This is relatively huge: Jewish uber-philanthropist Edgar Bronfman -- one of the main funders behind the Birthright Israel program, which sends young American Jews to Israel to develop their Zionist sympathies -- has come out in the Huffington Post as a supporter of the Obama administration's call for the Israeli government to freeze all settlement growth. What's more, he uses the "a" word -- apartheid -- to describe the direction in which Israel is trending:

[Former Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon became convinced that the demographic threat to Israel's existence outweighed his life's work of settlement construction. As Sharon understood clearly, there was no way to keep controlling the Palestinian people indefinitely and to simultaneously maintain Israel's Jewish and democratic character.

At a certain point, there will be more Arabs than Jews living between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, thereby leading to one de facto apartheid state if no resolution to the conflict is reached via a two-state solution.

Bronfman also clearly states that most American Jews support President Obama's Middle East agenda, and that official resistance to that agenda within Israel is driven by the religious right:

The expansion of settlements in the West Bank, as we all know, has been promoted by the religious Zionist right in Israel as a form of holy work, meant to hasten the return of the Messiah through the possession of the entire biblical Land of Israel. Governments all across the Israeli political spectrum have allowed this to continue for decades, due usually to political expediency and pressure.

Read the whole thing.

--Dana Goldstein

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