Stephen M. Walt has made a very level-headed response to Michael Oren’s arguments in favor of the “special relationship” between the US and Israel, specifically America’s unconditional financial and diplomatic support for Israel.
If you aren’t planning to read the whole article, this last paragraph almost says it all. Walt quotes then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s take on the Israel-Palestine issue (stated in 2007):
“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights,” then “the state of Israel is finished.” If this regrettable event were to occur, future historians will render a harsh verdict on anyone who helped derail or delay those peace efforts, including official propagandists like Ambassador Oren.
I have tremendous respect for what the people of Israel accomplished following the Second World War. Merely surviving as a nation would have been remarkable, but they’ve done much more than that, to the point where they have exceptional power to impose their will in the region. But it is clear that the seemingly ever-more-conservative nature of its internal politics is insulating it from understanding that peace and compromise would be good for Israel. Peace without compromise would not, because the imposition of one’s will through overwhelming power will not be a way of doing business in the 21st Century*.
* – I’d wager Syria and Bahrain will be made to realize this before the century is through.
The photograph: Banksy in Palestine