Screw-Up Nation: More on Netanyahu & Illiberal Israel

My much-alluded-to essay in the National meditating on the flotilla raid, Netanyahu’s coalition, Israel’s illiberal bent, American evangelicals, and Dan Senor’s Start-Up Nation — a long essay that proved to be the scourge of my vacation — is now out. Special guest appearance from President Obama:

A generation ago, Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, two Jewish writers whose work has helped shape the conservative agenda in America, argued that American Jews ought to get over their residual fears of what was then known as the “Christian right” and embrace them as fellow lovers of Israel, even if that love is predicated on a millenarism in which the Savior eventually rids the world of Jews who fail to see His light. Pew’s findings have made them prophetic. And there is new mortar for the bonds of this conservative American-Israeli coalition: mutual hatred for Barack Obama, the American president whose meagre efforts to midwife a two-state solution have been greeted with contempt by Netanyahu.

Netanyahu offers the evangelicals a key defeat for Obama’s foreign-policy agenda, helping pave the way for a conservative restoration. The evangelicals offer Netanyahu rear-guard counter-pressure against Obama’s peacemaking efforts. They are not likely to fret about dead or dying Palestinians or dead “aid workers” – or are they terrorists? – aboard a flotilla off of Gaza. They share Netanyahu’s instinctual contempt for humanitarian do-gooders, his opprobrium for international institutions, and his antipathy to an independent Palestine as an endgame for the conflict.

And now back to the beach.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman