According to every liberal editorial page in America (and virtually every editorial page abroad), according to President Obama, the United Nations and every other liberal institution, and according to Jews on the left, the major impediment to peace in the Middle East is Israel’s continuing construction of settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
You have to say at least one thing on behalf of those on the left: They are consistent. In conflicts between a decent society and an indecent society, you can almost always count on the left to blame the decent society. The U.S. was wrong in overthrowing the mass murderer Saddam Hussein. The U.S. was wrong in fighting North Vietnam’s Stalinist tyrant, Ho Chi Minh. The U.S. was wrong in backing the Nicaraguan opposition to the Communist Sandinistas. Israel was wrong in its war against the murderous, Israel-denying, Jew-hating, Islamist totalitarian Hamas. And Israel is wrong today in its conflict with the Palestinians.
Actually, you can say one more thing: The left regularly confuses wishful thinking with reality. You see, I, too, wish that Israeli settlement construction — usually no more than apartment construction within existing Jewish communities within or right outside of Jerusalem — were the obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But not being on the left, I am cursed with not assuming that what I would like to believe is reality.
If only these apartments were the problem. What a great day it would be for all of us who yearn to see the Jewish state accepted by its Palestinian and other Arab neighbors.
But, alas, this is make-believe. As Charles Krauthammer asked in a column he wrote a year ago, “Is the peace process moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildren?”