Israel's more militant supporters are thrilled by Mr. Netanyahu's hard-line approach. "Isn't it great that at least one world leader is willing to stand up to Islamo-fascism?" one reader told me. But the PM's rhetoric, however emotionally satisfying, is short-sighted. As I argue, the case for a strong Jewish state -like the case for its Palestinian equivalent -rests on a clear and coherent narrative tied to a particular moment in history. You can't just recite slogans about Israeli security -however heartfelt -and expect the world to agree with you.
Insofar as Israeli leaders and supporters (including this newspaper's editorial board) have stuck to the Green Line benchmark, they have had that coherent narrative, with the script going as follows: "We want a twostate solution, true to the spirit of what the world community originally intended more than six decades ago, and would be happy to hammer one out, but Hamas and the others want to destroy us instead." They also add in the fact that Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, teach anti-Semitism in schools and mosques, and distribute maps showing all of Israel as Palestinian territory. All of this is true and genuinely worrisome.
But since early 2010, I really have had no idea what script Mr. Netanyahu is arguing, or on what historical benchmark he is relying for his positions...Um, I'm pretty certain he articulated what "historical benchmark" he's relying on--on a 4,000 year-old claim to this land, Jewish land.
All the other "benchmark" crap Kay seems to put so much stock in pales next to that. And unlike Kay, I totally get where Bibi is coming from. He is willing to play along with the negotiating/benchmark charade, but he knows for certain that there can never be progress until Palestinians and their abettors are able to come to terms with the reality of Jewish sovereignty over land claimed in perpetuity for Islam. (I get where Bibi is coming from. Jon Kay's provenance, on the other hand, is utterly baffling.)
Update: Closet Conservative thinks Kay is "naive".