Israel Policy Forum purchased a full page ad in today’s N.Y. Times that attempted to lay the groundwork for the upcoming first meeting between Barack Obama and Bibi Netanyahu in their new roles. The text was remarkable not for what it said. The sentiments repeated tried and true rhetoric from the American Jewish peace movement about a two state solution, ending violence, freezing settlements, promoting Israel-Syria negotiations, etc. What was important was the headline:
Yes You Can, Mr President–achieve a two state solution…We Support You.
The message was clear. We support our president, we don’t support the other guy. It is an unheard of development in the Jewish community–to be forced to chose between an Israeli prime minister and a president. For the Israel lobby there is never any difference between the two, because our interests as Americans and Israel’s interests are one and the same.
One unintended and important achievement of the new Israeli rightist government is to put the lie to this fake notion. America’s interests are in a stable, peaceful Middle East. An Israel that furthers this goal will share American interests. An Israel that stubborning resists every American prescription for compromise as Bibi is doing, is headed for a fall. And that fall can’t come soon enough.
Of course, we need to proceed to the next stage which is a demand to return to 1967 borders, sharing Jerusalem as capital of two states, and grappling with the Right of Return. That is when the shit will really hit the fan and we’ll see what kind of resolve this president really has. More power to him. He’s got a tough row to hoe.