Those who complain about the composition of Obama’s Middle East team miss the point, which is: Are they even relevant to what’s going on any more. Here’s an item in which Jeremy Ben-Ami talks shamelessly about "the national home of the Jewish people." As I more or less sensed coming out of the J Street conference, if not even for some time before, J Street and the Obama Administration are the only ones left clinging to the ghost of the two-state solution. To what degree it may be an act in either case is another question. Ben-Ami at JTA:
[Let's] engage openly and publicly in substantive debate.
Two good places to start are discussing what policies are likely to ensure the survival of a democratic Israel as the national home of the Jewish people and whether allying with dispensationalist Christian Zionists is actually in the best interests of Israel and the broader Jewish community.
..The many American individuals and organizations (from Irving Moskowitz to the Central Fund of Israel) that provide funding over the Green Line are helping to deepen an occupation that is strangling Israel’s hope for the future.
If there is an argument to be made for deepening and perpetuating the 42-year-old occupation, let’s hear it. If not, let’s join together to stop further funding of this self-defeating enterprise.
When it comes to policy, I’m also happy to debate whether it makes sense for Israel’s best friends in the world, the American Jewish community and the U.S. government, to help Israel avoid the long-run destructive consequences of occupation — even if that leads to some friendly tension between Washington and Jerusalem.
What would be preferable, that Israel’s friends stand back silently as its future slips away?