Former Middle East mediator Martin Indyk spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival a couple of days ago, interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg. This interchange begins at about 2:50 in the video above.
Indyk: What’s true about John Kerry– God bless him– is that he has this conviction, if we don’t do something to reverse the trends we’ve talked about, that the window will close on the two state solution. And that will be very bad for Israel.
Goldberg: OK. Very bad for Israel. But is that a primary national security concern of the United States?
Indyk: Yes. Because we have a deep and abiding commitment to the survival and well being of the Jewish state….
Goldberg: Apart from that, Is it a national security concern of the United States? That is an emotional, spiritual, historical attachment–
Indyk: It’s a national interest of the United States. It’s a vital interest of the United States, that successive presidents have declared, including President Obama.
(Also in the Goldberg interview, at 2:00 or so, Indyk says that Israel will cease to be a Jewish state if it annexes the West Bank and gains millions of Palestinian citizens. So that’s a US national security interest, to stop Israel from changing its character?)
Notwithstanding his commendable question, Jeffrey Goldberg is a longtime supporter of Israel, and once moved there and served in its army. Martin Indyk has long served U.S. presidents, pressed on Clinton by the Israel lobby group AIPAC. At Aspen, Tom Friedman interviewed Salam Fayyad, introduced by Walter Isaacson. The presence of Jews in the U.S. establishment, many of whom are sympathetic to Zionism, is obviously a factor in the structural premise that Indyk states so baldly above. And therefore my question: How important is it when Jews, recognizing the welcome we have gotten as a religious minority in the U.S., walk away from Zionism as an answer to our situation in the west?