Malcolm Hoenlein must have Tzipi-Condi envy because he arranged for the Conference of Presidents to plot Jerusalem policy on Israel’s behalf this week. Don’t you just love it when busybodies like Hoenlein and his minions decide they’re sufficiently wonkish that they can plot foreign policy on Israel’s behalf?
The Conference passed one of those utterly meaningless resolutions declaring the city the eternal, undivided capital of Israel. In this, it took a swat at Ehud Olmert who, as we speak, is negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas and Condi Rice over the parameters for a peace settlement. Everyone knows that the final settlement will call for a sharing of Jerusalem between the two sides for which it will become a dual capital. Israelis, according to opinion polls, have come to accept this outcome. American Jews, unfortunately according to the latest AJC survey have not, declaring opposition to such an outcome by 58 to 36 percent. It’s important to note that the group (Israelis) which will bear the brunt of this decision is decidedly more pragmatic and realistic than the one that won’t (American Jews).
The Conference, along with other right-wing groups like ZOA and the Orthodox community have been organizing a rump caucus to foil any attempt to “negotiate away” Jerusalem. They’re fighting more of a rear guard action I think as they appear to realize that if there ever is a settlement it won’t be going their way. My hope is that their opposition will amount to little more than did the extremist settler opposition to during the Gaza withdrawal.
Dovish members of the Conference like Seymour Reich and Eric Yoffie railed against the decision. But what can they do? They’re always outnumbered, always outgunned. I’m not really certain why the liberal groups continue to participate in the Conference. Does it really bring them any benefits? It certainly brings them headaches–like this.