Israel's Resumed Intervention In Domestic U.S. Politics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech in his office in his Jerusalem office December 28, 2016. REUTERS/
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech in his office in his Jerusalem office December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The recent public acrimony between Israel and the United States could have profound political consequences within the United States, impacting Israel's historic and traditional domestic coalition of support.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal attacks against President Obama for U.S. abstention on a United Nation's Security Council resolution criticizing Israel's continued occupation and building of settlements on Palestinian lands risks igniting a firestorm of resumed domestic criticism and actions, especially among college students across the United States.

The New York Times in Wednesday's editorial noted that:

"The dispute reflects not any change in American policy, but a dangerous evolution in Israeli policy, under the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, away from an acceptance of a negotiated two-state resolution to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. The dispute also arises from Mr. Netanyahu's lamentable practice of making his government a more nakedly partisan player in American politics than any foreign government in memory, save Russia."

Israel's open solicitation of support from members of Congress for its criticism of President Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry may be misreading the political support it believes it has nationwide among most Americans. The scathing criticism by Israel of Obama for his alleged nonsupport of Israel could irreparably fracture the historic "Shared Legacy" coalition developed during our earlier Civil Rights Movement between the African-American and Jewish Communities.

The Times also noted that:

"Settlements are certainly not the only impediment, or even the principal one, to negotiations today. The Palestinians remain divided and their leadership malicious or hapless, with Hamas, which advocates terrorism, reigning in the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority, rife with corruption, governs ineptly in the West Bank. But the settlements are an obstacle to any eventual deal, and they are Israel's responsibility."

Nevertheless, "at the end of the day," Prime Minster Netanyahu should reflect and ask: what other American president has authorized $38 Billion (with a "B") military assistance to Israel for its security? This is money that the Obama administration could have otherwise allocated to address some of our urgent domestic needs.

A new generation of Millennials is beginning to identify with the efforts of a growing number of Palestinians to non-violently end Israeli occupation of their lands. History teaches us that those who make peaceful "revolution" impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.