The Settlers’ Achievement


Goldblog takes stock:

Their greatest achievement … is in the interconnected realms of ideology and propaganda. The settlement movement, its supporters, and its apologists (in Israel and in America) have successfully conflated support for their movement with support for Israel and for Zionism itself. They have created a reality in which criticism of the settlement movement has come to equal criticism of Israel. … It is astonishing that what was once so small a movement now defines what it means to be a supporter of Israel.

That is one of the lessons I have learned from the latest round of grinding conflict on this. Israel now means for a critical mass of Israelis a state from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan. Borders they defended with brilliance and vigor and ease in 1967 are now "indefensible" – but the vulnerable spaghetti of settlements on the West Bank are allegedly integral to security. But they are obviously very vulnerable as is. And it seems very likely that the only way to defend them permanently is annexation of the whole West Bank. What scales were left have therefore dropped from my eyes. Israel has moved past a two-state solution, and has done so through these cumulative facts on the ground and the rise of Jewish fundamentalism and American Christianism. I do not see how this will be easily reversed, and with every day, this new reality gets set in the concrete and stones of new settlements.

It is a different country now. The UN vote will be bitterly isolating and destabilizing, but a country with 150 nuclear warheads, the best military in the region by far, and a willingness to kill countless civilians as collateral damage in a war with Hamas is not going anywhere. The question is whether the US wants to jeopardize its global standing, destroy the promise of the Obama presidency, and betray the nascent Arab democracies in favor of a staunch, impenetrable, inviolable defense of Greater Israel. Any other question is becoming delusional, alas.