This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren implored Israel’s opposition parties to unite and oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu so that the United States could facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state. Though Democrats have quietly meddled in Israel’s elections numerous times over decades — from Clintonistas to Obamaites to the now-disgraced Lincoln Project — I can’t remember a United States senator ever openly chiming in on the democratic process of an ally in quite this way.
Speaking at a conference put on by the pro-Palestinian group J Street, Warren lamented Israel’s reluctance to go along with the “two-state solution,” which would in fact entail acquiescing to the demands of Hamas and the more “moderate” Palestinian Authority, which diverts hundreds of millions of dollars in international funding for monthly salaries, free education, insurance, and medical care for terrorists and their families. Rather than demand that Palestinians cease firing rockets at Israeli civilians or stop spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories among their population or scale back their “martyrs’ fund,” Warren said that the only way to alter Israel’s trajectory is for the opposition to unite against Netanyahu.
Warren claims that Netanyahu “has precipitated four stalemate elections in two years in his frenzied effort to immunize himself from well-documented charges of corruption,” which is a weird way of pointing out that the prime minister called for elections after a coalition collapse. Imagine, if you can, Warren’s reaction if a foreign political leader openly offered the GOP advice on how to win back the presidency. Foreign interference, indeed.
Warren maintained that “the majority that opposes [Netanyahu] must decide what to do next. Will they continue to fight among themselves and, in the process, prop up a corrupt leader who puts his own interests ahead of those of his country?”
Netanyahu, who has been prime minister since 2009, may well find himself in the wilderness soon. But in Israel charges of political corruption are about as abundant as falafel stands, and fighting among themselves is the national pastime. Israel has a justice system that adjudicates charges of corruption and an impractical parliamentary system under which governments are created. Israel’s “majority” isn’t a single incarnation of Warren’s aspirations but an array of parties, some with lots of ideological malleability and others with a strictly narrow focus. In essence, Warren implies that the largest party in the nation, the right-wing Likud, shouldn’t even have participated in national elections because she is upset that the prime minister doesn’t want to hand Jerusalem to Mahmoud Abbas.
Warren went on to say that the “United States cannot stand for security, human rights, and dignity, and at the same moment turn a blind eye to the suffering of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.” Indeed, the suffering of the Palestinian people is largely perpetrated by their own corrupt leadership, which has spurned deal after deal, condemning one generation after the next to needless poverty and hopelessness. Warren now has a more radical position on Israel than the Saudi Arabians or Egyptians.
And like most Democrats these days, when talking about the Middle East, Warren has nothing but tough words for the region’s only liberal democracy. As for the Palestinians’ allies, the Iranian mullahs — who have vowed to destroy Israel and who have murdered hundreds of American servicemen — Warren wants to send them cash, while using foreign aid as a cudgel against Israel.
“Jewish settlers in the West Bank are receiving vaccinations, while few Palestinians have any access to life-saving shots,” the Massachusetts senator went on to say, attempting to create the impression that Israel was undermining such efforts. By “settlers,” of course, Warren means Jews who live in towns in Samaria and Judea — the only place on Earth where it is acceptable for an American politician to demand ethnic purity. It’s that kind of purity that propels the Palestinian Authority to reject COVID aid for its people simply because the UAE plane with the vaccine cargo landed in Israel first. Palestinians regularly blocked people sick with COVID from going to Israeli hospitals for treatment. The Palestinian Authority, by their own admission, hasn’t even asked for Israel’s help — outside of vaccinations for its health-care workers, which were provided. When Israel tried to open a vaccination site at the Al-Aqsa compound on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount to inoculate thousands of Palestinian worshippers, among whom the virus was running rampant, Abbas refused the offer.
Not for himself, though. As the New York Times reported, Palestinian leaders have been accused of “siphoning some of the few doses allocated for Palestinians and distributing them to the senior ranks of the ruling party, allies in the media and even to family members of top dignitaries.” Yet the toughest words Warren could muster about this totalitarian regime is to suggest that maybe it should have elections as well. We don’t know when Abbas, now in the second decade of a four-year term, will finally let his people vote. The problem, however, is that holding a vote would mean Fatah’s losing control to radical theocratic forces. The last time Fatah lost an election, the opposition celebrated with mass defenestration. That’s how Hamas breaks stalemates. And that’s what a Palestinian state could easily look like.
The harsh reality learned by Israelis is that “peace” processes with the Palestinians usually end with untenable demands, frustration, and mass violence. It is highly unlikely that even the Israeli center-left would engage in the national self-harm that Warren has in mind. The last time the Israeli Left tried something like it, it was decimated in elections. Then again Elizabeth Warren doesn’t really have their, or Israel’s, best interests in mind.