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Next U.S. elections threaten Israel's "total isolation" -- and the Israeli public is worried

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Reprinted from Mondoweiss


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Last summer an Obama foreign policy aide, Philip Gordon, shocked Israel supporters by warning that Israel faces a "tsunami" of international pressure if it fails to participate in the peace process. Now that warning seems to be coming true. Here are three items from the last day or so that speak to Israel's growing isolation from world opinion, and the west.

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First, Israel has not responded to a request to endorse the U.S. policy shift on Cuba. The word is that Israel's nose is out of joint: It wasn't notified of the change ahead of time (just like everybody else wasn't notified); and it has served as the U.S. government's best friend on the freeze in days gone by, affirming the embargo in the United Nations when everyone else has been against it.

"'They didn't even give us a few minutes' warning,' one senior Foreign Ministry official told [Haaretz]."

I have to believe that Gaza plays a role in Israel's wariness. If you listen to international opinion and end the blockade of Cuba, why not end the siege of Gaza too?

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Next item. Dahlia Scheindlin at +972 reports on a poll indicating that the Israeli public is fearful of isolation.

"+972 Magazine's survey indicates a sea change in consciousness inside Israel, and a dawning realization that things cannot go on as they are. Ninety percent of the respondents reject the option of continuing the status quo on the conflict...

"In recent months it is a rare day without a headline discussing Israel's worsening situation vis-a-vis the international community. Other surveys of mine show that over 60 percent of Israelis believe the U.S.-Israel relationship is in a crisis, and over 60 percent blame the prime minister for making those relationships worse...

"We asked: 'When you think about the negative attitudes toward Israel in Europe and the crisis in relations with the U.S., are you worried about international isolation, or not worried?'

"A strong majority, more than two to one, are worried: 30 percent are very worried, and a total of 71 percent say they are worried; 29 percent say they are not...

"By political breakdown, even 50 percent of Likud voters are worried. Fully 90 percent of Labor/Hatnua voters say they are worried."

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Scheindlin says that support for a two-state solution is unchanged, at 57 percent of Israelis.

"There is no statistical change in support for an equal one-state solution. [7 percent]

"Instead, there is significantly rising support for one, unequal state. Perhaps if the word 'apartheid' had been added, political correctness would dampen the numbers, but this reflects a real trend."

Yes and perhaps the word "equal" would mean more to Israelis if the U.S. stood up for equality for once.

On that note, here's the latest column from an American dean of foreign policy, journalist William Pfaff, saying Gaza changed everything, Israel is on a tailspin of international isolation that is going to break on the U.S. in the 2016 elections. Pfaff says that Israel's image began changing in the 1980's, when the country began to seem to be more aggressive. And then the "futile" and "pitiless" Gaza onslaughts confirmed the trend, defeating the idea of "violence as a policy."

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Philip Weiss is a longtime writer and journalist in New York. He co-edits a website on Israel/Palestine, Mondoweiss.net, which he founded in order to foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy. He is currently working on a novel about the US in Australia during WW2.

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