Bret Stephens is definitely on the right path (“Worse Than Obama?”, Between The Lines, Jan. 4).
The primary concern for Trump and Netanyahu is their own political survival. All of the major diplomats in prior administrations who were involved with Israel have concurred that the two-state solution is the only way forward. The partisans who openly or secretly pine for an Israel that spans from sea to sea may be heartened by the actions of Trump and Netanyahu, but would they come forward with the “ethnic cleansing” plan necessary to achieve those goals?
Obama clearly saw the dangers sown by the uncontrolled settlement movement and by the growing Arab population in Israel proper. He truly had Israel’s long-term interests in mind and was the better friend. While Trump has merely mentioned Jared Kushner’s well-concealed plan, Obama sent emissaries to both sides [seeking peace talks], but there were no willing partners. Under Netanyahu, Israel is losing the affection and sympathy of the large Jewish community in the United States, and, within Israel, his concessions to the Orthodox have resulted in the majority of Israelis weakening their religious affiliation.
Obama recognized the danger that Netanyahu’s coalition with the religious parties represented. A nation will self-destruct if many can opt out of serving in the army, choose to get by on family subsidies, and even reject the legitimacy of the nation.
Carry on, Bret.