Monday, June 17, 2013

AJC Tackles Naftali Bennett

After Israeli minister and Jewish Home chieftain Naftali Bennett declared outright opposition to the two-state solution, the American Jewish Committee's David Harris had some harsh words for Bennett:
“Minister Naftali Bennett's remarks, rejecting outright the vision of two states for two peoples, are stunningly shortsighted,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Since he is a member of the current Israeli coalition government, it is important that his view be repudiated by the country's top leaders."

“Bennett contravenes the outlook of Prime Minister Netanyahu and contradicts the vision presented earlier this month to the AJC Global Forum by Minister Tzipi Livni, chief Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians,” Harris continued. "Livni stated clearly that a negotiated two-state settlement is the only way to assure that the State of Israel will remain both Jewish and democratic. That is a view we at AJC have long supported.”

"We are under no illusion about the difficulties of achieving a two-state accord," Harris concluded. "But Bennett's alternative scenario offers only the prospect of a dead-end strategy of endless conflict and growing isolation for Israel."
But ... but ... I thought Jews weren't capable of criticizing Israel or its leaders!

Bennett's statement reflects a deep divide within Bibi's cabinet, between right-wing hardliners who cling to a vision of Greater Israel and centrist realists who understand that Israel can be Jewish, a democracy, or in control of the West Bank and Gaza, but not all three. Fortunately, Bibi has so far rejected pressure from his right flank to disavow a two-state solution, and did in fact specifically disavow Bennett's comments. But it is good to see a major pillar of the American Jewish community stick to its guns on this issue.

No comments: