Saving Israel From Itself
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, New York, June 2, 2010
When reports first circulated on Twitter of a deadly attack by Israeli commandos on the Gaza flotilla, I didn’t forward them because they seemed implausible. I thought: Israel wouldn’t be so obtuse as to use lethal force on self-described peace activists in international waters with scores of reporters watching.
Ah, but it turned out that Israel could be so obtuse after all. It shot itself in the foot, blasting American toes as well, and undermined all of its longer-term strategic objectives.
Abba Eban, the former Israeli statesman, is famously reported to have said in 1973: “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The quotation resonated because it was largely true.
Palestinians were locked for years into a self-defeating dynamic of violence and self-pity that led to terrorism and intransigence. Feeling misunderstood, they shrugged at global opinion and lashed back wherever they could, undermining their own cause.
Yet now, as a rabbi noted on my Facebook page, it is Israel that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems locked in a self- defeating dynamic in which it feels misunderstood and gives up on international opinion. It lashes out with force in ways that undermine its own interests. It is on a path that could eventually be catastrophic.
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The Wages of Hubris and Vengeance - Counterpunch
Israel and the Future of Zionism - Pew Research Centre (2006)
The Hypocrisy of Netanyahu - Juan Cole (Informed Comment)
Defending the indefensible: a how-to guide - Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy