Netanyahu’s Hollow Victory? Pat Buchanan’s apparent hatred of Israel continues to masquerade as “conservative” foreign policy prescriptions.
“The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago, and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.”
With this defiant declaration, to a thunderous ovation at AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu informed the United States that East Jerusalem, taken from Jordan in the Six Day War, is not occupied land. It is Israeli land and Israel’s forever, and no Palestinian state will share Jerusalem. Israel alone decides what is built, and where, in the Holy City.
With his declaration and refusal to walk back the decision to build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, which blew up the Biden mission, “Bibi” goes home a winner over Barack Obama.
But it is a temporary triumph and hollow victory — over Israel’s indispensable ally. For the clash revealed that the perceived vital interests of Israel now collide with vital U.S. interest in the Middle East.
Memo to Mr. Buchanan: land taken in wars of self-defense is legitimately kept. That is the time honored historical fact. Live with it. Jordan will certainly have to. So will the “Palestinians,” who COULD easily have been resettled in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, et. al., after the failure of those nations to destroy Israel in war. (Of course, those people have been denied the opportunity to live elsewhere, because each of those nations had something to gain from keeping the hatred of Israel alive… or so they thought. In any case, none of them wanted the war to be over until Israel was destroyed.) If Jordan had not attacked Israel, along with many others, Israel would not be building settlements in Jerusalem today. Everyone will have to live with the consequences of their decisions, including those made decades ago by different governments.
But there is nothing illegitimate, nothing at all, about Israel keeping the land it won while defending itself (almost unsuccessfully so) in wars not of its making.
Memo to the rest of Israel’s neighbors: if you want to keep the land you have now, don’t attack again.
Memo to Obama: Israel’s support in the USA is broad and deep. You might want to remember that. The honeymoon is over. You might want to remember that, too.