The Pro-Israel Lobby And The New Israel

In a response to Dowd, Goldblog acknowledges:

It is undeniably true that Jewish fundamentalists wield disproportionate power in Israeli decision-making; it is true that a small minority -- fundamentalist settlers -- has kept Israel entangled in the lives of the Palestinians on the West Bank; it is true that, because of the power of the Orthodox rabbinate, it is easier in some ways to be Jewish in America than in the Jewish state (Just ask women who try to pray at the Western Wall.) All this is not to say that Israel isn't still the most enlightened democracy in the Middle East, but there's not much of a competition. And it should be cause for deep worry when the Saudis -- not especially known for their liberalism -- have a point about illiberal Israel.

What I found telling was MoDo's more recent column in which she came up with the following brilliant formulation that reflects on the pro-Israel voices so over-represented in the MSM punditariat:

Obama created an obstacle for himself by demanding that Israel stop expanding settlements when it was not going to do so even though it should and when that wasn’t the most important condition to Arabs.

Got that? Now I have no idea what Maureen means when she says that a settlement freeze "wasn’t the most important condition to Arabs." Much that I've read seemed to suggest that the various Sunni Arab regimes were looking for precisely a freezing of further Israeli colonization of the West Bank as proof that Obama really was going to break from the whatever-Israel-wants policy of the previous eight years.

But notice that it is Obama's fault for asking an alleged ally merely to freeze - not reverse - construction settlement as a good faith gesture to the peace process and as a favor to the US in trying to recapture the role of an honest broker in the region. It is not Israel's fault - even though Maureen thinks Israel should have done it.

Nothing illustrates better the total bizarreness of the US-Israel relationship. No one in Washington - apart from a few Likudniks and Palinite end-timers - actually supports more settlements or any settlements i the West Bank. At the same time, Washington exercizes a UN veto to protect Israel from international law, funnels a vast amount of foreign and military aid to the country, helped finance the pulverization of Gaza last year, provides absurd international cover for Israel's 150 nukes, has worked tirelessly to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capacity, and on and on.

In return? Fuck you, Obama. To which the overwhelming response in Washington is: Obama screwed up.

There is something completely awry here and it has rarely been more evident than in the last twelve months.