Some weeks ago, Michael Lerner of Tikkun wrote an article entitled “How the anti-Israel Left helps perpetuate the occupation“.
Lerner is an easy target, and indeed it wouldn’t be totally incorrect to include him in the “anti-Israel Left” that he talks about. I can’t resist pointing out that here we have Lerner, who claims to be pro-Israel, upset with anti-Israel people not because they advocate the replacement of Israel with an Arab state, but because they might (inadvertently) be pro-occupation. Is the continued occupation worse than the elimination of Israel?
What I do not understand about Lerner and other ‘pro-Israel’ people who are obsessed with ending the occupation, is what exactly they think Israel should do instead. I am willing to bet that if Israelis could push a button which would end the occupation of the West Bank without imperiling their lives or the existence of the state, a huge majority of them would push it in an eyeblink.
Boker tov [good morning], Michael: did you notice that Israel ended the occupation of Gaza? Did it reduce terrorism from there? Did it help the Palestinians who live there? Did it improve the security of the state of Israel?
Lerner and others would probably respond that the problem was that Israel can’t just pull out, there have to be negotiations, ‘coordination’ with the Palestinians, a solution of the refugee problem, etc.
Well, we weren’t able to do it in 2000, although we tried. It was an honest try, despite the fact that the Palestinians lied about it afterwards. And if you want to know why it didn’t work in 2000, see my previous post about Abbas and Camp David. If anything, Palestinian positions have hardened since then, with the advent of the Hamas-led government.
So Israel simply doesn’t have a choice today other than to maintain the occupation. The alternative is a terror infrastructure developing within minutes of Israel’s population centers and international airport, replete with tunnels, bunkers, anti-aircraft weapons, short-range ground-to-ground missiles, and incursions across the border to kill or kidnap Israelis.
If Michael Lerner has a solution — some formula for peace that the Palestinians could sincerely commit to and which wouldn’t compromise Israel’s security — then he should transmit it to the PM immediately.
Otherwise, his demands to end the occupation are no more constructive than those of the anti-Israel Left that he criticizes.