MJ Rosenberg is known to regulars of this blog for his 2006 statement openly endorsing dictatorships for over 100 million non-Jewish people in Israel's region to protect Israel.
Jordan, for instance, is not a democracy in the western sense but it is precisely the kind of neighbor Israel needs. Egypt is not a democracy but is at peace with Israel. A democratic Egypt probably would not be.His original statement is no longer linkable. He was quite proud of the statement at the time.
Arnold, you are right. I think that a democratic Egypt could very well repudiate the peace treaty with Israel leading to war, major Israeli (and potentially American) losses and even the end of the Jewish state. Sorry, that is too high a price to pay.In a new article, he describes a legislative process where mostly unconcerned US congresspeople endorse whatever they are told to endorse by AIPAC because the alternative would be to lose campaign financing at best or to have an opponent funded sufficiently to remove them from office.
Posted by M.J. Rosenberg
January 3, 2007 9:34 AM
Besides, and I say this with two decades of experience working on Capitol Hill, very few senators or House members care very much about Israel (or the Palestinians) one way or another. Why stick your neck out over an issue that is not very important to you?There are certainly US congresspeople who are as sure that Netanyahu's vision for Israel is correct as Netanyahu is. Netanyahu's vision is basically that the United States suppress the hundreds of millions of of people of Israel's region who are not Jewish on Israel's behalf forever.
This indifference to Israel (and the Palestinians) is one of the secrets of the lobby's success. It is also one of the reason J Street has had such a hard time making inroads on the Hill. The J Street approach requires actually caring about Israel and crafting a U.S. strategy that help would ensure its survival. The lobby approach requires reading AIPAC talking points into the Congressional Record and voting "aye" every time an AIPAC bill comes up. If one does not care much one way or another, why stand up against one of the most powerful interest groups Washington has ever known?
Think of it this way. If you had a sibling or a child in Congress and he or she asked you if he should just go along with AIPAC or bravely resist (risking campaign donations), what would you say?
Netanyahu's vision is kind of Israel's only hope. Rosenberg's and Obama's idea that once there are two states, the colonial structure that now includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and others will either be unnecessary or easier to maintain is very likely to prove false if the people of the region ever get to vote on their government's policies.
The Palestinian people are clearly being put under duress. They are being told that if they do not vote the way Israel and the United States prefer, they will go hungry as is happening in Gaza. If a vote is ever reached, and the people of Palestine under those terms vote to accept reservations more onerous than those Nelson Mandela and the ANC rejected, the result of that vote likely will not be considered valid and therefore will still require the same colonial structure to enforce it that the US is expending a tremendous amount of resources holding in place today.
The two state solution doesn't really make sense, and its job is not really to make sense. The purpose of the peace process and the two state is to shield people like MJ Rosenberg and Barack Obama from the implications of the reality that pro-Israel US Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen - one of many US congresspeople who clearly are familiar with and directly concerned about Israel - and Benjamin Netanyahu intend for the US to hold the colonial structure that Rosenberg approves of forever.
Barack Obama claims to see the Rosenberg's approved colonial structure that the US has held in place for the last 60 years as a temporary situation that does not align perfectly with the US' long term values.
There will be times when our short-term interests do not align perfectly with our long-term vision of the regionThis is what Barack Obama needs to believe to continue to support Israel and the dictatorships Israel needs to remain viable while at the same time believing that he is not just a black-skinned Bill Clinton, Cecil Rhodes or Winston Churchill.
Rosenberg is right. Netanyahu's path will lead to the end of Zionism's viability. Ros-Lehtinen is also right. Rosenberg's path would lead to the end of Zionism's viability. If the United States is unwilling or unable to be a permanent Middle East colonial power, then Israel, or Zionism is not viable.
Rosenberg's dispute with AIPAC is over the proposition that Israel's supporters should at least lie to Israel's American sponsors. At least let them think wrongly that they aren't working to permanently keep the region politically in the 1800s. Netanyahu believes that Israel's supporters have the votes that they don't need the lie of a peace process. Netanyahu expects the United States, on Israel's behalf, to permanently suppress the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Barack Obama is acting like he is stupid enough to continue to fall for this lie. Maybe he thinks it would be anti-Semitic to do otherwise. Or maybe he really is stupid enough. There is no indication that he examined these issues closely before he ran for president and he is now surrounded by true believers.
AIPAC and J-Street, are both ultimately betting that the US will never lose the ability and capacity to shield Israel from its region that does not believe it is legitimate. I don't think that is a safe bet for the long term.
On the other hand, but Rosenberg and Netanyahu would rather see the US/Zionist colonial structure last for as long as possible. Even when it eventually fails, the 5.7 million Jews of Palestine would have gotten more years out of the Zionist enterprise, at the expense of the non-Jews of the region, than they could have hoped for without pliable US leaders.