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Can a liberal Zionist write about ‘Israel’s contemporary reality’ without mentioning ‘occupation,’ ‘checkpoints,’ ‘Jim Crow’ or ‘Gaza’?

Israel/Palestine
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Rabbi Andy Bachman of Beth Elohim in Brooklyn can, in a post anticipating the Park Slope Food Coop’s vote on whether to stop selling Israeli hummus. Bachman describes Israel as a “remarkable achievement virtually unprecedented in human history and… therefore an incredible source of pride for Jews and others around the world” and continues: 

Israel’s contemporary reality, as can be expected, continues to generate excitement and debate…

we oppose the idea of a boycott of Israel for three simple reasons. One, it singles out Israel at the exclusion of an equal accounting of Palestinians and other Arab states for their own abuses and contributions to this conflict. Two, it is clear to us that the long-term goal of the BDS movement is to delegitimize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. And three, a PSFC boycott of Israel will greatly divide the delicate fabric of a community institution with as diverse a membership as any democratic community organization in the United States….

I believe our greatest chance of success is found not in singling out one side or another for blame but in strengthening the hands of those on both sides of the conflict in building relationships of mutuality and cooperation; dialogue and understanding.

Thanks to Marc Tracy at Tablet, who writes that the boycott vote at the food coop next Tuesday night may “represent liberal American Jews…  rejecting Israel.”

About Philip Weiss

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

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