Is America obsessed with Israel? Stephen Marche, a columnist for Esquire, thinks so, and “The obsession has gone on long enough,” he writes in the magazine’s August issue.
Marche writes of an intellectual and military disengagement from the Middle East by America and the West, writing, “That blessed time when we don’t care anymore can’t come soon enough.”
“Because what is there really to talk about anymore? The issues that originated the obsession with the region have all been either solved or stalemated,” he continues, adding:
Marche displays a nuanced understanding of the political implications of the region—specifically those involving Israel.
“For the Left,” he writes, “distancing itself from Israel is a way of working through issues of colonialism in a safely remote space…Support for Israel can often be equally dubious: born of apocalyptic fantasies borrowed from Revelation or the Book of Mormon, a counterreaction to liberal elitism, or a way to be on the side of the powerful.”
Marche even takes a stab at American Jewish firebrand Peter Beinart, whose recent book, The Crisis of Zionism, argues that young American Jews are falling out of love with Israel, “which may well be true,” Marche writes, “but their newfound indifference doesn’t particularly matter one way or the other” because “The political choice faced by American voters is between a party that is really quite pro-Israel indeed and another that is so pro-Israel it hurts.”
“Israelis and Palestinians believe they are iconic of something global, something larger than their own limited, momentary concerns. They reason that peace, when it comes, will be imposed by some distant, deferred force beyond their borders. Therefore the important thing is to win the war of global symbolism. That war, because it is ethereal, ghostly, can never be won, and because it can never be won, it will never end.”