By Yossi Kuperwasser and Asaf Romirowsky, Jewish News Service—
With the 2020 presidential elections in high gear, and following normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, a deeper look at the platforms of both parties is required. It is clear that American Jews and Israelis are called upon to exhibit “moral fiber” by using their very Jewish identity as a vehicle to question Israel and its legitimacy. More perverse are the uses of Jewishness to passionately make pleas for the Palestinian cause and the assertion that Jewishness is somehow based on pro-Palestinian beliefs as a “progressive” value. For American Jews on the far-left, as for Arab Palestinians, the events of 1948 are the evergreen ancestral sin.
Consequently, the bipartisan consensus on Israel has eroded considerably.
True, we have heard articulate strong support for Israel’s security; even the liberals within the Democratic Party stood up to the progressives and managed to squash some of the harsh language against Israel. The new normalized relations with the UAE—in lieu of applying sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, and the Jordan Valley—is a game-changer for Israeli-Arab relations. So while Israel failed to get the Trump administration’s support for sovereignty, establishing normal relations with the UAE and other pragmatic Arab states is something the Democrats cannot avoid, which irks them given the results it produces in terms of larger regional stability, proving that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not drive Middle East diplomacy.
While it is also true that the Trump plan adheres to the main principle upon which Democrats base their own policy on (the “two-state solution”), there are considerable gaps between the practicalities of this principle between the two parties and the understandings of Israel’s security requirements. There are also concerns regarding Iran (including the 2015 Iran nuclear deal) and the conflict between the pragmatists, who are supported by the Republicans, and the sophisticated radicals (Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood), who are supported by parts of the Democratic Party. These disagreements represent deep ideological different worldviews.
If elected, the Biden administration will likely try to resurface the two most litigious issues seen during the Obama years in its relations with Israel—namely, centering the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the so-called “occupation” and reviving the nuclear deal, both of which stand in stark contrast to regional reality. The ultimate question is to what extent does the normalization with the UAE highlight the gap, and is it enough to deter pursuing these policies given their pervasiveness on North American college campuses and in left-wing American circles.
A motto to consider is long live the status quo—both in terms of the language of the platforms and the accompanying policies. Continue Reading….