extreme right-wing, Likud-Shas, "Greater Israel" coalition.
PS I appreciate any spelling, grammatical, rhetorical,logical, and data improvements, or other suggestions, as I am hoping to edit it down, by half, and try to republish it somewhere. Thanks.