I have just been communicating in the last few minutes with two friends over Facebook — one a prominent Jewish American blogger now visiting family in an Orthodox community in Israel — and the other a prominent Arab Muslim blogger living in the Middle East.
I don’t want to disclose the identities of either.
But my friend in Israel asked me for some help on shaping questions that he might pose to various Israel pols.
I shared with him some of my thoughts on what he could ask. . .particularly the question of how Israel views long term US support.
I told him that in my view America’s increasingly consequential failures to generate stability in the Middle East is like an eroding levee in New Orleans — and those levees at some point are going to fail leaving Israel quite vulnerable unless Israel and other stakeholding neighbors achieve a different equilibrium in the region. . .and soon. There is great doubt around the world in the ability of America to pursue and achieve its objectives — and this doubt has consequences for Israel’s national security calculus, whether it is acknowledging it or not.
This friend is not far from the action in Gaza, and he has serious doubts about Israel’s course.
I give him a lot of credit for trying to think this through, particularly given the hawkishness of many around whom he is living right now.
And from my Arabic blogging friend, I received this note — and I should add that this guy is about as positive about “modernity” as one can find in Middle East blogging circles:
Happy new year Steve .. 🙂
though GAZA is making this new year very sad for us here .. but i’ll try to smile whenever i can ..
i might stop blogging until the war finishes .. it is really hard watching death day and night so close by ..
any way ..
how are the 1st world countries doing ? 🙂
I agree with Zbigniew Brzezinski that the worsening tragedy in Gaza is part of the blur we have been seeing for some time. I put a lot of the blame on Labor Party Leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak who has been itching to manage a war.
But as Brzezinski said, the Israelis and Palestinians have proven unable to rise to a level of strategic, forward-looking maturity to solve this problem and others now need to stabilize the situation, engage in a credible peace negotiation process that involves the other major Arab stakeholders, the US and Europe.
Having the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Americans, and Europeans impose a solution can’t be worse than what we are seeing today.
— Steve Clemons