Weisberg on Israel

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I hadn’t recalled ever having read Jacob Weisberg on Israel before, so I was a bit surprised by how strongly worded this is:

But if the stupidity of the settlements is obvious to most American Jews, it is not to the majority of Israelis, who have chosen a prime minister who represents the rejection of a two-state solution. At the same time, American liberals have recoiled from the pattern of miscalculation and inhumanity—there is no other word for it—in Israel’s attempts to protect itself from Hezbollah and Hamas. Last week, I saw the journalist Lawrence Wright perform a moving and disturbing monologue entitled “The Human Scale,” based on his time reporting in Gaza. Whether or not one accepts the judgment of the Goldstone Report that Israel’s bombing and reinvasion of the strip involved war crimes, Wright’s piece (at New York’s Public Theater this weekend) is a persuasive case that it constituted a wildly disproportionate response. Like the second invasion of Lebanon in 2006, the reoccupation was immensely destructive and counterproductive, sowing new seeds of hatred that will bloom for generations.

It’s become way more common to hear these kind of sentiments in elite opinion circles in the United States. A few days ago I was emphasizing the idea that the mass public is as strongly behind Israel as ever. But in foreign policy circles, elite views often trump public opinion. And if that’s the case, then Israel has done an enormous amount to turn elite opinion against it over the past four or five years.