When Condoleezza Rice met last September with Jewish leaders at the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Haaretz editor David Landau told her that Israel was a "failed state" politically that needed to be "raped" by the United States. Just coming out now, as reported in the Israeli press, and picked up by the Jewish press here. Called on his comments, Landau said that they were somewhat distorted by the report, but that the word "rape" was used. Israel requires aggressive U.S. intervention. He said that a couple of professors in the room congratulated him; he was only saying what educated Israelis know to be true.
Everything I have said on this blog is contained in Landau's statement. Israel has gone down a blind alley morally and politically. Many, many good Jews understand this. Yet the U.S. Jewish community refuses to acknowledge that dreadful reality or its role in perpetuating it. Locked in a long-ago mindset of Holocaust guilt and Exodus triumph, never having visited the Jewish state, most American Jews go along with the Dershowitzes and neoconservative extremists who wish to ensure Israel's "security" by having the U.S. government build a bloody iron wall in the Arab world. And in stark contrast to Landau, most American Jewish journalists, out of spinelessness or fear or guilt or unspoken religious devotion, refuse to denounce conditions that they would instantly denounce--instantly and righteously--if they existed in South Africa, or the American south, or Utah, or Idaho, or the Soviet Union, or anywhere else. Some day Jerome Slater's paper showing that the Times has damaged foreign policy-making by failing to describe the horrifying conditions--as Landau's newspaper has done, repeatedly--will be read as an indictment of a gutless era in American politics. Some day Haaretz will be hallowed as a legend of Jewish history. And day by day, Walt and Mearsheimer's book, and Jimmy Carter's, gain stature as brave documents of a moral collapse.