(March 25, 2019 / JNS) America’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights is supported by a broad cross-section of the American Jewish community—with the glaring exception of six Jewish ex-State Department officials who always manage to find a way to criticize Israel.
Dennis Ross, Daniel Kurtzer, Richard Haas, Aaron Miller, Martin Indyk and Indyk’s assistant, David Makovsky, have all retired from the “peace-processing” business and are now busying themselves posing as Mideast “experts” on talk shows and op-ed pages.
This Gang of Six, who spent so many years trying to convince us that Yasser Arafat was moderate and that parts of Jerusalem should become the capital of “Palestine,” are now trotting out all the reasons why the United States should not recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s control of the Golan.
Dennis Ross said in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine that the U.S. action will “make it harder” for the Arab world to support peace with Israel. That’s dumb, but at least it’s not weird. His colleagues’ comments, by contrast, have been downright bizarre.
Miller told The Washington Post that the U.S. position “could incentivize” Iran and Hezbollah. Get that? Until now, Iran and Hezbollah didn’t have any incentives to hate America and Israel, but now they will. Brilliant.
Indyk tweeted that Russian President Vladimir “Putin will use this as a pretext to justify Russia’s annexation of Crimea,” and “The Israeli right will use it as a pretext for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.”
So much blather in so few words!
Putin, according to Indyk, needs a “pretext” to justify occupying Crimea; he didn’t have one until now (which didn’t seem to stop him, anyway), but now he will have one. Huh?
And, Indyk further imagines, “the Israeli right” will use the Golan action as “a pretext for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.” Except for the inconvenient fact that the portion of the Israeli right that is in the government has never made any attempt to annex it, and the portion of the Israeli right that is not in the government has no power to annex it.
Makovsky, for his part, can’t seem to decide whom he hates more—the Israeli prime minister who doesn’t want to give the Golan to Syria or the American president who supports him.
“Bibi was Trump before there was Trump,” Makovsky sputtered in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor. Like U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “not looking to be a unifying symbol of the state.” Awkward grammar, but you get the point: Trump is bad, Netanyahu is worse.
Makovsky apparently thought he was being very clever to point out (because I guess nobody has ever noticed this before!) that “both leaders find themselves and their political entourages under investigation by national judicial authorities—Mr. Trump under the cloud of the Mueller investigation … ” Too bad for Makovsky that the Mueller report came out before the ink was dry on his Christian Science Monitor interview.
Make no mistake about it: The only reason to oppose American recognition of Israeli control of the Golan is if you oppose Israeli control of the Golan. The Gang of Six spent decades promoting a “peace process” that included giving the Golan Heights to the genocidal Hafez Assad or, since his death, to his genocidal son, Bashar Assad.
The latest missiles fired from Gaza into Israel are a painful reminder of what would have happened to the Golan if the Gang of Six had their way. Instead of having a terrorist mini-state only on its southern border, Israel would now have terrorist mini-states on both its southern and northeastern borders. Wonderful.
Because they live in the safe and comfortable suburbs of New York City and Washington, D.C., Ross, Indyk, Makovsky et al have the luxury of pontificating about the need for Israel to give up territory without ever having to deal personally with the consequences of such withdrawals. But for the Israelis who now live within missile range of Gaza—and who could have been within missile range of the Syrians if they were on the Golan Heights—the consequences are very real.
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” has just been published.