Comment: Zionism and freedom of action

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Zionism and freedom of action

If Israel did not receive American assistance there might be some increased freedom to act without American political pressure, but that freedom would not be infinite. The Israeli government has a right to make strategic choices about how to deal with Arabs and Iranians but those choices are limited to things which are are legally and morally permissible for governments to do. For example, an Israeli government that rejected all foreign aid would not acquire a right to send Palestinians to concentration camps. Genocide is illegal and immoral whether you take aid or not. An Israeli government that chose to go to war with Iran would be obligated to prove that its actions were in self defense and that nothing short of war would be adequate for the purpose of self defense.

When it comes to dealing with the Palestinians there are only a few major options that fall within the realm of what is acceptable.

One of these is called the "one state solution" in which Israel would get to keep the maximum amount of territory by annexing the entire West Bank but would have to grant Israeli citizenship to all of the Arabs living in such territory. A likely consequence of this is that Israel would eventually cease to be a Jewish majority country.

The second choice is called the "two state solution" in which Israel gives up the West Bank and Gaza and allows the Palestinians to have an independent state. The principal obstacle to this is that for the last several decades the Israeli government has been aggressively building settlements for the purpose of establishing a large Jewish population on land which would need to be part of a viable Palestinian state. It is Netanyahu's refusal to stop building settlements that has caused the breakdown in negotiations and the decision by the Palestinian Authority to go to the United Nations to demand recognition as a state. If Obama were a competent leader and had some political fortitude he would inform the Israelis that continuing current policy would result in a cutoff of American taxpayer assistance. There is no reason why we should be subsidizing things that are not in our interests. Then again, if Obama were doing his job properly, I wouldn't need Ron Paul.

There are some pessimists who think it is already too late for a two state solution and that the Israeli settlement policy has proceeded so far that it is no longer possible to construct a viable Palestinian state on the land that remains. If this is true, then the Israelis will eventually be forced to live with a one state solution.

That is a choice they have a right to make but it is not one that we should be asked to pay for.