Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

The fraying ties binding the US to Israel

The number of Jewish settlers settled in the West Bank has now more than doubled since the Oslo peace accords were signed in 1993.

But the ground has shifted in America. The unconditional support for the Jewish state has been eroding in critical areas. Nowhere is that clearer than among American Jews, many of whom stayed quiet for so long out of loyalty to the country of Israel and Zionism, even as they grew increasingly disturbed at what was being done in their name by the militarists in Jerusalem.

In Washington, a group of Jews broke the taboo against criticizing Israeli policy and launched J Street, an organization that believes Israel’s security lies in a just peace with the Palestinians. Founded by Jeremy Ben-Ami, a former domestic policy adviser to Bill Clinton with Israeli parents, it drew the backing of an array of community leaders, activists and academics. It reflects the doubts held by a significant proportion of American Jews about Jerusalem’s militarist policies and, in particular, the deep-rooted obsession with settlements.

Buoyed by the certainty that it was irrelevant, Netanyahu dismissed J Street the group as anti-Israeli, and his foreign ministry snubbed a delegation of visiting members of the US Congress sponsored by the Jewish organization. It was a mistake because it only confirmed in the minds of some in Congress and the administration that Israel will only move when pushed.

Some in the US administration are straining at the leash to finally take Netanyahu on and show him the way after continual humiliation of the US president. The question is whether Obama himself is now finally up for the fight.



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