"That’s why I think the most important thing Obama could do on his trip is to publicly and privately ask every Israeli official he meets these questions:
'Please tell me how your relentless settlement drive in the West Bank does not end up with Israel embedded there — forever ruling over 2.5 million Palestinians with a colonial-like administration that can only undermine Israel as a Jewish democracy and delegitimize Israel in the world community? I understand why Palestinian dysfunction and the Arab awakening make you wary, but still. Shouldn’t you be constantly testing and testing whether there is a Palestinian partner for a secure peace? After all, you have a huge interest in trying to midwife a decent West Bank Palestinian state that is modern, multireligious and pro-Western — a totally different model from the Muslim Brotherhood variants around you. Everyone is focused on me and what will I do. But, as a friend, I just want to know one thing: What is your long-term strategy? Do you even have one?'"
Some quick answers for Tom:
- With respect to Israel's so-called "relentless settlement drive in the West Bank," built-up settlement area comprises less than two percent of the West Bank, most of which is expected to be retained pursuant to any two-state solution involving land swaps.
- There is currently no Palestinian "partner" willing to accept Israel as a Jewish state.
- "A decent West Bank Palestinian state that is modern, multireligious and pro-Western"? Hey, Friedman, what are you smoking?
- Israel's "long-term strategy"? Easy: survival.