The following is part of Chris Hayes’s great intro to his MSNBC show “Up With Chris” yesterday, which once again featured independent analysis of the conflict. (Though the initial tilt of the discussion is toward the J Street line on two states.)
Here’s the lesson as far as I can tell. If you recognize Israel, if you are credibly committed to nonviolence, you will get rolled, marginalized, undercut and left looking like a loser. [Palestinian Authority] But if you fire rockets into the heart of Israel, if you kidnap their soldiers, well then they’ll negotiate and adjust their policies. How perverse is that?…
In allowing this to continue and refusing to pressure the Israeli government to take concrete steps toward peace in the West Bank, such as stopping all settlement growth, they’re turning a blind eye and turning a blind eye while unarmed protesters in towns like Budrus and Nabi Saleh are imprisoned, teargassed and in some cases shot and killed by IDF soldiers, away from the eyes of American cameras, with no condemnation from our government– we in the U.S. are creating the conditions in which terrorism, the great evil we have pledged ourselves to vanquish, brings strategic benefits, while the path of nonviolence leads to a dead end. What a sorry legacy for everyone involved in helping this to come to pass.
In the next segment, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation argues that Israel launched the war and opens the door on the most important factor in US policymaking, the Israel lobby.
“Overarching all of this– and this is such a painful issue to discuss, and anything we say on this show is going to be criticized– overarching all of it is a history, going back at least to ’67 of the United States role as the enabler, as the political, diplomatic, economic, military enabler of an Israeli policy that in many ways and a younger generation is seeing– Israelis– that is not in the long term benefit of the security of the country….
She urges viewers to watch the documentary, The Gatekeepers. “Largely due to Israel’s failure to deal with the political causes of the Palestinian problem,” Palestinians have committed acts of terror. And Israel has responded with terror.
Hayes then notes that American policy is “on the road to nowhere.” And in the third segment says that Americans are imbedded in this conflict and again brings up the lobby: that certain American groups are “obviously very very invested in [the conflict].” Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen immediately brings up the American Jewish community.
Vanden Heuvel in the third segment speaks of Israel’s rightwing ugliness, and cites Ariel Sharon’s son Gilad’s argument that Israel should treat Gaza as the US treated Hiroshima.