Can Israel Defy the World?

When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the political right accuses the left of pursuing a fantasy -- namely, that peace is possible.  At the same time, however, the right suffers from what many consider its own fantasy: that Israel can defy the world, and particularly the U.S. In addressing the right's "fantasy," the fact is that you can count the instances where Israeli prime ministers have defied the U.S. on the fingers of one hand. Ben Gurion's declaration of statehood is one such example, as was his refusal to withdraw in the '48 war to the Partition line.  He insisted instead on the Armistice lines.  In part for his intransigence, he was punished with the creation of UNRWA. Other instances of Israel bucking the United States include, perhaps, Eshkol's decision to pre-empt the Six-Day War and Begin's courageous decisions to bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak, and to push on to Beirut in the first Lebanese War. Begin, uncharacteristically, gave up...(Read Full Article)

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