Can we imagine a moderate, secure, democratic Israel?
Imagine a moderate Israel dedicated to living in peace and cooperation with all those who were willing to meet it half way, without regard to religion. Such an Israel could be Jewish and democratic existing within its 1967 borders plus or minus mutually agreed variations or it could incorporate both Israeli and Palestinian societies and territory in one secular and democratic state. But it could not be Zionist, expansionist, fascist, garrison state, or colonial empire.
Such a state could be holder of a regional nuclear monopoly, holder of the region’s greatest nuclear force, or it could renounce nuclear rogue status and lead the region toward the vision of a denuclearized Mideast. But it could not threaten nuclear aggression against other states nor could it threaten non-nuclear aggression under the cover of its nuclear force.
Such a state could be the region’s most democratic state and could also be the region’s greatest military and economic power. But it could not possess a foreign policy based on overwhelming superiority of force, nor could it believe that its neighbors understand only the language of force.
Such a state could be a home for the world’s Jews. But it could not institute an apartheid regime condemning Muslims under its control to second-class status.
Such a state could be an ally of the U.S. and as such could make a critical contribution to explaining the region to Americans and introducing Americans to Israel’s neighbors. But it could not teach the U.S. such lessons as how to conduct urban warfare to defeat an independence movement through bloodthirsty and barbaric collective punishment. It could not use its alliance to trick the U.S. into a pathological state of permanent war against Islam.
Such a state could be secure with its American backing. But militarist factions within such a state could not pervert that backing into a power grab nor could militarist factions in the U.S. exploit “Israeli security” to advance their own private agendas.