As Israeli bulldozers demolish the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem to make way for Jews-only apartments funded by the American Zionist, Irving Moskowitz, a retired casino magnate who lives in Miami Beach, Jeffrey Goldberg writes:
Peace will not come without the birth of a Palestinian state on the West Bank which has its capital in East Jerusalem. I’m as sure of that as I am of anything in the Middle East. Of course, peace may not come even with the birth of this state — I’m no longer quite so sure in the possiblity, or at least in the availability, of peace — but it will surely never happen without it. This is why, of course, certain right-wing Jewish groups, aided and abetted by different factions in Israel’s chaotic government, are seeking to populate East Jerusalem with Jews: to prevent the birth of a Palestinian state. These particular Jews operate under the delusion that Israel can keep control of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem forever, and most of the West Bank forever, without negative consequences. They are drastically wrong. Eventually, something is going to give. At a certain point in the not-so-distant future, Israel will either cease to be a Jewish state, or it will cease to be a democracy. Attempts to abort the birth of a Palestinian state only hasten this moment of decision.
Israel will survive without the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. It will not survive if it becomes a pariah state, and, in this unfortunate world in which we must exist, Israel is in danger of becoming an outcast among nations.
When referring to “this unfortunate world in which we must exist,” Goldberg seems to be saying that Israel must reconcile itself to the fact that it cannot effectively divorce itself from the rest of the world — as if to say, if Israel could separate itself from the rest of the world and survive, then such a divorce would be desirable — as if in its dealings with “this unfortunate world” Israel necessarily succumbs to some of the world’s polluting influence.
The idea that Israel might benefit — not merely survive — through improving its relations with others, doesn’t come into the picture.