Israel: A Revised View

Israel: A Revised View


Leonard Zwelling

I was wrong.

I had agreed with Tom Friedman’s repeated conclusions that the current struggle in Israel and Gaza marks another chapter in the war between Israel and the Palestinians that dates at least from 1948. Negotiating for a cease fire is the best solution wherein the combatants exchange hostages and a plan for the long-sought Palestinian state is developed while bringing Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords. After all, this is the only reasonable solution, right?

In the eyes of many on the American left and most Democrats this solution being pressed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on behalf of President Biden must be the deal.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is viewed as a blockade to such a deal. And, he is. For a good reason. The Americans have the problem wrong. This is not another chapter in the war between the Palestinians and Israelis. It’s the first chapter in the war between Israel and Iran. Everyone, including the United States is going to have to choose a side.

At our synagogue on February 9, Israeli writer Gadi Taub outlined a very different view and it is the predominant one in Israel among the people.

There cannot be a Palestinian state where people who want to kill Jews can live on Israel’s border.

Many of the remaining hostages are dead. While many in Israel, especially their families, want those living and dead back, there is no stomach for the release of thousands of terrorist prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for the few hostages left. This is a major change in Israeli philosophy.

Finally, Taub describes an Israel in a permanent state of war with Iranian proxies—Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis, and Islamic militias in Syria and Iraq for the foreseeable future. Israel is going to have to defeat each of these enemies and then, hopefully with American help, destroy any Iranian nuclear capability and try to unseat the theocracy in Tehran.

This is reality. There will be no Palestinian state. The only Israeli politician who will entertain such an idea is an Arab. Even the lefties are quiet after October 7.

If Taub is right, Israel will need an American partner who understands the dynamics and stops pushing for a solution that is untenable. That is not Mr. Biden.

I am rethinking many things about now.

As my readers know, I have advocated for a vote for Mr. Biden if he and Mr. Trump go for round two. I now am in great doubt. Neither man will get my vote. I just can’t.

The report about Biden’s documents that criticize his upper cerebral functions is both worrisome and credible. Both of these guys need to step aside, but Trump surely won’t since he thinks he’s winning. And he probably is.

I fear for Israel. I fear for the United States. I do not see a good solution.

What I do know is that Mr. Blinken and Mr. Biden have the problem all wrong. Their deal is a non-starter in Israel. That Biden doesn’t see this is indicative of his real cerebral dysfunction. It may or may not be age related. Regardless, what he wants won’t fly in Israel until Hamas is no longer a factor.

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