Last night, I watched “The Gatekeepers“, a devastating documentary featuring several Shin Bet leaders over the last few decades. These men – the most hardened, realist, patriots – all acknowledge that the occupation is killing Israel’s soul, security and global support. All tactics, no strategy, as one puts it.
There is, it seems to me, no neutral ground on this. Either the settlements must be stopped and reversed or the US must cut its ties to Israel. Yet neither will happen ever. Perhaps there is some moral preening in opposing the settlements, as I do, while knowing that none of this matters, that the brutality will continue, and our complicity in it will be as “unbreakable” and “eternal” as the alliance Obama is currently toasting. But what else can one do?
The alternative for a writer like me is total disengagement, an acceptance that this deliberate immiseration and humiliation of an entire people is now simply part of what it means to be an American. My fear – and it is echoed by the former leaders of the Shin Bet – is that this acceptance will not end the reckoning that will come from doing nothing. Maybe Rabin was the last chance. But it is increasingly hard to believe otherwise.