Check out this debate over at The Economist between Daniel Levy and David Frum on whether “Barack Obama’s America is now an honest broker between Israel and the Arabs.”
Given the United States’ long-time alliance with Israel it is a bit ironic that this debate pits Levy on one side suggesting that the U.S. is an honest broker (or, more precisely, that the Obama administration is moving toward a place where it can be an honest broker while maintaining good relations with Israel) and Frum on the other saying that Obama’s America is anti-Israel.
It seems like there should be a third-party arguing that the United States remains tilted too far toward Israel.
The part of Levy’s opening statement I find most compelling is his suggestion that Israel needs the United States to provide the external incentive structure to force difficult changes on issues like settlements and occupation that its domestic political system is too immature to make on its own.
Perhaps the best example of the positive influence that outside actors can have is the European Union’s success offering membership in its club as an inducement to liberalization.
I know that Steve Clemons will be posting on this David Frum-Daniel Levy exchange as well and look forward to his comments.
— Ben Katcher