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Jeffrey Goldberg vs. Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg, 2006:

What Would Jimmy Do?: Jimmy Carter... his latest book, the sensationally titled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.... This is a cynical book, its cynicism embedded in its bait-and-switch title. Much of the book consists of an argument against the barrier that Israel is building to separate Israelis from the Palestinians on the West Bank. The "imprisonment wall" is an early symptom of Israel's descent into apartheid, according to Carter. But late in the book, he concedes that "the driving purpose for the forced separation of the two peoples is unlike that in South Africa -- not racism, but the acquisition of land." In other words, Carter's title notwithstanding, Israel is not actually an apartheid state....

Carter does not recognize the fact that Israel, tired of the burdens of occupation, also dearly wants to give up the bulk of its West Bank settlements (the current prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was elected on exactly this platform) because to do so would fatally undermine the thesis of his book. Palestine Peace Not Apartheid is being marketed as a work of history, but an honest book would, when assessing the reasons why the conflict festers, blame not only the settlements but also take substantial note of the fact that the Arabs who surround Israel have launched numerous wars against it, all meant to snuff it out of existence...

Jeffrey Goldberg, 2010:

Apartheid State: Either the Jews of Israel would [then] grant the Palestinians the vote, at which point their country would lose its Jewish majority and its identity as a refuge for the Jewish people, or it would deny them the vote, and become an apartheid state. The latter option is untenable, of course: Many Jewish Israelis would be repulsed by this thought; other nations that already consider Israel a pariah would now have just cause; and Israel would lose its last remaining friend, the U.S., because no American -- including and especially young American Jews -- would identify with a country reminiscent of pre-Mandela South Africa. If Netanyahu had been thinking strategically, he might have realized this... he might have done something bold: Acknowledge that the age of Jewish settlement is over. He did mention, fleetingly, that certain settlements would be set adrift in a theoretical peace deal. But he seemed unaware that he was delivering a speech that could easily have been given 10 years ago. It is not 10 years ago. Israel is now 10 years closer to achieving full pariah status.... Israel will soon enough be seen by most of the world as the occupier not of disputed territory but of a foreign country.... Netanyahu, who understands the existential threat posed by Iran, does not seem to understand the nature of this other existential threat.... An eternal truth of Middle East politics is that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Lately, though, this has become an Israeli specialty. If Israel misses the chance this year to set the Palestinians on a course toward independence, it will jeopardize its future as a Jewish democracy.

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