Desperate to win reelection, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stripped off Israel’s mask and exposed the ugliness that has deformed his country over the past several decades. He abandoned the subterfuge of a two-state solution, exposed the crass racism that underlies Israeli politics, and revealed Israel’s blatant control of the U.S. Congress.
For years, these realities were known to many Americans, but – if they spoke up – they were condemned as anti-Semites, so most stayed silent to protect their careers and reputations. But – given Netanyahu’s brazen admissions – the American people may have little choice but to finally take notice of this troubling reality and demand a change in U.S. policy.
The truth is that the two-state solution has been a fiction for at least the past two decades, dying in 1995 with the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. But the two-state illusion still served important political purposes both for Israelis, who would pay it lip service while continuing their steady encroachment on Palestinian lands, and for U.S. politicians who could point to the mirage as an excuse not to pressure Israel too hard on its human rights violations.
Yet, whenever any U.S. official actually tried to reach that shimmering oasis of a two-state solution, it would recede into the distance. Then, the Israelis would rely on their friends and allies in the news media and politics to blame the Palestinians. Now, however, the illusion of Israel seeking such an outcome in good faith has been lost in Netanyahu’s anything-goes determination to keep his office – a case of political expediency trumping strategic expediency.
In the closing days of the campaign, Netanyahu promised that as long as he was prime minister he would block a Palestinian state and would continue building Jewish settlements on what international law recognizes as Palestinian land.