One sentence from David Horovitz’s interview with former ADL head Abraham Foxman last week burned itself so deeply into my retinas that I’m still seeing spots on the left side of my field of political vision. “Israel,” he claims, “is moving to the right…America, its most important, significant ally, is moving leftward.”
Mr. Foxman’s key takeaway from the tsunami of liberalism sweeping America? Israel needs to get on America’s side of history, and reaffirm our support for a two-state solution.
And the fact is, Israel should clearly, immediately, and sincerely reiterate our support for a two-state solution. But we don’t need to do so for the world, and OMG not for America.
We need to do it for us. And, no, it doesn’t matter if it’s currently viable or not.
Here’s Why NOT
We don’t need to support a two-state solution because the UN, the EU or the ICC have some kind of moral high pulpit from which to preach.
Because they SO don’t.
And we don’t need to because we’ll never have normalized relations with our Arab or other neighbors until we do.
Because, well, the Abraham Accords? Economic and geopolitical interests: 1 Ideology: 0.
And we sure as heck don’t need to do so because the American sociopolitical pendulum is swinging so rapidly leftward that Antifa is already planning its own MDMA-fueled naked Capitol-storming Big Lie party.
Because it’s SO not.
In the real America, 80% of Republicans surveyed don’t outright reject the premise of QAnon—which now has as many adherents as there are white evangelical Protestants. The real America is far too busy outlawing abortion, buying guns and investing in bulletproof smiley backpacks to protect their children from school shootings (because, not enough guns, clearly). For most of America, it’s tough to find the time between antisemitic frolicking, restricting minority voting rights and paying off medical debt to live up to Mr. Foxman’s rosy left-leaning vision of the future.
So, no real pressure there.
And we don’t need to pretend that actual progress can be made while Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies continue to barricade themselves in the Mukataa, or while Ben Gvir and his hilltop homies roam the halls of the Knesset looking for Arabs and/or LGBTQ folk to beat up.
Heck, we don’t even need to do it because it’s the right thing to do for the Palestinians – who’ve developed opportunity missing into an art form, invest far more collective energy in self-victimization than in the self-examination needed for society-building, and will likely end up governed by Hamas because of it.
Here’s Why YES
There is one single reason that we need to navigate our ship of state towards a two-state solution despite the dock not yet being viable. We need to do it because the military occupation of nearly three million Palestinians is not a viable, multigenerational solution.
It just isn’t.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m OK with moral gray areas. If occupation could work for another 100 years and carried no international or internal price tag, yalla.
But it won’t. It’s been broken for a long time, and it’s not getting better. And, more importantly, it’s breaking us.
So, yeah, there’s no viable two-state option right now. I get it. But if we can win multiple wars against insurmountable odds, build a tech sector that fuels a powerhouse economy, become the sole superpower in the Levant, conquer Covid and invent Bamba – can’t we at least agree to steer towards the only truly viable port out there, even as we start to look for ways to apply our collective innovation towards helping the other side build a damn dock?