Netanyahu’s DC Flack Attack

by Yousef Munayyer

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is in Washington and you know what that means, it is time for Jackson Diehl, Netanyahu’s microphone at the Washington Post, to write another column complaining about Washington pressuring Netanyahu too much and Abbas too little.

The refrain is as wrong as it is consistent. It also isn’t limited to Diehl. We’ve heard the same sort of nonsense from the AIPAC-spawned Washington Institute for Near East Policy and their director Robert Satloff, among others. They argue that Washington is letting Abbas off easy and that if he doesn’t perceive the costs of failed peace talks, he isn’t going to take the risks necessary for peace. That’s not a typo, I wrote Abbas, not Netanyahu intentionally. The Palestinians, they argue, are the ones who bare no costs if the talks fail.

Perhaps it has not dawned on Diehl, Satloff and their ilk that if the talks fail to deliver an independent Palestinian state, Palestinians will continue to bear the brunt of Israeli occupation and colonization. That sure sounds like a cost to me and plenty of incentive to want the talks to succeed.

Think about this for a second. One party, a strong nuclear armed state, occupies and illegally colonizes the other, which is a stateless people with no capacity to challenge it militarily. Diehl and Satloff argue the weaker, occupied, colonized, stateless party isn’t feeling enough heat. Oh, by the way, the stronger party receives unwavering military, economic, and diplomatic support from the world’s lone remaining superpower.

If anything, it is the Israelis that pay little or no costs for continuing to occupy and colonize Palestinian land. This is why it has persisted for decades. Diehl, Satloff and company turn the entire situation on its head. They completely de-contextualize reality to find a way to slam Obama and support Netanyahu. What else, I suppose, should one expect from Netanyahu’s DC flacks?


Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center. 

The views in this brief do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.