It is remarkable, but perhaps not surprising. Policymakers in Washington understand that the efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table are “utterly stuck”, and they are soberly waiting for changed circumstances (perhaps wanting to see how events in Egypt play out) before re-engaging in the matter.
But in this space, against all evidence and wisdom, those who believe that the Israeli – Palestinian conflict is the lynch-pin of the region’s problems continue to insist that Israel must be pressed. They are doing so explicitly – as Tom Friedman did in a recent column (New York Times), and as did a former National Security Adviser to President Obama in unbelievable fashion at today’s Herzliya Conference. (The Jerusalem Post)
But others are pressing Israel implicitly, producing endless punditry on how “the deal” which “everyone knows” is to be cut, has already been negotiated and just needs to be pushed through. This drumbeat, deliberately being hammered out by The New York Times, began on the Op Ed page in a piece by Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish, and will continue in this Sunday’s NYTimes Magazine with a lengthy essay by Bernard Avishai.
David Suissa aptly cuts through much of this in his recent column in the Jewish Journal.
But in the face of this drumbeat clothed in Israel “friendly” rhetoric, we will have to persistently remind people of good will; it is not Israel that is the obstacle to peace.
To read OU2011’s Convention Resolution on campaigns to de-legitimize Israel, please visit: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions
To listen to OU2011’s IPA conference, please visit: US-Israel Relations
Nathan J. Diament is the director of the OU’s Institute for Public Affairs, developing and coordinating public policy research and initiatives on behalf of the Jewish community