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Andrew Sullivan on Netanyahu’s relentless war against moderation and the Middle East peace process:
The Obama goal was simple: win back global soft power in the war against Jihadist terrorism by demonstrating even-handedness again with the Israelis and Palestinians; use hard power much more effectively by lethally targeting al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The latter has been a big success. The former a major failure – fundamentally caused, as Judis beautifully explains, by Netanyahu’s adamant resistance to any serious attempt at a two-state solution on 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps, the only formula with any chance of success.
The more Israel resists meaningful diaglogue with the Palestinians and the more it twists the Obama Administration’s arm to enable its behavior, the bigger the backlash will be down the line. Israel is becoming dangerously isolationist under Netanyahu’s extremist tenure and it is finding international support evaporating at an alarming rate. The world is on the side of the Palestinians, and as independence movements flourish across the Middle East, the balance of power in the region could tip at any point. The US cannot afford to play this game for much longer – its interests in the region do not lie with an extremist Israel, and at some point it will have to draw the line to prevent its relations with the rest of the region disintegrating. And then Israel will have to fend for itself, a task it is simply incapable of.
Israel must be saved from itself, and the only way that can happen is with strong US discipline. Military aid must be threatened and they must be told the peace process is non negotiable. It is time for the US to show who’s boss before it really is too late.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.