- Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian, 21 March
I've always liked Jonathan, who seems nice and genuine in a very "Hey gang, let's stage a complete reinvigoration of social democracy right here in the church hall!" kind of way but really, I suspect that even he knows how wishful this kind of thinking is.
Look, Washington's support simply is "unconditional", and barely even disapproving to boot. For all the grumpy, unattributed grouching from Pennsylvania Avenue, you'll notice that money talks, and that the flow of cash and weapons hasn't so much as stalled for a second during any of the terrible events in the region, this last few decades.
The hard truth here is that when the Israelis turn up the violence and start blowing shit up, the US leaps immediately into action and mails them more missiles, just in case they run out. That's been the situation for my entire life and I assure you that it's not going to change just because the Prime Minister rashly said exactly what he thinks, and has clearly always thought, in public.
Where Jonathan says "we cannot go back to mouthing the same old platitudes about two states", I respond - of course we can. It was obvious a week ago that talk of two states amounted to platitudes, and "we" had no trouble pretending that it was otherwise then. It's no different today and although the Obama administration is making sad faces and harrumphing noises, you'll notice that there's no talk of turning off the cash taps.
The only "consequence" that will ensue from Netanyahu plainly stating his goals will be this - it will now be a bit more difficult for people who generally back the Israeli government when it stomps on the Palestinians to pretend that it has some passing interest in not stomping the Palestinians. Somehow, I imagine that those people will manage to overcome that particular obstacle.
I think that Jonathan's difficulty in grasping the reality of the situation here stems from a basic misunderstanding of his own role in this particular pantomime. He seems to see himself as a reasonable, if critical, observer whose job it is to speak unpalatable truths to powerful people. Bluntly, it is not so.
The role of western liberals in the continuing immiseration of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank is to observe how very unpleasant it all is; to tut and cluck as required, and to rein in their more excitable comrades if they get a bit too uppity, by denouncing them as if they were Nazis.
And that's it. Nothing more required, thank you.
Jonathan and other earnest types who, I'd say, want nothing but the best for everyone involved in this ongoing travesty can continue to make as many boo-hoo noises as they like about it, and the only concrete "consequence" that they'll see for their painfully sensible and measured arguments will be the avalanche of shitty, accusatory comments under their articles.