Saturday, January 05, 2013

Jeremy J Street and Israeli Democracy

Naftali Bennet is upsetting Jeremy Ben-Ami:

The real story of the Israeli election scheduled for Jan. 22 is the meteoric rise of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) Party and its new leader, Naftali Bennett. Likely to head the second- or third-largest party in the next Knesset, Bennett advocates immediate annexation of 60 percent of the West Bank.

Gone from Israel’s next government will be any semblance of a moderate voice favoring a two-state solution. Instead, the ruling coalition will feature leaders such as Moshe Feiglin, a firebrand who wants to rebuild a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, denigrates Muslims and democracy and suggests paying Palestinian families to emigrate.

And Jeremy J Street then extends sympathy for the Pals:-

Also awaiting Obama’s new team will be a clear message from the Palestinian leaders who still believe in two states: President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. [do they, really?] Without immediate, meaningful diplomatic action to bring about two states, they will say, talking about a two-state solution while Israel settles the land where Palestinians look to build their state is no longer a viable option.

He notes:-

The Obama team’s understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and what needs to be done to solve it, has to catch up with these new realities.

But, of course, he doesn't like or supports a democratic decision by Israel's electorate:

Sadly, many in the nation’s capital remain convinced that Israel is simply building on land that “everyone knows” it will ultimately keep. In their view, the present settlement-building frenzy should not be a problem for Palestinians.

Even Shiloh stars:

Construction and planning are taking place in areas far outside the “consensus” blocs that President Bill Clinton envisioned remaining with Israel in 2000. From construction in Shiloh and Beit El, to accrediting a national university in the outlying settlement of Ariel, to planning to develop the E-1 area east of Jerusalem, the government of Israel is unrelentingly establishing that it has no interest in the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Jeremy J Street should know that even Ehud Olmert knew E1 would be Israeli in the end.

If Jeremy does mention the term "settlement", it's not a Jewish residential community but

No, [Obama] cannot impose a settlement...Obama must go to the region early in his second term and, backed by the entire international community, lay out the parameters for resolving the conflict, a credible timeline and a process for mediated discussions that assures both sides their concerns will be heard.  He and the world need to exert meaningful pressure on both sides to decide whether they will accept the well-known terms of a viable two-state solution.

Nodding to democracy, he ends:

Israelis will have to decide between leaders such as Feiglin and Bennett, who say no to compromise and peace, and those who — like all six of Israel’s living internal security chiefs — are willing to lead the way to a two-state solution. Palestinians will have to decide between leaders such as Abbas and Fayyad, who believe in nonviolence and diplomacy, and Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel’s existence. 

Forget his anathema to "right-wing Zionism".  The problem with Jeremy J Street is his empathy for the Pals.

Of course, he will explain that the only way Israel can exist, in his opinion, is if the Pals. accept the concept of peace - which they will never do, well, not in the way we understand it, - and, in order for that to happen, Israel must take steps which I think, and, it seems, a great many Israelis agree, endanger its current security  and future existence.

But Jeremy J Street expresses himself in the Washington Post and I express myself here.


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