Apr. 21, 2017
- Why American Progressives Should Support Israel – Dani Dayan
I feel compelled to reaffirm to American progressives: support for Israel has a strong and natural place on your political agenda. Our values, our hopes and our dreams are in full harmony with your own. The Israel I know and love stands for equality, social justice, democracy, diversity and peace.
Yes, the critics of Israel’s foreign policy, domestic politics and government are correct. Israel is indeed imperfect. I’m unsure which democracy is. Yet, as in America, free speech, free expression and equal opportunity are all values that run deep in Israeli society. The fact that it was an Arab justice who sentenced Israel’s former president, Moshe Katsav to seven years in prison for the crimes he committed did not raise a single eyebrow in Israel.
The major issue that gives progressives pause about supporting Israel is the conflict we have with the Palestinians. While Israel has successfully achieved peace with other neighbors such as Egypt and Jordan – peace that has lasted for decades – we have still been unable to achieve peace with the Palestinian leadership despite our best efforts. At least seven times, Israel either accepted or proposed far-reaching peace deals. Israel was prepared to give the Palestinian leadership almost 99% of what they asked for, and yet they still said no to peace.
Israel is not perfect, but every day we strive to make the world a better place, living by the principles that we share with progressives everywhere. Those who believe in trying to make our values a reality should stand with us. The writer is the consul general of Israel in New York. (Newsweek)