Monday, September 07, 2009

Israel roundup: Friends shouldn't let friends drive drunk

Three related articles in Ha'artez let us understand even better why Israel needs to face more international pressure, starting with the US, to stop building settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Still, there is hope that Obama can force Israeli leadership to realize there is another moment for peace with Palestinian Arab leaders. Arab leaders are telling the Obama administration they will normalize relations with Israel if it would simply freeze all settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

This is Israel's moment of choosing. Which will its leaders choose? Move toward peace with the Palestinians, or continue what may end up being a 100 years' war? The US has an interest here in promoting peace, and Obama can multi-task and take the opportunity.

I'd consider supporting a boycott of Israel if it was narrowly focused on pushing for a true settlement building freeze. But from what I see, the calls for boycotts against Israel are too often promoted by people who really hate the essence of Israel--and I have strongly opposed a boycott for that primary reason. Perhaps Peace Now America can take up the idea of more limited in focus boycott designed to push Netanyahu to stop building more settlements? Sadly, I hold no hope for that...The way to pressure Israel will start at the levels of the Obama administration, and we may watch for the first time, American Jews starting to pressure the organizations that speak in their name to support the president--again to say we are friends of Israel, and will no longer let Israel drive drunk.

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