Opening stale merchandise is never pleasant. According to the JTA, the discarded shell of the once left-leaning Israel Policy Forum (IPF), has been “re-floated” in the guise of a centrist think tank to be manned by “pro-Israel heavyweights” Alan Solow, Robert Sugarman, Susie Gelman, Robert Elman and Robert Goodkind. Solow in particular has visited the White House on close to 80 occasions over the last seven years.
The purpose of this clever tactic is to reintroduce the Obama administration’s ill-conceived plan for restarting the peace process by requiring Israel to partition Jerusalem and to unilaterally relinquish control of strategically sensitive areas in Judea and Samaria. Customarily, J Street would have been used by the administration for such distasteful work, but J Street’s credibility as a legitimate source of Jewish opinion has been irreversibly discredited. Hence, the warmed-over plan for concession will be introduced through the IPF portal, garbed deceptively as representing the opinion of mainstream Jewry. Aside from the fact that the entire Mideast is unraveling and the Palestinians are behaving more demonically than ever, this wholly inappropriate gesture has been justifiably rejected on three previous occasions by the Israeli government, despite the application of unyielding pressure by the U.S. At present, the vast majority of the Israeli public, especially within the context of the ongoing wave of Palestinian “terror by knife” and the recent murder of 4 Israelis in Tel Aviv, rejects any such unilateral Israeli concession that would increase Israel’s defensive burden by ceding control of any of Israel’s strategic assets. With national security concerns at the top of the ticket, American public opinion would broadly concur in that position.
The so-called “pro-Israel heavyweights” fail to observe that even Israel’s Arab neighbors have lost interest in the once pressing issue of Palestinian sovereignty. They too have seen clearly that the only ones who have benefited from the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza have been Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. They too, as much as Israel, rightly abhor the idea of adding another Islamist-controlled “failed state” to an already bloated inventory. Regardless of the fact that regional stability remains in a free fall, Iranian dominance continues to mushroom, and instances of Palestinian double-dealing, incitement and intransigence have spiked to an all-time high, taking “no” for an answer is not an option for Mr. Solow et al.
In the waning hours of their hard-bought influence, as 2017 approaches, they stand with nothing to show. They have finally come to terms with the fact that using the cover of the now thoroughly discredited J Street to replicate the “voice of American Jewry” only took them to a dead end. And yet one more tactic remains. This president has never allowed even a constitutional roadblock to thwart his will. It is expected that the Palestinian Authority will introduce a resolution for Palestinian statehood at the UN General Assembly in September.
As the votes are projected to line up, without a veto by the U.S., the resolution would likely pass. There is a very high probability that as he did with the Iran deal, the president will not hesitate to pit the will of the international community against the long-standing policy of the U.S. government. He has done it once without apparent repercussion. With the help of Mr. Solow et al., using the empty shell of the IPF and the impressive credentials of the “pro-Israel heavyweights,” the president will once again position himself to abscond innocuously with the guts and the integrity of longstanding U.S. foreign policy. It begs the question as to why honorable men and women like Mr. Solow and his band of “pro-Israel heavyweights” would want to be held as complicit in the crime of the century.
Andrew Lappin is a Chicago-based redeveloper and contributor to the Haym Salomon Center, a news and public policy group. Lappin serves on the board of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.