‘Guardian’ sees Diaspora Jewish leadership beginning to express criticism of Israel

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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More straws in the wind, and the usual reasons. Gaza. Netanyahu. Antony Lerman in the Guardian:

The public positions adopted by the leaderships of diaspora communities
around the world demonstrate solidarity with the state and government [of Israel].
American Jewish support for the Shalem Centre and other rightwing
intellectual, political and religious forces in Israel is indicative of
the important role a certain activist element of diaspora Jews play in
propping up an expansionist Israeli stance. And Netanyahu can still
rely on the quiescence of the mass of daspora Jews to be able to claim,
as all Israeli governments have done, that Israel acts on behalf of all

But you need hardly dig more than an inch or two to
find deep disquiet and confusion following the Gaza war and the
appointment of the racist Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister. And
some of that concern is being channelled into a form of lobbying that
challenges Aipac, philanthropic activity supporting human rights
organisations in Israel-Palestine and social activism based on Jewish
universalism. These activities represent the growing strain of diaspora
Jewish opinion desperate for a new way, which sees the damage being
done to Israel and recognises the necessity of supporting Palestinian
rights. Might this lead diaspora Jews to find a voice capable of
speaking a previously unsayable truth?

A public meeting
organised by the London Jewish Community Centre on Monday night titled
`Can we talk about Israel?` provides a clue. The discussion was about
the limits of what Jews can say when they want to be critical of
Israel. The two key voices on the panel, the Guardian`s Jonathan
Freedland and Jacqueline Rose, professor of English Literature at Queen
Mary, University of London, one of the founders of Independent Jewish
Voices, demonstrated remarkable unanimity on what Freedland said he
dreamed diaspora Jews would one day say to Israel.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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