Really, you are the one who seems to lack an understanding of foreign policy - you see the I/P issue as entirely black and white. Your beliefs are rather dogmatic and tiresome - clearly there are more alternatives than "Status Quo" and "Apartheid State". Only an imbecile or a true believer would think otherwise.
That is nonsense. The entire world admires the United States - they just dislike some of its leaders like George W. Bush - and some of its policy positions. But this has as much to do with us maintaining troops on the ground in Saudi Arabia in pursuit of oil, or arguably much moreso, and our many ill-thought decisions in Latin America and complete ignorance of Africa, than it has anything to do with Israel.
I am a liberal / progressive Democrat. But I also understand that when it comes to foreign policy or specific issues, it is not Israel's responsibility to lead the world by giving away land for nothing in return. One can be more of a centrist in terms of foreign policy while still being liberal on nearly everything else. For instance, I do agree that Obama could be doing much more on Iran, and I do think the US could have been much more successful in Iraq had we not executed the war based on a faulty presumption of WMD - I've told my friends I would have supported an Iraq war under President Clinton - executed for humanitarian and Democratic aims, and not done in bungling fashion.
I support the United States first as well. But Israel is my distant second interest - and I'm a US citizen / voter. And I will vote on that issue if need be - because unlike you, I do not see a conflict of interest - Israel's interests are US interests.
BTW - I'd say Japan and Germany's unconditional surrenders at the end of WWII have worked out pretty well for them - they are 2 of the top economies in the world. I think the Palestinians have reason to believe that Israel / the US / and the international community would invest in their state and they would be in pretty damn good shape 50 years from now as well if they negotiate for peace now.
Stronger parties and victors in war almost always dictate terms to the weaker parties. In this particular case, I believe that Israel is the stronger party and will likewise be able to dictate some or most of the terms. If the Palestinans don't like that, I can sympathize with them - but that isn't going to change the geo-political situation. Perhaps they and other Arab nations should have thought about this before the 1967 war.
Yes, I still think accepting terms of peace will be beneficial to the Palestinian people - and likely they will get some concessions if they come to the table. It beats a continued state of war which I think gets them nothing in the long run, and the United States and UN can help negotiate and / or pressure Israel for the proper military defense of the Palestinian state. Longer term, I think Israel would grant Palestine a military. But I see no harm in taking baby steps towards that eventuality.
Why does the Palestinian state require a military capability or the control of East Jerusalem? Neither of these things is ever going to happen without some sort of nuclear Armageddon - so the Palestinians might as well take land for peace. Not land + rockets for peace. Not land + the capital of Israel + rockets for peace. Just land for peace - plain and simple. Sounds fair to me.
If things go well, they can always be granted a military force later. Small steps.
So you do not think that Bibi actually favors an independent Palestinian state? Based on his speech last week and Obama's reaction thus far, it appears the US now agrees that Bibi favors a 2-state solution, with strict conditions for the Palestinian state. I for one have no problems with most of these conditions (unified Jerusalem, demilitarized Palestine, etc).
I think if we bet on intelligence throughout history, we'd be in much better shape than we're in now! Adlai Stevenson and Al Gore as president - huzzah - I would take that any day over the alternatives we've elected!
I disagree that East Jerusalem is likely to be in Palestinian hands when all is said and done - nor do I have any moral qualms with Israel possessing a unified city of Jerusalem.
I also disagree that all building needs to be frozen across the board until peace is reached - when will that be? 3 months from now? 3 years? In the meantime, Israel is in the driver seat IMHO - they can do what they want - obviously if peace is the ultimate goal then there are some limits to what they can / will do in the settlements and with regards to the Palestinians. What you are suggesting just isn't going to happen the way things are going now...
I don't think Netanyahu is as dumb as his detractors think he is. I can't say I understand his end-game or anything, but I don't think he envisions a 2 state solution where Jews are the minority in their own state.
Supposedly, the US is about to make concessions to Israel on the settlements question - formal concessions - after years of "wink wink nod nod" with W. and Condi. So.... I'm still not convinced of this "very dark place" you speak of.