Tuesday May 21, 2013
Thomas L. Friedman: President Is BusyNY Times Op-Ed by Thomas L. Friedman
If Israelis want to escape that fate, it is very important that they understand that we’re not your grandfather’s America anymore.
(WASHINGTON DC) - I've long been a big time fan of Thomas L. Friedman and his new article on Israel reminds me why. Never before has the need for logic and good sense been more critical, this writer explains how changes in this world and the U.S. in particular, have led to a new day in our understanding of the conflict in the Holy Land. Is it about survival or conquest? This seems to be one of the major pressing questions; Israel needs to play fair and allow people who are not of the perfect Jewish/Israeli mold to also prosper, this means non-Jews and it means Black Jews from different parts of Africa who are dealing with white supremacy in the land of David, who could predict that?
ISRAELI friends have been asking me whether a re-elected President Obama will take revenge on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for the way he and Sheldon Adelson, his foolhardy financier, openly backed Mitt Romney. My answer to Israelis is this: You should be so lucky.
You should be so lucky that the president feels he has the time, energy and political capital to spend wrestling with Bibi to forge a peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I don’t see it anytime soon. Obama has his marching orders from the American people: Focus on Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, not on Bethlehem, Palestine, and focus on getting us out of quagmires (Afghanistan) not into them (Syria). No, my Israeli friends, it’s much worse than you think: You’re home alone.
Of course, no one here will tell you that. To the contrary, there will surely be a new secretary of state visiting you next year with the umpteenth road map for “confidence-building measures” between Israelis and Palestinians. He or she may even tell you that “this is the year of decision.” Be careful. We’ve been there before. If you Google “Year of decision in the Middle East,” you’ll get more than 100,000,000 links.
Is this good for Israel? No. It is unhealthy. The combination of America’s internal focus, the post-Arab awakening turmoil and the exhaustion of Palestinians means Israel can stay in the West Bank indefinitely at a very low short-term cost but at a very high long-term cost of losing its identity as a Jewish democracy. If Israelis want to escape that fate, it is very important that they understand that we’re not your grandfather’s America anymore.
Read the NY Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/opinion/sunday/friedman-president-obama-is-busy.html?_r=0
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