Jeffrey Goldberg Warns, Don’t Pressure Israel or She Goes Into Bunker…

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Jeffrey Goldberg is happy about Hillary as Sec'y of State and advises her to push for a Palestinian state now, but one pretty much on Israel's terms.

Palestinians suffer sometimes from the irrational hope that America’s
support for Israel is mutable, and that the key to success is to bring
about direct American pressure on Israel. This won’t happen for any
number of reasons, and I think Hillary Clinton understands that
American pressure will only encourage Israeli politicians to descend
into the bunker.

My sense, without reading him in full, is that Goldberg while upset with what he calls "the settlement project" and wanting it to end now, and supportive of a "viable" Palestinian state on lands infiltrated by Israeli holdings, is firmly against the right of return and probably against retrenchment to '67 borders or even sacrifice of the "security zone" Israel wishes to maintain in the Jordan Valley.

That is: he is aware that the West Bank has been thoroughly colonized, and Palestinian society fragmented, and he knows that's a bad thing, but he doesn't want any pressure on Israel about abandoning its territorial holdings there.

The result will be unjust; and when a pro-Palestinian, now finally included in the discussion here, should object: No Justice, No Peace, Goldberg will respond that Hillary must explain to the Palestinians (as he states here): "exactly why most Americans tend to side with Israel. It
should be, in essence, a speech that justifies the original Zionist
idea." So: America loves Israel, and you better understand that now. "For any number of reasons." A hint at the truth there: because of media orthodoxy and Democratic Party Israel-lobby money. Israel Lobby R Us.

When I would argue that Americans, who elected a mutt, must really finally now talk among themselves about how much of a 110-year-old European idea with racial overtones they wish to swallow. As we discussed Communism once, and didn't go for it. Last May Goldberg heroically called for "blunt" discussion of Israeli policies in the U.S. He was right then; still it has not happened.

Goldberg warns, Pressure Israel and the leaders go into the bunkers. There is a hint there at the Pakistanization of Israel: Look, we have to treat with tyrants because they have nuclear weapons. Scary. A type of blackmail that Goldberg would approve of in this instance (and not the Pakistani one) because he believes in Jewish power, and the recuperation of Jewish power in the shadow of the Holocaust. (Though I gather he was a jobnik when he served in the IDF; jobnik is Israeli slang for what Australians mean when they say, "a desk wallah.")

I find this argument faintly thuggish. I seek American leadership. It is a desperate situation in the Middle East in many ways. Goldberg and I agree on a lot here, including that the Israeli leaders lack any moral imagination. They cannot lead us, and they should not lead us, or Hillary, or Obama. The central fault in Goldberg's thought is that in valorizing Jewish power, he recommends an abdication of American power. This principle has demolished our statecraft in the region since '48.

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