The people of Israel may have decided to retreat into the bunker of denial and ignorance, but American Jews increasingly are concerned that world opinion will swing to the side of Palestinians unless Israeli leaders get a dose of reality. J Street, a pro-Israel lobby, has launched a campaign expressing the organization’s concern over the appointment of right wing demagogue Avigdor Lieberman to the key position of foreign minister. Lieberman immediately created a furor by saying his government is not bound by American backed understandings on the issue of the Palestinian state. The J Street website said the organization is “deeply concerned about Avigdor Lieberman…and the key role he is playing as Foreign Minister in the new Israel government.”
J Street, like any concerned person who cares about the existence of Israel as a democratic society must be concerned over the emergence of a demagogue as foreign minister. President Obama wants a strong Israel, but he knows there must be a genuine peace in which Palestine is an independent nation. Unless, Lieberman is removed from his position, the state of Israel will find itself in a few years estranged even from the United States— and American Jews. It may feel comfortable and snug living in a bunker, but it is also isolating from the rest of the world.