Recently, I read the following in +972mag.com, "A few weeks ago, a well-known Israeli politician visited one of the large daily newspapers. During a meeting there, this person discussed his meetings with a top-level official in the U.S. administration. “Do the Americans know that the window of opportunity to influence Israelis ends on January 22?” the politician was asked. The answer he gave was somewhat positive."
It seems that the Israeli politician got it right: in an article for Bloomberg, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg quoted White House sources that blamed Israel for not knowing “what its own best interests are.” Goldberg went on to say that:
“The president seems to view the prime minister as a political coward, an essentially unchallenged leader who nevertheless is unwilling to lead or spend political capital to advance the cause of compromise.”Well this is one that Jeffrey Goldberg called right. Netanyahu is a political coward, pandering to the extreme religious Orthodox Jewry, pandering to well, essentially anyone, for the sole purpose of getting their vote. In addition, Netanyahu and it seems, the State of Israel, doesn't know what is in their best interest.
Their best interest of the State of Israel and its' citizens served would be to stop playing the victim, to stop demonizing the Palestinian population, to ensure that the law is followed and settlers cannot abuse Palestinians and to truly embrace the two-state solution in order to serve the interests of Israel's populace. The best interest of the State of Israel would be to honestly negotiate a two-state solution, rather ensure to push just enough to garner a reaction from the Palestinians and then claim how unreasonable they are. It would be in the best interest of the State of Israel to stop creating facts on the ground and all settlement building. It would be Israel's best interest to stop incursions into Gaza, stop escalation of violent conflict and start acting like the democracy it claims to be.
The continued narrative told in the voice of the victim is no longer credible. The internet and the bombardment of news we now receive, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, has made the world much smaller. It has allowed for us to see both side of the equation, not just a biased, one sided presentation where the perpetual victim, Israel, continually fights off threats of extermination and annihilation by the crazed "Arabs". The global community has begun to understand who, in this scenario, is the victim and who is willing to forgo a ceasefire, a chance for true peace and the security of its citizens for one simple reason, land expansionism. The world is tiring of histrionics, continued conflict and the use of semantic game playing while Israel attempts to find a "technical reason" to justify the denial of basic, fundamental human rights of another people.
The first massacre on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead and its sequel, Operation of Pillar Defense, left a bad taste in the mouths of all, including much of American Jewry, with the exception of die hard absolutists who will support Israel's antics without reservation. Reading from an obscure newspaper about an attack on a Palestinian village is one thing, but seeing it live, loud and in vivid colour on a 48" television is another thing. I recall there was a time, not too long ago, no one knew what a Palestinian was. For the few that had a basic, remote understanding, it conjured up was images of Arafat, keffiyeh in place, in all of his glory, the taking of Jerusalem and images of Fiddler on the Roof.
As late as 1984, Joan Peters' full blown bestseller, From Time Immemorial, a debunked hoax which presented a narrative of an empty land without people and a people without land was the accepted historical record. It wasn't questioned by the public, by academia and was so acclaimed it won the 1985 National Jewish Book Award. Until Norman Finkelstein painfully dissected the myths Peters' propagated and found her conclusions were not supported by the data she presented. It was not until the book was published in the United Kingdom, upon, where it was quickly demolished and discredited, did the American world of publishing back away from this debacle. As Robert Olson stated in the American Historical Review in November of 1985, "This is a startling and disturbing book. It is startling because, despite the author's professed ignorance of the historiography of the Arab-Israeli conflict and lack of knowledge of Middle Eastern history (pp. 221, 335) coupled with her limitation to sources largely in English (absolutely no Arab sources are used), she engages in the rewriting of history on the basis of little evidence. ...The undocumented numbers in her book in no way allow for the wild and exaggerated assertions that she makes or for her conclusion. This book is disturbing because it seems to have been written for purely polemical and political reasons: to prove that Jordan is the Palestinian state. This argument, long current among revisionist Zionists, has regained popularity in Israel and among Jews since the Likud party came to power in Israel in 1977." While we still have a great number of people who still spout off Joan Peters' mumbo, jumbo (some actually believe it), informed, sane individuals dismiss this as the hogwash it actually is. One can easily check out a book which details the historical record by Israeli Jewish historians that easily debunks Peters' narrative.
As more and more people tire of Israel's use of disproportionate force, antagonization of the Palestinians, arrogance, failure to heed international law and continual confrontational stance, the more Israel will become isolated. If Bibi cared more about the State of Israel than he cared about re-election and land expansionism, we then could apply the word hero.