But diplomatic miracles require serious commitment by the relevant leaders, and we have an intransigent Israeli leadership that's essentially fully supported by the United States, including both major parties. Their only real options now for the long term seem to be apartheid, for which much of the infrastructure is in place, or an Israel no longer constituted as a Jewish state in the way that it has been since its founding.
John Mearsheimer writes about Pillar of Defence in A Pillar Built on Sand LRB Blog 11/16/2012:
Nevertheless, Pillar of Defence will not achieve its ultimate goal of getting the Palestinians to abandon their pursuit of self-determination and accept living under the heel of the Israelis. That is simply not achievable; the Palestinians are never going to accept being consigned to a handful of enclaves in an apartheid state. Regrettably, that means Pillar of Defence is unlikely to be the last time Israel bombards Gaza.Presumably Olmert meant finished as a Jewish state.
Over the long term, however, the bombing campaigns may come to an end, because it is not clear that Israel will be able to maintain itself as an apartheid state. As well as resistance from the Palestinians, Israel has to face the problem that world opinion is unlikely to back an apartheid state. Ehud Olmert said in November 2007, when he was prime minister, that if ‘the two-state solution collapses’ Israel will ‘face a South-African-style struggle’, and ‘as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.’ One would think Israel’s leaders would appreciate where they are headed and allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own.
Stephen Walt points to the early similarities of the Pillar of Defence operation to the Operation Cast Lead operation against Gaza in 2008-9, What if powerful Palestinians were bombing weak Israelis? Foreign Policy 11/15/2012.
One reason that US policy toward Israel's military actions in Gaza is so supportive and uncritical, despite the fact that they are a real problem for the US in the Muslim world, is that disproportionate and lawless behavior has become increasingly normalized in American actions. Gareth Porter's report on the leveling of an Iraqi village is an illustration of this: Broadwell Defended Petraeus’ Village Destruction Policy Inter Press Service 11/15/2012.
Tags: israel, palestine