Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What if?

Jeffrey Goldberg posts some depressing thoughts on the future of Israel as a non-democratic nation:
Let's just say, as a hypothetical, that one day in the near future, Prime Minister [Avigdor] Lieberman's government (don't laugh, it's not funny) proposes a bill that echoes the recent call by some rabbis to discourage Jews from selling their homes to Arabs. Or let's say that Lieberman's government annexes swaths of the West Bank in order to take in Jewish settlements, but announces summarily that the Arabs in the annexed territory are in fact citizens of Jordan, and can vote there if they want to, but they won't be voting in Israel. What happens then? Do the courts come to the rescue? I hope so. Do the Israeli people come to the rescue? I'm not entirely sure. There are many Israelis who value democracy, but they might not possess the strength to fight. Does American Jewry come to the rescue? Well, most of American Jewry would be so disgusted by Israel's abandonment of democratic principles that I think the majority would simply write off Israel as a tragic, failed experiment.
Depressing, indeed. What is the US government's reaction to such a failure? How strong an alliance do we maintain with an apartheid-like Jewish state? How does the government react to pressure from various groups and citizens in the US to pressure Israel to reform or face serious economic consequences, the way we did in South Africa?

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