Going to Jerusalem

War in the Middle East
Image by Stewf via Flickr

Hadar has an article to-day, that is not at all surprising for him.  He says Obama needs to change the tactic of the Bush administration in its approach to quelching anti-Americanism in the Middle East by prioritizing the Israel-Palestinian question.  I have been reading Hadar for over a decade now and he consistently strikes me as having the most sophisticated analysis of the Middle East, I would definitely recommend checking out his writings.

The crux of his argument is simple: the status quo has parties invested in maintaining the status quo.  The best the US can do is to alter the equation, namely US assistance.  The problem is obviously not the truth of his claim but the political realities, what politician can afford to publicly divorce the US from Israel?  And yet that is exactly what is needed.

Maria Luise Kaschnitz has a short story called “Going to Jerusalem” which tracks a similar problem.  A town has been afflicted with a strange illness.  Quaranteened they all wait for the first death so an autopsy can be performed to hopefully determine the nature of the affliction.  One day a stranger arrives and through his storytelling he takes the affliction away temporarily.  Eventually he dies, allowing the affliction to be cured.  The political suicide is the courage needed to salve the situation.  Fortuntely the current economic crisis may provide the cover Obama needs to gut US assistance to Israel.  Maybe then Israel would be more willing to approach the Palestinian question honestly, knowing that they stand as the sole guarantor of their security.

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