Standing Back

This is days old, but important. Back on December 29, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

I’ve never understood why anyone in their right mind would accept us as an honest broker, given our declared allegiances. But more than that, I wonder why it’s incumbent on us to broker at all. Lately, our judgment hasn’t exactly been the greatest either.

I think the idea that we should just step away from the whole thing and not see the United States as obligated to play an active role in pushing for a settlement has some logic to it. And of course it’s also a tempting idea for people who don’t want to spend their time in endless bitter arguments about the various Israeli-Arab conflicts. But it’s crucial to underscore that if you really want the United States to step away from the conflict, you would need to push us to genuinely step away. As long as Israel is the primary recipient of United States foreign assistance funds, it doesn’t make sense to say that we’re taking a hands off approach to the issue. When our hands are off, as they have been throughout this bombing campaign, it’s you and me who’s tax dollars are going to defray the costs of the operation.