I thought I should recommend Jimmy Carter’s op-ed on Gaza. But of course as everyone knows Carter is a raging, Jew-hating, Israel-bashing bigot. And ultimately this illustrates what I think is the inconvenient truth about US involvement in the Israeli-Arab conflict, namely that to do much good you need to be willing to take the hits. Near the end of my new TAP Online column I note the irony that Carter is the most-loathed of US Presidents among Israel hawks, but the Camp David accords he sponsored have done more to advance Israeli interests than anything any president’s done since Harry Truman recognized Israeli independence.
The issue is that peace is strongly in Israel’s best interests. But the most useful thing we can ever do to bring that about is offer a bit of a stiff arm and tough love to alter internal Israeli political incentives. But doing that earns you a lot of political enemies even if your work pays off.