Wednesday, March 05, 2014

US diplomacy

"Israelis usually do far better than Arabs in these contests. Just look at what happened after the 2000 Camp David talks: Although President Bill Clinton promised the Palestinians they would not be blamed should negotiations fail, that was just what he did as soon as the summit ended. Regardless of what Obama or Kerry would do if these negotiations fail, many U.S. politicians can be counted on to quickly embrace the Israeli version of events.

But as soon as the dust settles, the end of the two-state solution will exert a powerful transformation on American attitudes. For U.S. officials, the effect would be paralyzing -- American leaders simply wouldn't know what to advocate if two states were not on the table. At the moment, it is not politically feasible to advocate for a one-state solution with equal citizenship, nor accept a permanent occupation or Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories without equal citizenship.

This dilemma may partially be driving Washington's current diplomatic push. And if the Obama administration's efforts fail, it is unlikely that American leaders would do anything but pretend that the two-state solution was still on the table. No American politician wants to choose between Israel's democracy and its Jewishness -- even if the polls show that the choice is clear to the American people. "