America’s Time of Reckoning Over Israel Has Arrived

Whether or not Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition prevails in Tuesday’s election in Israel, Americans face a wrenching decision about how to respond to the country’s drift away from liberal democracy and toward the permanent imposition of apartheid on the Palestinians of the West Bank.

Thirteen years ago, when Jimmy Carter used the language of systematic institutionalized oppression to describe the emerging relationship between Israel and the Palestinians, he inspired harsh criticism. So did Barack Obama, when he tried during the opening years of his presidency to force Netanyahu’s government to halt the settlement expansion that seemed like the opening moves in a slow-motion annexation of contested land in the West Bank. We’ve seen defensive indignation again in recent months, in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s sloppy formulations about the character of America’s bilateral relations with Israel.

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