There is a constant effort – especially by the anti-Israel Left (and also by its
anti- Semitic portions) to portray those who express mainstream public and
professional Israeli views as “right-wing” or “Likudnik.”
This leads me
to wonder what one would have to say to please these people. What would be
centrist? What would be the equivalent of “liberal?” I presume one would have to
say that US President Barack Obama is the best American president for Israel
ever (even he says so!), and that there are no problems in the US-Israel
relationship. Furthermore, even if there were to be problems, they would be
entirely due to the Israeli government’s selfish, short-sighted and unreasonable
To them, the only acceptable liberal view would state that
peace with the Palestinians could be achieved within a few months if only Israel
would make a few more concessions and stop being so belligerent and stubborn.
The Palestinian Authority wouldn’t even have to change any of its policies,
wouldn’t have to stop anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement or admit openly,
clearly and in Arabic that the Jews have a right to an independent country in
the historic land of Israel, nor would the Palestinians be required to negotiate
or compromise. Israelis should never talk about these things.
the only acceptable liberal view is that the PA sincerely wants peace, and if
given the West Bank plus a corridor to the Gaza Strip and all of east Jerusalem
it would be a reliable partner and keep all of its commitments. In exchange for
a peace agreement, Israel should withdraw to the 1967 borders with minor
modifications and dismantle all settlements. But to ask for recognition by the
PA of Israel as a Jewish state, prior agreement to resettle all Palestinian
refugees in Palestine (or where they are living now), and demilitarization are
unreasonable demands and should be dropped because these demands only block
IF ALL the above were to happen, the liberal view must be that the
Middle East would become quiet and peaceful. Islamists would either become
moderate or lose support. Terrorism against the West would cease and America
would be very popular, nor is the PA-Hamas partnership really a problem, because
once there is a peace agreement, Hamas will give up its goal of wiping Israel
off the map and there will be no more rocket, mortar, or cross-border attacks.
But if Hamas does attack Israel from the Gaza Strip then Israel shouldn’t
retaliate since to do so would inevitably involve disproportionate force and
hurt Palestinian civilians.
The failure of Western countries to keep
their commitments to Israel in 2006 to keep Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon
and stop arms smuggling is unimportant, and Israel should not mention
That fact is unimportant and should not influence Israel’s thinking
or actions, and neither should the experiences of the 1990s peace process and
2000 Camp David meeting.
As for Islamist takeovers in Egypt, Tunisia and
Libya, Israel really has nothing to fear. The Muslim Brotherhood is really
moderate, and Israel should stop talking about a supposed threat from these
groups. It is up to Israel to patch up relations with Egypt and it should not be
concerned about cross-border terrorist attacks, repeated assaults on the natural
gas pipeline or the governmentpermitted mob takeover of the Israeli Embassy in
Cairo. Perhaps Israel should agree to renegotiate the Egypt-Israel peace
Same with regard to Turkey.
Israel should apologize to
Ankara for letting IDF soldiers defend themselves after being attacked by jihadi
terrorists on the Mavi Marmara.
It should pay compensation to the
families of the attackers and allow the whole-scale import of advanced weaponry
to the Gaza Strip. The collapse of the Israel- Turkey relationship was
completely Israel’s fault.
Israel should give up any option of attacking
Iran’s nuclear weapons’ facilities at any time, not only now to prevent Tehran
from getting such weapons but presumably in the future as well if there is a
perceived threat from Iran. Instead, Israel should depend on US protection. If
Iran hits Israel with nuclear weapons, the United States will then (probably?)
I HONESTLY don’t think I’ve exaggerated the attitudes of
American and European leftists (including many Jews) about “proper” Israeli
Strangely, I don’t see the Kadima or Labor parties adopting such
a program. It would be amusing to survey random Israeli pedestrians on the
street in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem about what they think of the “liberal” plan for
As always, since the mainstream Western media generally does not
allow a real response to the ridiculousness of the program for Israel it so
often advocates you won’t be reading any of the points made above there. People
will just be left to believe that the current government is just unreasonably
reactionary; that most Israelis support Obama (or that they deserve what they
get if they don’t); and that the region would be just fine if only Israel would
let the American far- Left choose its government.
Indeed, if any
left-wing blog mentions this article it will only be to brand it
The writer is director of the Global Research in
International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and a featured columnist at Pajamas Media.
His new book,
Israel: An Introduction, will be published by Yale University
Press in January.