I am a strong supporter of Israel, its security and welfare. I have many friends and relatives there. However, I am greatly disappointed at what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman keep telling the rest of the world. They repeat incessantly that settlements are not an obstacle to peace, when the United States, the European Union, the Palestinians, the Arabs, and all say otherwise. Peace is made between two or more parties, not what one side tries to dictate to the other.
Added to this is the sudden introduction of a new Netanyahu/Lieberman demand, that the Palestinians and Arabs recognize Israel as “a Jewish state.” This demand has nothing to do with the so-called right of return because a peace agreement can and should limit any future Palestinian migration to and within the new Palestinian state. This recognition-as-a-Jewish-state demand is used as a poison pill, designed to make fruitful negotiations impossible.
Netanyahu’s demand that the world act assertively against Iran, a totally justifiable demand, is made impotent by his refusal to adhere to the unanimous recommendations of the rest of the world on the settlement issue.
There is a fact that many of us, the Israeli supporters, like to ignore. The extent of anti-Semitism in the whole world has increased greatly since the death of Yitzhak Rabin and the aggressive policies pursued by subsequent Israeli governments. Just as members of the Jewish faith feel a responsibility for the security and welfare of Israel, Israel must feel a corresponding responsibility to the diaspora. Israel’s true supporters should work, as best they can, to bring about more conciliatory and trustworthy statements and actions by the Israeli government. This means that Israel support groups in the United States should be encouraged to stress to the Israeli government that their actions affect Israel supporters throughout the world.