I admit I’m a bit surprised that Goldberg is willing to acknowledge the reality that it’s Israel, and not the Palestinians, that poses the greatest threat to a peaceful two-state solution and to its own national security — but hey, better late than never:
Gen. David Petraeus caused a bit of a storm recently when he linked the impasse in Middle East peacemaking (“impasse” might be too soft a word, actually) to various difficulties America faces in the Muslim world: “Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world.”
Important voices in the pro-Israel community criticized Petraeus for this statement, but earlier today I spoke to the leader of a Jewish organization who said he agreed with Petraeus’s analysis. This leader spoke to me on condition of anonymity because he said his membership might not be as “advanced” on this issue as he is. …
“General Petraeus is right. We can’t get around that. He is, essentially, the American ambassador to the Arab world, and to the Muslim world beyond it. The State Department has ambassadors on the ground, but Petraeus is something above ambassador, and when he goes around the Middle East he meets ferquently with heads of state, and from what I understand, he hears quite often about settlements on the West Bank and about what the Arabs call Israeli intransigence, and occasionally his interlocutors answer his requests for help on various issues by saying, ‘Let’s see what you guys do on the Palestinian question and then we’ll see what we can do for you on your problems.’
Whoever this anonymous “leader of a Jewish organization” is, kudos to him for his honesty. I hope the day will soon come when he can say these things without fearing repercussions from the organization he works for.
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