“How to Save Israel in Spite of Herself”, the theme for this blog, comes from the title of an article written by the renowned diplomat, George W. Ball, in the April 1977 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, in which he criticized U.S. Middle East policy and recommended that the U.S. use its vast power and influence to force Israel to abandon the territories it conquered and occupied during the 1967 Six Day War, namely Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Syria’s Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza strip portions of Palestine, and enter into a permanent peace settlement with the Arab nations and allow the Palestinians to have the land and country of their own promised them in the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
I am a semi-retired attorney whose interest in Israel and the Middle East peace process stems from hearing stories from and about my father who played a major part in Israel’s formation by flying Jews from all over the world to Israel in 1948-49. He was described by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, as Israel’s “Irish Moses”, hence the title of my blog. In 2004, just a year before his death, my father was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for “his heroic efforts that helped to rescue tens of thousands of Jews”.
Paradoxically, my father became very critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians in his later years, and refused an invitation to attend ceremonies in Israel celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence in 1997. His refusal and criticism of Israeli policies sparked my interest in the current Israeli-Arab conflict over Palestine.
While I clearly have a strong and critical view of Israel’s post-1967 Six Day War conduct and annexation and settlement policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, like my father I remain a strong supporter of Israel and firmly believe the U.S. has a moral obligation to protect Israel’s existence from any foreign threat.
However, I also agree with George Ball’s prescient article written some 33 years ago, that Israel’s illegal settlements and annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem are causing great harm to U.S. vital national security interests, and that the U.S. must use its vast power and influence to force Israel to abandon its illegal settlements and enter into a fair and reasonable settlement that both guarantees Israel’s security and provides the Palestinians with the homeland and state of their own promised to them by the United Nations in 1947.
Didn’t see the article I was looking for on this blog, and couldn’t find a “contact” for you. So a comment here will have to do, I guess. I just read an excellent piece by you on Dorothy Thompson @ MW and wanted thank you. Excellent, excellent writing and content.
I’m wondering about this, however, from your above description of this blog: “…I remain a strong supporter of Israel and firmly believe the U.S. has a moral obligation to protect Israel’s existence…” Does that mean you firmly believe the U.S. has a “moral obligation” to protect all countries throughout the world, or kinda just Israel? Because, honestly, it sounds exactly like something a “Liberal Zionist” would say after being forced to admit that he/she “understands Israel isn’t perfect” after committing a massacre. Particularly after just writing that piece on Thompson, you should be able to see that it comes of as quite “passionately attached.”
Either way, great article on Thompson…
Good question and good point. I think I started this blog about 5 years ago. My enthusiasm for Israel as an ally of the US that we should be committed to defend has waned, to say the least. As my more recent articles indicate, I now see Israel as an unapologetic apartheid state that has been one for nearly half a century. I see a long-term leader who is little more than a smarmy, self-indulgent, insulting jerk. I see a tiny, unimportant country that has repeatedly insulted our leaders and our citizens that does nothing to end an occupation and come to terms with another people it has oppressed for nearly 50 years. I see a country that has corrupted our political system and has done great harm to US foreign policy and US vital national security interests. I could go on with more. In short, who needs them. The sooner we cut the apron strings and move on the better. I am now passionately dis-attached to Israel as I suspect many of my fellow Americans have also become.
I’m glad you enjoyed my article on Dorothy Thompson who was one of the earliest victims of our “passionate attachment”.
Gil, Just re-reading EXODUS BETRAYAL and wanted to (again?) praise it and then mention that at p. 293 you missed a chance to say that the 800,000 Israeli settlers needing to find new homes were in better shape that the 750,000 Palestinians evicted & exiled in 1947-50,
Good to hear from you. Amazed you are rereading EB. Whenever I go back to it, it seems more than a little ponderous. Too much information, I think.
In any case, thanks for your support and continued interest.
I’m having a hard time reconciling what you write here about your hopes and objectives, on the one hand, and where your last blog post was cross posted, on the other.
Interesting coment. Yet intentionally cryptic? Or maybe you and Gil have a history and your quip is an “inside” comment? Either way, I’d be interested in reading more if you’d like to share some less cryptic thoughts on the site “where [Gil’s] last blog post was cross posted.”
Like John, I don’t quite get your drift. Are you implying that my publishing presence on Mondoweiss is inconsistent with the views I express on my “About This Blog” page? I suspect you are. I have the greatest respect for Mondoweiss and its creator, Phil Weiss. I have been contributing to and commenting on it for at least 4 years. It is a blog that is a great source of information and news on the Israel-Palestine issue. It provides a great, well-moderated forum for discussion of I-P issues. As I explained to John (above), my sympathies toward Israel have diminished over the years, so I need to update my “About This Blog” page. Stay tuned and thank you for taking the time to comment.
How do I subscribe to your blog as effectively as I subscribe to your views?
Congratulations on your blog.
Very sober and confidence inducing comments.
I hope you will include my blog in your blogroll as a somewhat contrasting perspective, certainly relative to your existing blogroll.
Just to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed your comments on Jerome Slater’s blog. I am following him for some time, and have posted comments from time to time. I have my own weblog, in which the I-P conflict plays an important role. There are quite a few articles in English, but perhaps 75% is … in Dutch.
Keep up the good work!