Leon Wieseltier, considered by Samantha Power to be “the wisest man in Washington, the most stirring moralist around,” now has a long record of prophecy about the conflict. But he strikes me as more of a weenie than a prophet.
Four years ago at AIPAC he said that Jews have a “historical and moral responsibility” to “maintain the Jewishness” of Israel. So they must act so as not to to “foreclose the possibility” of a two-state solution. That is an “essential imperative.”
I guess that means he was against the settlement project? You’d think he would follow through on such an imperative by publicizing to New Republic readers the moral depradations of the occupation– like Breaking the Silence reports by Israeli soldiers that they had turned into “monsters” by enforcing military rule over a captive people.
Then a year ago Leon Wieseltier said he had been secretly boycotting the settlements. Again, a curious posture on the part of a public man; isn’t he in a position to lead a campaign over this moral imperative?
Well now, Wieseltier has gone to Israel to accept a $1 million prize and — hold on to your seat — he’s saying that Netanyahu is not interested in the two-state solution and it’s foreclosing the future of a Jewish state.
“Unless there is a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there will not be a Jewish state for very long,” Wieseltier said in an interview at Tel Aviv University after accepting the $1 million dollar Dan David Prize late Sunday for his contributions to ideas and contemporary philosophy….
Netanyahu says he favors the establishment of a Palestinian state, but Wieseltier said the Israeli leader has done little to advance this goal.
“One of the most shameful aspects of the Netanyahu government has been to succeed in taking the Palestinian question off the table,” said Wieseltier, identifiable by his tall frame and white, unruly mane of hair.
Gosh, why is this boldness so uninspiring?