Judge Steve Russell: Netanyahu Is Not Israel



It never fails. A U.S. administration spends the last months or weeks trying to cut the Gordian Knot of Palestine.

Bush 43 ridiculed Bill Clinton for even trying….and then he did the same.

I hesitate to tell other nations how to run their business, but Israel cannot take so much from our treasury and our political capital and then say we have no right—I would say duty–to insert our point of view.

Israel is a hard problem but Jerusalem is easy. We install a nuclear bomb smack on top of the Dome of the Rock. Distribute three triggers to the three highest mucky-mucks—Christian, Jewish, Muslum. Pressing a trigger sets off a signal, so the world knows if anybody presses one, but the bomb will only detonate when two of the three are pressed. Remove the bomb when all three parties sign an agreement to share Jerusalem.


As we speak, Israel is sabotaging the Two State Solution by building more settlements on the West Bank, changing the facts on the ground.

Israel wants Palestine to be a non-militarized state like Costa Rica or Japan immediately post-bellum.

The Palestinians claim that would reduce them to a client state.

That would be so if the only source of power in the neighborhood were military force, but the whole objective is to change that.

A Palestinian state would start out as a client state of Israel because trade would be its lifeblood and there is no Arab state that can hold up both ends of a trade route that starts in Palestine. The reasons why are internal governance and waste of assets on military power.

The remedy for Palestinians is not an army. It’s an economy.

Why two states?

There are more Muslims than Jews on the real estate if you draw state borders around Israel plus all the disputed lands. Within those lines, there can be no equal protection of the law, no formal equality.

Democracy and apartheid cannot coexist.

The Two State solution is the only way to have both a Jewish state and a democratic state.

Netanyahu is not pitching Jewish under the bus, but rather democracy.

I do hope somebody can convince Mr. Trump that Netanyahu is not Israel.

I wonder if there’s a point at which the two states idea is dead and cannot be revived?

 *  *  *  *

And this:

There’s a rumble among my generally smart and well informed FB friends that the Two State Solution is dead.

If that is so, whither US policy?

My fascination with democracy means I enter the discussion with one hand tied behind my back. I am unwilling to adopt an apartheid state.

I do firmly believe that a state encompassing all the disputed territory cannot be both Jewish and democratic. After the civilized world sat on its hands during the Shoah, we all ill equipped to veto a Jewish state if casting that veto were doable in terms of domestic US politics. Since it’s not doable, sane people either look for a way to have a Jewish state or a way to break the AIPAC death grip on Congress.

I’m OK with breaking the AIPAC grip because I think it’s counterproductive. It destroys any hope for a US role as honest broker.

There’s no future in supporting an apartheid state.

Here’s what I’m thinking. There is already a substantial Arab/Muslim minority living in Israel.

We should regard the Arab Israelis as hostages to Israeli democracy. At the same time, we should regard the West Bank settlers as offering themselves as hostages to Palestinian democracy.

It is an objective fact that no Arab state has successfully navigated the challenges of democratic government for any length of time. If that means they can’t, then this entire effort is folly. Eventually some Arab state will develop nuclear weapons and the entire region will be laid waste.

The Grim Reaper is the only winner if the Middle East becomes nothing but a tale of three theocracies: Iran as the tip of the Shi’a spear, Saudi Arabia as the tip of the Sunni spear, and Israel as the militarized Jewish state living out the battle cry, “Never again!”

If we must pick a rogue out of that gallery to befriend, Israel is the obvious choice.

The Saudis are the source of “radical Islamic terrorism.” The unholy alliance of the House of Saud with Wahhabi Islam is based on domestic politics, not religion. The Saudi royals have used their wealth to create a social bubble in which they do not have to comply with the austere lifestyle required by the flavor of Islam that same money promotes worldwide.

The Iranian mullahs are the least transparent, and as best I can tell the most sincerely religious. Their aggressive moves are more conventional. They rely on young men from the endless pool of ambitious and unemployed who have no other prospects.

One tide of history running against global jihad is world response to global warming, if we bring it off. The drive to erase Israel from the map is funded by oil money. Should there come a time when oil goes the way of coal, Iran may still have an economy but Saudi Arabia will not.

The Shi’a minority might appear to be economically better off for the long run that the Sunni majority in world Islam, but that’s only so as to Sunni Arabs. And the Saudis still control access to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of every observant Muslim who is able.

Israel is the only one of the three with a 21st century, knowledge-based service economy.

The nations with oil riches could use those riches to leap frog directly to a service economy without ever having had an industrial or consumer economy. So far, they have conducted themselves in the way dictatorships normally do: promise butter and deliver guns.

Another reason to back the Israeli horse is that they have the only economy that can generate internal democratic legitimacy without an outside threat. But if that legitimacy entails second class status for Israeli Arabs, how does that square with our professed values?


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