Last night at the Brecht Forum, I heard Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism, and this morning I need to shout that There is light coming into Americans’ lives on this issue. Everything I’ve said on this blog, about "The tide is ours," and "There will be a robust debate about this issue in America soon" is coming to pass. I feel this way because Kovel made the following points:
–He participated in a forum two weeks back in Chicago, with two other Jews, one of them Tony Karon, on Post-Zionism. 150 people were in the room, many of them young Jews. This would never have taken place two years ago.
–The campaign to commemorate the Nakba would also have been unheard of a couple years back, in American alternative culture. It is now a big deal on the left. Events in Brooklyn on May 21, at Columbia University next Monday with Nadia Abu El-Haj, lately in the New Yorker, plus "No Time to Celebrate," the Jewish campaign to recognize the Nakba. Major progress.
–A "chipping away" has taken place over a long time, with the help of the New Historians, that is finally making a difference in the discourse on Israel, Kovel proclaimed. He has done about 100 events in the last year or so, he said, and things have changed. He still gets the "catcalls" and venom from pro-Israel supporters. But it’s subsided. "They more or less leave you alone. They don’t know what to say, or they’ve gone under their flat rock." I’ve noticed that too. Fewer enraged deniers…
–The Establishment is fracturing before our eyes. An important discussion has begun inside the foreign policy elite about whether Israel is in our best interest. Walt and Mearsheimer was a huge event. It signalled the end of consensus in the elite. I complain all the time on this blog about the marginalization of Walt and Mearsheimer. But Kovel is saying, and I agree, that their ideas are seeping, seeping in, like water into a rock, that will break down a mountain. Believe me, soon this issue will make the mainstream media.
–The neocons are ultra-Zionists. They built the Iraq war. The debacle is also feeding this process.
The world is changing, let me say it again. Light is coming into American lives!