As I was browsing through the New York Times this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see this op-ed by Ali Abunimah on the differences in the American approaches to negotiations in Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine. For the record, I don’t agree with Mr. Abunimah’s overall view of the conflict. He places too much emphasis on vaguely neo-Marxist anti-colonial narratives for my taste, and I think the “one-state solution” that he desires would be extremely sub-optimal. That said, I think it’s great that he and people like him are beginning to get serious attention in American political discourse. One of the reasons that American policy toward Israel is (in my view) so misguided is because the mainstream debate is so oddly circumscribed. American citizens have been treated to Charles Krauthammer and Jeffrey Goldberg, which is fine, but outside of college campuses they’ve been unlikely to come across many unabashed supporters of the Palestinian cause.
It really does seem as though that’s beginning to change, and Abunimah’s piece is one example of the shift. I seriously wonder whether the Times would have published the same piece five years ago. Progress then, in small steps.