Cruel but Necessary: Israeli Opinions about the Settlements and Obama

The following article recently appeared on Mondoweiss:

Antony Loewenstein and Joseph Dana write:

With all the current rhetoric out of Washington regarding an Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, we wanted to gauge public opinion on the streets of Jerusalem on a sunny, Sunday afternoon last weekend. What we found was shocking but unsurprising. The ease with which most Americans and Israelis, young and old, spouted racist and uncompromising comments about Arabs, settlements and Israeli conduct was a raw manifestation of the barriers to the peace process.

We chose the most central and trafficked area of West Jerusalem to conduct random interviews with passers-by on the street. Most people were willing to express their views, unafraid to display Zionist chauvinism in its most blatant form. Palestinians aren’t real human beings in this world. Engagement with Arabs is treasonous. Barack Obama should butt out of Israeli affairs. Illegal, West Bank settlements are necessary to secure the Jewish state.

The aim of this video isn’t to mindlessly demonise Israel but to reveal the side of a country, and its frequent visitors, that is too rarely discussed in the West. It’s a place that is all-too-often, conveniently ignored in the Jewish Diaspora. These bigoted attitudes are only growing in Israel, as American Jews increasingly support Obama to pressure Israel to change its self-destructive course.

The American-Israeli relationship is in serious need of re-assessment.

(The story was also re-published on Talking Points Memo).

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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