Thinking the unthinkable
I will present three related propositions.
1) It was never in the national interest of the United States to invade and occupy Iraq. After much resistance, this conclusion has become widely accepted. I will not argue it further here.
2) It is not in the national interest of the United States to ally itself with the state of Israel. As I have indicated elsewhere, this question is related to the first, because one of the reasons we invaded Iraq was that Israel and its influential supporters in the US sought this action. Since Saddam was rewarding the families of the suicide bombers with a bounty of $25,000 per bomber, and had attempted to send missiles to devastate Israel during Desert Storm, the Israelis had at least two reasons to want Saddam gone. We had no valid reason for taking this costly step, so that our interests did not coincide. But the tail wagged the dog.
I have no desire to see Israel disappear, or even to be damaged. My view, though, is that thanks to the determination, intelligence, and industry of its citizens, Israel can now take care of itself. There is no excuse for further US subsidies to that country, or for automatic support of its internal and foreign policies.
One might think that my detachment from the Israeli cause would lead to support for the Palestinians. Far from it. I saw something like that happening forty years ago when critics of the South Vietnamese regime, disgusted with what they saw, shifted to support for the Vietnamese Communists. In my view neither was worthy of support. This leads to the final proposition.
3) It is not in the national interest of the United States to support the Palestinians. Compare the Palestinians with the Kurds. The latter, after suffering hundreds of thousands of cruel deaths at the hands of Saddam Hussein, have nonetheless rallied and created a prosperous and viable polity. Iraqi Kurdistan is a state in all but name. Over a much longer time-frame the Palestinians have been unable to achieve this. They have had many chances, and they threw them all away.
Now the world community must say to the Palestinians. Time is up. You have failed and now must face the consequences.
I acknowledge that one of my reasons for distrusting the Palestinians is the homophobia that is rife there. They equate machismo with patriotism and "softness" with acquiescence to the Israeli occupier. And where has this machismo led them?
The homophobia that exists in various forms throughout the Arab world is a subset of their general backwardness. Backwardness has its consequences, and I don't see why these Middle Easterners should be shielded from it.
So I don't really care what the Israelis do to the Palestinians. Whatever it is, it will be a far cry from what Muslims are doing to other Muslims in Darfur.
One final comment. From the above one might assume that I am an isolationist. Far from it. But I believe that we must choose our battles. So far our choices in the Middle East have been the wrong ones.