Speaking last Friday to a private gathering of the Trilateral Commission in Washington, D.C., US Secretary of State John Kerry predicted that Israel would become “an apartheid state” if it did accept his two state formula for peace in the Middle East.
John Kerry’s own quixotic Middle East peace drive formally dies tomorrow in much the same way it was born– with US officials trying to scare Israel into accepting its flawed conflict narrative by slurring its democracy, threatening it with economic isolation, boycotts, violence, and war.
While trying to appear ‘even-handed’ in casting blame for the failure of his ill fated initiative, Kerry, whose remarks to the Trilateral Commission were secretly audio taped and released by the Daily Beast, made it clear upon which of the parties the dire consequences of failure would fall. Naturally, those consequences would fall on Israel.
Kerry was not all gloom and doom with his Trilateral Commission friends however. Israel did have a path to redemption, should she choose to take it. She could, he said, save herself by “choosing new leaders”– leaders who agreed with him obviously.
But after 14 prior American attempts since 1970 to impose a two state solution upon Israel and the Palestinians and 14 prior American failures, it is remarkable that the stale dire warnings from the likes of John Kerry still generate headlines anymore.
Yet, Kerry, like most others in the Middle East peace business, remain as convinced today as they were after Israel’s lighting victory in the 1967 Six Day War, that Israel’s current predicament — administering a larger, more defensible nation-state is “unsustainable” and must inevitably give way to the only workable alternative of Israel presiding over a smaller, less defensible, rump of a state.
As if in a hall of odd distorting mirrors they continue to pontificate, that unless Israel shrinks behind the 1947 armistice lines that provoked the 1967 Six Day War and agrees to establish a Palestinian state in 30 percent of the land it currently controls — and does so on terms dictated by and for the Palestinians– that Israel simply will not be able to survive.
But in those 47 years, Israel has done much more than survive. She has thrived and grown and prospered like few nations of similar size ever have. Israel’s economy is today a global dynamo; nearly 20 times the size it was in 1967. Israel’s Jewish population has more than doubled and continues to grow nearly 50 percent more rapidly than does Israel’s Palestinian population.
Israel’s trade with China and India– none existent 20 years ago, now exceeds $15 billion a year and is growing exponentially. Today’s Israel, with only 8 million people is the world’s second greatest gross contributor to technological innovation after only the United States. The Israel of 1967 was spartan, poor, small and dependent. That it won the war thrust upon it by five Arab armies at all was thought a miracle. That today’s Israel is recognized as a regional military and technological super power is clear testament to how wrong the constant prognostications of Israel’s doom remain.
If anything, it seems the stronger and freer and richer Israel becomes, the more dire and dangerous are the warnings of her imminent collapse. Of course Israelis still understand that to entrust their fate to 100 million Arabs still pledged to their destruction would result in precisely such a destruction. Increasingly more of them now seem to realize that the more of their fate they keep for themselves to control, the better and brighter that fate will be.
Tel Aviv is one of the world’s most exciting and dynamic cities. Its a city whose skyline glistens with glittering new skyscrapers; its superhighways are clogged with commercial and civilian traffic. Its people are young, smartly dressed and in a hurry. It’s fanciest Penthouse apartments easily sell for $20 million and up.
As Washington Post columnist Roger Cohen pointed out last week, “For all the talk of Israel isolation — and all the efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement — Israel has an economy as creative as it is successful. Yes, it is sustainable.”
That was just Cohen warming up. He went on to utter the ultimate in peace process apostasy– that for Israel, “holding onto all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, while continuing to prosper, is feasible. It is time to retire the unsustainability nostrum. Facile and inaccurate, it distracts from the inconvenient truth of Israel’s sustainable success.”
Israel’s success has no doubt proven most inconvenient indeed to John Kerry.