Hat’s off to Thomas Friedman. The New York Times columnist states what the New York Times news reporters failed to report to America (notably Jodi Rudoren, the former Jerusalem bureau chief) and that we have reported: The two state solution is over, there will never be a Palestinian state, let us move on to the one state reality.
Our politicians are living in dreamland when it comes to the Middle East, Friedman says.
Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.
How did we get there? So many people stuck knives into the peace process it’s hard to know who delivered the mortal blow. Was it the fanatical Jewish settlers determined to keep expanding their footprint in the West Bank and able to sabotage any Israeli politician or army officer who opposed them? Was it right-wing Jewish billionaires, like Sheldon Adelson, who used their influence to blunt any U.S. congressional criticism of Bibi Netanyahu?
Or was it Netanyahu, whose lust to hold onto his seat of power is only surpassed by his lack of imagination to find a secure way to separate from the Palestinians?… [two paragraphs of blaming Palestinians for demise of Oslo.]
They all killed the two-state solution. Let the one-state era begin. It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.
Let’s leave aside Friedman’s funky metaphor of Netanyahu as father and Hamas as mother. He places far greater blame on Israel than on Palestinians for the one state mess Israel has made of it. Because that’s where the power lies.
Friedman is doing the journalistic work that John Kerry and Ambassador Dan Shapiro want the US press to perform. It’s a one state reality. Yousef Munayyer, Ali Abunimah, the late Tony Judt and Virginia Tilley said this eons ago.
And notice that Friedman blames the Israel lobby for the end of two states, in the person of Sheldon Adelson. Walt and Mearsheimer said this ten years ago and got run out of town on a rail for doing so. Now we’re on the threshold of a great Jew-versus-Jew battle about Who lost Israel. The neocons are going to fight back hard. And liberal Zionists will at last use the right word to describe what Israel has established: apartheid.
Reflect that Tom Friedman has done important work on this issue: when he said that Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, which people said was an anti-Semitic canard. And when he told a British audience that American politicians had all taken the lesson from George H.W. Bush’s defeat in 1992 that they had to support Israeli settlements. Friedman was once a liberal Zionist. He began his career as a Middle East correspondent by giving his high school class mates in St. Louis Park, MN, a chalktalk on the Six Day War, which he surely celebrated. I bet he’s over that now; and that many other Jewish liberal Zionists will walk the path toward a simple principle for Israel that has served us so well here: equal rights. (Friedman’s column puts pressure on many idealistic liberal Zionists, Roger Cohen, Dan Fleshler, Lara Friedman, and holdouts at the Nation magazine, to step up to the plate and acknowledge that Palestinian disfranchisement in a Jewish state is never going to end).
Finally, this column is about BDS. Friedman knows that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is coming. Maybe his own kids are telling him that. He begins this column with quotations from the secret panel on BDS held at the (No-Palestinians-Allowed) Saban Forum late last year. That panel was aimed, by Haim Saban at stopping BDS. Saban is Hillary Clinton’s Adelson and she has promised him that she will work with Republicans to fight BDS.
Many progressive Americans, including many Jews, now support BDS. Where is Bernie Sanders?