Quote of the Day: Self Harming Israel
Andrew Sullivan decries Israel’s self harming policies that he believes will eventually lead to its demise:
Without diplomacy toward a two-state solution, we are looking at a lifetime of constant Israeli warfare against all of its neighbors, deeper isolation in the region (with Turkey and Egypt already fast moving away) and growing international pariah status as Greater Israel becomes more fundamentalist and less democratic. And at some point, as America’s energy revolution leaves us less and less exposed to Middle East oil, and as the national interest becomes more attuned to events in Asia and the Pacific, and as the occupation turns Israel into the South Africa of the 21st Century, the Jewish state will become a self-evident burden for America, spawning terror and conflict and anti-Americanism as far as the eye can see. If all Israel can count on then are America’s Christianists and the current GOP, if they continue to spurn American attempts to unwind the conflict by undoing the settlements, then Israelis should be genuinely afraid for their future. I sure am.
They are slowly preparing for national suicide – both in how they operate within the land they control and beyond it. Obama has tried to save them. But you cannot save those who refuse to save themselves.
The South Africa comparison is hard for many people to swallow, but it is an accurate one. The behavior of the Jewish state is in some ways worse than the apartheid government was in South Africa. As Yitzhak Laor wrote in Haaretz:
The system preserving this apartheid is more ruthless than that seen in South Africa, where the black were a labor force and could therefore also make a living. It is equipped with the lie of being “temporary.” Occasionally, Israel’s indifference comes up with allegations against the Palestinians.
Abba Eban captured the allegation by coining a phrase repeated by the doves of all parties, who never really went to battle over Israel’s future and allowed the “settlement project” to spread. After all, occupation makes Israelis richer. Why oppose it?
The World Bank recently warned Israel that its continued occupation and control of the Palestinian economy is having a devastating effect, particularly given Israel is rapidly expanding into some of Palestine’s most fertile land. As the Independent reports:
Palestinian investment is almost totally barred in Area C, even though Palestinians could reap substantial revenues if they were permitted to develop it, the bank said. Israeli industrial settlements in the West Bank are said to produce £185m worth of goods for export to Europe.
This of course, is outright theft. Israel has no right to this land, and to rob Palestinians of precious natural resources is to destroy what is left of their already bleak future. But as Sullivan points out, this overt colonization and continued violence unleashed upon dissent only isolates Israel further, and at some point their situation will become untenable. South Africa was forced to give up apartheid when a mixture of economic changes, international pressure and serious domestic upheaval conspired to make the racist government unsustainable. And so too will Israel’s when events out of its control culminate, and it finally realizes it can no longer behave with impunity.