BLOG 273 October 5, 2015
Barring some unforeseen huge political shift, the negotiations with Iran will be approved and go into effect. This entire episode has been a monumental strain on the American Jewish community as well as for many Americans. President Obama told 22 Jewish leaders at the White House on August 4, that failure to approve the agreement would pressure the US into a war with Iran. The not-so-subtle suggestion was the US Jews could end up being held accountable for dragging the US into a war. This has created severe tensions in the Jewish community between those who support the agreement and those who stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opposition. Most feel the struggle is now a “done-deal”.
Jewish attorney Alan Dershowitz suggests that we should neither demonize nor lionize Obama. He feels Obama has not treated his relationship with Netanyahu in a mature or productive manner. Dershowitz is also critical of Obama’s suspicion that Netanyahu doesn’t want a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. However, he feels there is far too much extremism at work in these reactions. Well then, what is the real possible quid pro quo coming up for Israel? What will Netanyahu’s opposition to the Iranian agreement cost Israel?
An assumption has existed that any threat from the agreement to Israel or increased pressure from Hamas and Hezbollah will be met by increased armaments. But is this the “real deal?”
Insiders believe this present situation is only the first step in a rapprochement with Iran that will end in the creation of a Palestinian state during Obama’s final years in the White House. In their view Israel is the intransigent and immoral party in the dispute. As this issue is pressed back and forth, the often missed point in all of the problems of the Middle East from ISIS to the Sunni-Shi’ite wars, is that Israel has nothing to do with any of this conflict beyond being a scapegoat. The Iranian nuclear deal is not about The Bomb as much as it is strengthening Shi’ite Iran as a counterweight to balance the power of the Sunni Gulf states. Then, the pressure will be on to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Israel would then be pressured to negotiate a settlement. The vise will tighten. (Or the armaments won’t be shipped.) Quid pro quo.
What is missed in all of these calculations is that many voices doubt that a two-state solution will ever be a viable possibility. The economic viability of a Palestinian state is virtually never discussed. The tax base is almost non-existent and collection of taxes extremely relaxed. They have almost no money to run a state at this time.
In Padraig O’Malley’s book The Two-State Delusion, he notes that Palestinians view a free-standing state only as preparation for the next phase which is the liberating of all of Palestine –or pushing Israel into the sea. By contrast, Israeli Jews support a Palestinian state only with Israeli troops on their soil. O’Malley argues effectively that a two-state solution is a delusion. He concludes, “Ain’t gonna happen.”
If any of these projections are correct, there is significant turmoil ahead.