Beinart calls for boycott of settlements ‘to save Israel’

Beinart
Beinart

Today on the New York Times op-ed page, Peter Beinart calls for a boycott of Israeli settlements. “To save Israel, boycott the settlements” is the headline. “As I write this, I cringe.” (And just in time for his forthcoming book, Crisis of Zionism.)

Beinart’s move is very important in the Jewish discourse and therefore the mainstream American discourse. Unlike so many others, Beinart is not in denial that Israel is in crisis. He knows that half the people under its government have no political rights. 

In this piece he is establishing the new pro-Israel line: the two-state solution is a live item, Israel as a Jewish state and Jewish democracy with a strong Jewish majority can be saved and valorized, the Republicans and neoconservatives are trying to consolidate a greater Israel, they are working in parallel with the BDS call, which would make one democracy between river and sea. That a liberal Zionist would issue this call was inevitable (some have done so already; I long predicted that J Street would put its foot down on the settlements; I guess they were just  waiting for the book launch).

Here is Beinart’s argument, which includes a call to recast the language:

It’s time for a counteroffensive — a campaign to fortify the boundary that keeps alive the hope of a Jewish democratic state alongside a Palestinian one….

we should call the West Bank “nondemocratic Israel.” The phrase suggests that there are today two Israels: a flawed but genuine democracy within the green line and an ethnically-based nondemocracy beyond it. It counters efforts by Israel’s leaders to use the legitimacy of democratic Israel to legitimize the occupation and by Israel’s adversaries to use the illegitimacy of the occupation to delegitimize democratic Israel.

Having made that rhetorical distinction, American Jews should seek every opportunity to reinforce it. We should lobby to exclude settler-produced goods from America’s free-trade deal with Israel. We should push to end Internal Revenue Service policies that allow Americans to make tax-deductible gifts to settler charities. Every time an American newspaper calls Israel a democracy, we should urge it to include the caveat: only within the green line.

But a settlement boycott is not enough. It must be paired with an equally vigorous embrace of democratic Israel.

Here is a true (and obvious) principle that it’s great to hear him embracing:

settlements need not constitute the world’s worst human rights abuse in order to be worth boycotting. After all, numerous American cities and organizations boycotted Arizona after it passed a draconian immigration law in 2010.

Beinart specifically leaves out East Jerusalem, where some 250,000 settlers live, where Palestinians are being evicted from their homes, and religious zealots are using the bible as a real estate guide:

the boycott should not apply to East Jerusalem, which Israel also occupied in 1967, since Palestinians there at least have the ability to gain citizenship, even if they are not granted it by birth.

Beinart is not shy about using the word Zionism. At J Street’s conference next weekend, they are eschewing this term. But Beinart is old school, and wants to blow new life into Jewish nationalism. He is trying to do what Todd Gitlin is also trying to do (in a piece in Raritan): to deny that Zionism is colonial, to separate the 45-year settlement project from the 64-year-old story of Israel.

When Israel’s founders wrote the country’s declaration of independence, which calls for a Jewish state that “ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,” they understood that Zionism and democracy were not only compatible; the two were inseparable.

More than six decades later, they look prophetic. If Israel makes the occupation permanent and Zionism ceases to be a democratic project, Israel’s foes will eventually overthrow Zionism itself.

The piece will be unpopular among full-boycott supporters, whom Beinart decries as threatening the Jewish democracy– and for many others who consider Palestinians part of their political community (including those who have witnessed the apartheid conditions in the West Bank and welcomed the Arab Spring as liberating all Middle Eastern peoples who have not, per Lincoln, consented to their governments). 

The issue of community is crucial here. Beinart has called for a “Jewish conversation” about these issues, and his piece will be seen as revolutionary in the circle where he wants to stand, the Jewish community and US establishment. Here are Sarah Wildman and Jeffrey Goldberg discussing it on twitter:

[Wildman] I must admit the word ‘boycott’ makes me twitch. And yet we must acknowledge the settlements undermine Israel. 

[Goldberg] As you know, I’ve been arguing against settlements forever. But anti-Jewish boycotts? I know where this ends.

He’s talking about Nazis. Later Goldberg took it further:

You know what? I find it unpleasant to talk about boycotting Jews on a day when Jewish children have been murdered for being Jewish.

Ronn Torossian has a more sober response (thanks, Paul Mutter):

Beinart is a shame to the Jewish community – a self-hating Jew. Beinart doesn’t represent the Jewish community any more than a black member of the KKK would represent African-Americans.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 77 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Dan Crowther says:

    strange that Phil is trumpeting Beinart’s Op-Ed and “call” — Richard Silverstein thinks otherwise:

    link to richardsilverstein.com

    “Beinart calls for a “counteroffensive” against Bibi Netanyahu’s “one-state” vision. I’m down with that. But what does the campaign involve? He doesn’t like the Bibilical terms Judea and Samaria. Nor does he like the term, “West Bank.” Instead, he comes up with the hopelessly flawed, “nondemocratic Israel.” How do I hate this phrase? Let me count the ways. First, it associates the Territories with Israel, when they are not Israel, but Palestine. Second, the phrase clearly indicates a claim that Israel within the Green Line is democratic. For any reasonably well informed observer of Israeli society, this is false. At best, Israel is democratic for its Israeli Jewish citizens. For its Israeli Palestinians? Not so much.”
    ——————————————

    But of course, I should have remembered, this is the “new” Mondoweiss, where anything short of “lets kick all the A-rabs out” is considered “progress”……

    • strange that Phil is trumpeting Beinart’s Op-Ed and “call”

      why? it demonstrates a definite shift when self identified ‘ liberal zionists’ are calling for a boycott, even if it is just a boycott of the settlements, in the msm. nyt no less, impressive.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        annie — you do this all the time. its like you willfully neglect the MEAT AND POTATOES of what I/others say and focus on the relatively superfluous stuff in comments…… yes, its “strange” that “anti-zionist” Phil Weiss is saying this, when Richard silverstein is pretty much making fun of beinart in his piece, which i linked to……..

        im going to criticize Phil, its going to happen – you dont need to constantly “defend” MW.

        • hi dan, perhaps you misunderstood me. i was actually genuinely curious why you thought it was strange. the “new” Mondoweiss, where anything short of “lets kick all the A-rabs out” is considered “progress” didn’t really flush it out for me. as for new, it seems like exactly the phil i have always read.

          so i asked. also, silverstein lives in wash state. seattle i think.

          if you’d prefer i can just not interact with you. i was just curious. as for meat and potatoes, perhaps i’m just stupid but i didn’t read either in your initial comment. i thought it read like i was just supposed to know what you were talking about, and i didn’t.

        • oh, and i wasn’t defending mondoweiss. you can criticize it all you want. you can criticize me all you want too, it really spices up the threads!

        • Dan Crowther says:

          well, ive noticed a ton of beinart stuff lately – and this, what I consider, new found infatuation with MJ Rosenberg and other “liberal” zionists — its been commented on by others. Im not trying to be a A-hole, my bad — Its just that it seems like Phil has thrown himself even further in with the “jewish community” as it relates to his work, activism etc. And, its a little strange, in my opinion, because he says he an anti-zionist.

          I know Phil likes to look for “the cracks” and the “doors opening” etc – but, again, this is just my opinion, he could be doing much more interesting stuff; covering guys like Beinart (who is the ULTIMATE opportunist, at least in my opinion) ad nauseam indirectly links Phil to cats like that. And it seems like Adam is making it clear where he stands, as Ive just noticed he put up a “flaws of beinart” post. It just seems like lately, really since the Jerry “just war” Slater piece, Phil has really emphasized any jewish “voice” that says something nice about Palestinians or who doesnt whole heartedly support Israeli policies – like I said to Adam via email the other day, “is this how low the bar is?”

          sorry for coming at you like a jerk – thats my bad. One thing I can say for myself, I can admit when Im wrong, and I aint afraid to say Im sorry. Im sorry.

        • Mooser says:

          “Beinart has called for a “Jewish conversation” about these issues”

          This should help
          Anyway, it’s always worked for me, when I want to have a Jewish conversation. Even the use of a single word can establish your Jewish boner fidos as a clever dog.

        • no worries. perhaps it is because phil and i are friends and we have emailed each other a fair amount over the years and i’ve been known to send him articles (i didn’t send him this one btw) and i know what perks his interests. phil has always been very interested in and focused on the direction of discourse in the american jewish community, where it is headed, wrt israel and the occupation of palestine..all of this. my hunch is if you go to the archives 9top of page) and hit on any month, say from 2 or 3 years ago but literally any month, you will find phil writing about the american jewish community. that’s an integral part of what he does. so integral it’s the first thing in the about page

          1.To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion.

          (my bold)

          perhaps it seems hyped up or very shrill lately but my guess is, it reminds me of something omar barghouti said :
          link to mondoweiss.net

          So yes, the great majority of Iraelis are alienated by BDS of course and they ban together as some journalist call ‘they circle the wagons’ so to speak and this tribalism has become really extreme and fascism is growing in Israel as many many leading acedemics and artists in Israel are saying. So yes we know but this happens at the beginning, this feeling that everyone is banning together and the minority is dissenting….

          This suppression reflects that they’re really scarred and when people feel scared they do ban together until the price becomes much higher and then you’ll see cracks in this wall of silence in Israel and wall of complicity in Israel where almost all Israelis are complicit. Almost all, all cultural institutions, all academic institutions, all economic institutions, everyone is complicit with very few exceptions. . But we’ve seen it before. We’ve seen it in South Africa, we’ve seen it with the British colonial rule, French colonial rule. We’ve seen it before when the public do not pay a price they say ‘well we’re enjoying the fruits of colonialism and apartheid and oppression why can’t we continue?’……. enjoying the benefits of billions and billions of dollars of your (British) tax money, American tax money, German tax money that’s subsidizing it’s occupation and apartheid so why should it stop oppressing us? Why should it question? Why should people question ending occupation and the oppression? Only when the price goes higher as we’re doing and that’s why BDS is truly alarming to the establishment, to the colonial establishment in Israel. It promises to threaten their hegemony and their privilege and once that happens we’ll see the dissent. That’s what happened in South Africa and we’ve studied South Africa experience very closely, very very closely…..from that experience we’ve learned if we keep at it with moral consistency with continuous pressure the system will start cracking and then we’ll see a lot of dissent.

          this is the ‘cracking’ we’re hearing. there is a lot more talk happening around this issue, so anyone chronicling it will have more to write about.

          for myself personally, it interests me. we are at an important time in history so i like reading about it. i especially like reading the squealing. like the last link in the post. love reading that crap.

        • Mooser says:

          Ach, I have a hard time myself with this, often going off half-cocked (they did one hell of a job on me at my bris) because I refuse to appreciate that the views expressed on Mondoweiss do not necessarily represent the views of the blog’s owners.

      • Krauss says:

        I don’t know about that, Annie.

        As ‘revolutionary’ as Beinart wants to appear, the fact is that his Op-Ed in 2010 and his soon-to-be-released book about Zionism isn’t that radical. Mearsheimer and Walt were the real radicals, denounced by everyone(including Beinart) as dangerous anti-Semites even though most people now implictly agree they were right by using the phrase of ‘the pro-Israel lobby’. The NYT even called AIPAC an ‘Israel lobby’(which isn’t far from the truth).

        Where was Beinart before Iraq? Where was he during the 90s, when he was editor of the TNR; the gatekeeper of the liberal establishment as Rabin’s government massively increased settlements? Not a word from Beinart then.

        It’s only at the very end, when Mearsheimer, Walt, Tony Judt, Blumenthal and Weiss have been calling the obvious for what it is(and paid a heavy career price for it, at least when it comes to Blumenthal who is utterly brilliant as a journalist).

        That Beinart now comes out of woods after literally decades of silence smacks of opportunism. Now most liberals agree that Israel is on the wrong track and that the 2SS may be dead or at least on life-support. To come now and write about the ‘Crisis of Zionism’ isn’t brave or revolutionary or radical. It’s merely a statement of fact. If his book came 10 years ago he would have been a radical. Or even 5 years ago. But not now. Others have paid a deep, personal price, often through their careers, for him to say what he says now. Without any price. And it’s good for his career as he gets presented as this brave peacemaker, “taking on the Jewish establishment”. Please.

        Blumenthal’s up-coming book will be much more truthful as it rejects the puerile motion that this is somehow all the fault of a few extremists who have ‘unfortunately’ pressured Israeli governments into a position that they don’t really feel that strongly about. When in fact it’s been established mainstream policy under both labor and likud.

        But that shatters the myth of the ‘Good Israel’ that Liberal Zionists like Beinart feed off on. And where is Labor or Kadima for that matter now? Labor has gone up in the polls because it refuses to talk about the Occupation. It even reaches out to settlers(!) as a voting block. How is that upsetting the status quo? And this shouldn’t be a surprise. Labor has long provided a liberal fig leaf to the Occupation from within Israel as well as to the Jim Crow status of Arabs inside Israel.

        Beinart is not really that different, because he comes at the very end after a career marked by acquiescence and even here he refuses to deal with the reality that the Occupation draws it’s support from across the political spectrum and not from some sort of fringe. Nor is his timing that brave, as he has stonewalled this issue for his entire career and only come out after a lot braver people essentially sacrificed their careers(like Max Blumenthal) for saying the truth, unmitigated and uncensored.

        Let the mainstream media hype Beinart. I want to know more about Max’s upcoming book as it will be much more honest with the situation than Beinart will ever allow himself to be, because he craves insider access. That’s what fuelled his silence for decades and that is what is making him portray this as somehow all of Bibi’s fault and Obama as some sort of bizarre Jewish messiah. It’s a fairytale.

        • krauss, i am going to have to read the op ed which i have not really done yet, and then read phil’s post again. i would never describe beinart as ‘revolutionary’, ever.

          the only thing i would consider at all ‘revolutionary’ about this op ed is the nyt featuring someone considered ‘moderate’ in the zionist community (and in the context of zionism, which is a radical ideology, he’s a moderate zio, iow moderate radical) writing about boycot and israel in the same op ed in the new york times, the same new york times that would NOT publish walt and mearsheimer OR judt.

          i’m going to go read the article tho. meanwhile it did remind me of the ratchet effect. he’s in the middle (supporter of radical ideology) so any shift in the middle is considered a win. not a huge win but a win, i am an optimist tho. but beinart ‘revolutionary’? maybe for a zionist. personally i don’t think he is revolutionary in the least, but i think phil is right , “his piece will be seen as revolutionary in the circle where he wants to stand, the Jewish community and US establishment”.

          and that is the state of things in america, this will be seen as revolutionary in many quarters, many will scream like pigs going to slaughter.

  2. Winnica says:

    Meanwhile, over in Israel, there aren’t 0.1% of Israelis who have ever heard of Beinart. I doubt 1% have heard of BDS. The total number of Israelis affected is in the hundreds, if one counts all the humanities professors whose papers may have been rejected in European publications, even as the EU pours gigantic research funds into Israeli science departments.

    • seafoid says:

      Winnica

      That attempt at a putdown reminds me of something I saw in the news yesterday. “Soldier who killed 16 in Afghanistan described as ” a regular guy”"

      sometime it’s better to just shut up.

      And the settlers know who Beinart is

      link to myrightword.blogspot.com

    • Cliff says:

      Really?

      So virtually no Israeli knows what BDS is? Go ahead and provide some data to back that up.

      And Beinart is well-known in this country within the proper context (i.e., he is not well-known like Lady Gaga is well-known).

    • Scott says:

      Evidently Israelis are concerned enough to have passed a law that would prosecute Beinart and the Times for advocating a (partial) boycott.

      • marc b. says:

        you’re wrong, scott. they don’t care about BDS, except to the extent that it is the contemporary equivalent of the holocaust. they don’t know about BDS, but they enact legislation to punish advocates of a boycott. and boycotts are immoral and ineffective, except when instituted against the islamic republic of iran, in which case they are humane, but only partially effective, the best response to iranian intransigence being multi-ton aerial-launched high explosives.

    • marc b. says:

      I doubt 1% have heard of BDS.

      i doubt that you know what you are talking about. not that playing dumb doesn’t suit you, but are you serious, or is this a bit of psycho-melodrama? and btw, i don’t have any interest in or patience for the continued mistreatment of palestinians in israel and the OT being identified as a ‘jewish’ issue, by beinart or any other nitwit supremacist. (the use of the term ‘jewish democratic state’, or any variation thereof, with a straight face is instructive.) is the murder of jewish school children in toulouse a ‘jewish’ issue, or should all people be calling for a response to this atrocity?

    • it doesn’t matter if israelis have ever heard of beinart or bds for that matter, he’s not writing for israelis. his target is americans and there are a lot more of us.

    • Shingo says:

      I doubt 1% have heard of BDS.

      In that case, Israelis must be incredibly ignorant, especially given that their government has introduced anti BDS laws.

      Not exactly the stuff of Nobel Prizes.

  3. seafoid says:

    We should call the West Bank “nondemocratic Israel”

    This assumes that Israeli democracy still functions behind the Green line
    And it doesn’t look good. Dimi Rieder from the NYR blog :

    link to nybooks.com

    “Other recently passed legislation includes a law that prescribes the withdrawal of government funding to any organization or institution marking Israel’s Independence Day as an occasion for mourning; a law allowing communities in the Negev and Galilee regions that are smaller than 400 households to refuse to accept new residents on the basis of race, faith, and other collective identifications; a law that allows any settler who claims economic injury (even if without proof) from a call to boycott settlement produce to sue the organizers of the boycott for damages; and a law binding migrant workers’ visas to their initial employers—effectively rendering them unable to quit a job for fear of being instantly deported. Yet another recent law allows the revocation of citizenship from any person convicted of terrorism or espionage. (The espionage charge was most recently applied to IDF whistle blower Anat Kamm, who passed classified information on what she believed were war crimes not to a foreign agent, but to an Israeli journalist, and now is serving a four and a half year prison sentence; under the new law she could have also lost her citizenship.)
    Among pending proposals is a bill, already making its way through the Knesset, that would impose a 45 percent income tax on organizations receiving donations from “foreign state entities” but not state sponsorship. This category includes nearly all Israeli civil and human rights organizations, such as Association for Civil Rights Israel, B’tselem, and Physicians for Human Rights, and the proposed tax would effectively cripple their activities. Another bill, already past first reading, is aimed to increase the penalty for defamation from around $12,000 to $80,000, likely to result in a significant chilling effect on Israel’s independent press, perhaps most especially on the growing Israeli blogosphere.
    “Israel has always been a highly nationalist society, but there’s also always been the aspiration or the pretense to have this nationalism go hand in hand with some key liberal values, especially freedom of speech” Michael Sfard, a leading Israeli human rights lawyer, told me. “As someone who deals with freedom of speech, I can tell you that many Western countries could be proud of the way it has been enshrined here in Israel. And these values are currently being taken apart.” ”

    Better to make the distinction in terms of per capita income
    Israel- almost first world
    OPT- not even developing

    • hophmi says:

      I’m curious: Does the NEA give grants to organizations that observe of a day of mourning on July 4?

      • piotr says:

        It is actually curious if schools in Indian reservation have commemorations of some tragic dates in history of their tribes, tragedies that lead to their confinement on the reservations. Nobody seems to care.

  4. Beinart: “Israel’s founders … understood that Zionism and democracy were not only compatible; the two were inseparable.” But this is hogwash as the present situation proves. Beinart is becoming an intellectual contortionist in an attempt to try and align his Zionist idealism with what his two eyes can plainly see. Kübler-Ross Stage 1.

    • seafoid says:

      Beinart: “Israel’s founders … understood that Zionism and democracy were not only compatible; the two were inseparable.”

      That’s why they killed everyone in Deir Yassin and shunted all the fellahin of southern Palestine into Gaza. Democracy.

  5. Newclench says:

    It’s really good to see this kind of militant effort directed against the part of Israel that occupies or supports the occupation. Sure, militant for liberals, but more evidence of the progress J Street and others are making possible.

    • seafoid says:

      It’s better than nothing but it’s probably too late. Israel of the pre 67 borders doesn’t exist any longer. Who is Beinart to tell the settlers in “Maaleh adumim” that they don’t live in Israel ? And the other one in 8 Zionist Israeli Jews who live in the OT.

    • Mooser says:

      “It’s really good to see this kind of militant effort directed against the part of Israel that occupies or supports the occupation.”

      “effort directed against the part of Israel that occupies or supports the occupation.”? ROTFL, Newclench! Hysterical. And of course, the rest of Israel, (and it must be the substantial part, the real part, the Jewishpart) doesn’t support the Occupation, but somehow is powerless to stop it, or even ameliorate its conditions. I know! That situation arises from anti-Semitism, right?

      Newclench, you are as phony as the comment threads are long.

      • seafoid says:

        The part of Israel that supports the occupation is around 80%. The rest of the Israeli population is Palestinian !

      • Newclench says:

        Mooser with the ad hominem insults! Heaven forbid visitors think this is a site for adults.

        • Mooser says:

          “Mooser with the ad hominem insults!”

          I’m sorry, Newclench! I’ll take you for an example and just insult my reader’s intelligence. You did alert the moderators to that horrible ad hominem insult “phony” I hope.

        • Mooser says:

          “Heaven forbid visitors…”

          You are not a “visitor” Newclench? Are you a site owner? Or one of the writers? Whoops, sorry, it’s just Zionism in action.

    • clench, i just got around to reading the article and there’s nothing remotely ‘militant’ about “effort directed against the part of Israel that occupies or supports the occupation”. nothing. i’m sure you know the occupation is run out of the goi and supported by the state. beinart is calling for heavy investment to that state, as compensation for boycotting the settlements.. or didn’t you notice.

      We should spend money we’re not spending on settler goods on those produced within the green line. We should oppose efforts to divest from all Israeli companies with the same intensity with which we support efforts to divest from companies in the settlements: call it Zionist B.D.S.

      Supporters of the current B.D.S. movement will argue that the distinction between democratic and nondemocratic Israel is artificial. After all, many companies profit from the occupation without being based on occupied land. Why shouldn’t we boycott them, too? The answer is that boycotting anything inside the green line invites ambiguity about the boycott’s ultimate goal — whether it seeks to end Israel’s occupation or Israel’s existence.

  6. seafoid says:

    ” It must be paired with an equally vigorous embrace of democratic Israel.”

    any “vigorous embrace” of Israel exposes the actor to a vicious knee in the gonads

  7. Hostage says:

    So we are going to have two BDS movements with different objectives regarding equal rights for Palestinians and refugees from Israel? Beinart is still deliberately whitewashing illegal forms of segregation, discrimination, and population displacement inside the Green Line (i.e. Israel and East Jerusalem).

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The justification for a racist Jewish state in Palestine is no more compelling to me than the justification for a German one in the Sudetenland. There is no legal or moral obligation to “save Israel”. Beinart is too devious and evasive in my opinion.

    • seafoid says:

      Hostage – Wasn’t the Sudetenland >80% German? I think it was a tragedy the territory was left behind in Czechoslovakia post WW1. Was it any different to the Sud Tirol, another stranded Austrian possession ?

      • Hostage says:

        Hostage – Wasn’t the Sudetenland >80% German?

        You’re missing my point about maintaining a racist Nazi regime in the Sudetenland. The fact that ethnic German citizens had obtained a majority in the Sudetenland did not justify it’s military occupation and annexation by a neighboring German state whose ideology and official policies were to treat the non-German inhabitants as Untermenschen, much less create an obligation for the international community to maintain that racist German state or regime.

        Portions of the Czech population had been expelled in the Middle Ages by Kings who had invited Germans to establish colonies in Bohemia in the first place. At the Versailles Peace Conference, the Allies established a single committee for the creation of new states and minority rights. On 10 September 1919, Czechoslovakia had signed a minorities treaty, which guaranteed all of the inhabitants equal rights. Germany was not a new state, so it was not required to accept any agreement on minorities. That Czechoslovakian agreement was placed under the protection of the League of Nations. Germany had become the fifth permanent member of the Council after it joined the League in 1926. So it accepted a Covenant obligation to respect the League’s agreements on equal rights.

        • seafoid says:

          The Germans were stitched up at Versailles, Hostage. The Sudetenland should have been granted to Germany as its population was more or less all German but because Germany lost the war it went to Czechoslovakia.
          That was stupid.

        • Hostage says:

          The Germans were stitched up at Versailles, Hostage. The Sudetenland should have been granted to Germany.

          Deutschland, Deutschland über alles . . . I suppose that Germany could also have been given the Volga Germans and their territory too;-)

          The Allies were not empowered to make ethnic Germans in Allied or Associated states liable for payment of German or Austrian war reparations. The Czecho-Slovak National Council had declared its independence from Austria in 1918, and it was immediately recognized as an associated power of the Allies. That’s because Czecho-Slovak forces in Great Britain, France and Russia had volunteered to fight for the Allies from the very outset of the war. So it would not have been feasible to cede an independent Allied successor state to an enemy power. See for example, Charles Francis Horne, The Odyssey of the Czecho-Slavs : The March of the “Army Without a Country”, in The Great Events of the Great War: A.D. 1918, The National Alumni, 1920. link to books.google.com

        • seafoid says:

          The Sudetenland was part of the Hapsburg empire on the eve of the war. if things had worked out differently in the 1800s it could have been annexed to Germany. It should never have been ceded to Czechoslovakia. They ended up ethnically cleansing the territory.

          The Versailles conference was one of the main factors that led to WW2.

        • LeaNder says:

          Seafroid, I am slightly puzzled by your argument. Obviously you are wrong, and Hostage is right. If you look into the history of Bohemia and Czechoslovakia you will realize why.

        • seafoid says:

          Any treaty that results in the ethnic cleansing of a population that has been in place for centuries is a failure. That goes for the Sudetenland as much as Palestine. Any treaty that sets off another war is a failure.

          The borders of Europe were mangled all over the place to allow for populations on the ground. They could have done the same for the Sudetenland.
          Historic borders were hardly sacrosanct. Poland was shifted 400km west, for example.

          there were no hard and fast rules. The powers made it up as they went along.

        • LeaNder says:

          seafroid, strictly I don’t have much time . But look at the statistics of German speaking people 1910 in in the areas you have in mind Sudentendeutsche German Wiki entry. To start with your 80% don’t seem correct. Here is the part you should keep in mind while discussing the issue.

          You also have to understand that in Austria post WWI there was strong support for “Anschluss” a German-Austrian unity even in the socialist parties. I can understand Czechoslovakians didn’t like the idea. Just look where these type of mystical ideas got us. As far as I know among the German population in Alsace, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, America there never were similar demands.

          Considering what the Nazis did, the expulsion from my point of view was a minor issue.

          Behind the supposed ethnic cleansing of Kosovo there always lurked the idea of Greater Albany.

          Are you suggesting that if Germans buy up land in Poland and move there in big quantities they at one point in time can take over Poland again? Some people in Poland do actually fear that could be their intention.

        • hophmi says:

          “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The justification for a racist Jewish state in Palestine is no more compelling to me than the justification for a German one in the Sudetenland.”

          Right, and we appreciate your honesty and your apparent inability to make comparisons that pass the test of basic logic.

        • Cliff says:

          What hophmi means is that, he as a Jew – wants to have one set of moral standards in the United States (equality for all, separation of Church and State and blah blah) – whereas in Israel he wants to be an ethnic supremacist. To live out his racist fantasies.

          He wants a racist country club where he can vacation.

        • hophmi says:

          “What hophmi means is that, he as a Jew – wants to have one set of moral standards in the United States (equality for all, separation of Church and State and blah blah) – whereas in Israel he wants to be an ethnic supremacist. To live out his racist fantasies. ”

          What Cliff means is that he’s for US cultural imperialism, and that every state should have exactly the same policies and tenet as the US does. Isn’t that right, Cliff?

          Nowhere did I say Israel should be ethnic supremacist; and indeed, it is not, certainly no more than the 57 members of the OIC are, and in reality, much less than they are. Cliff apparently does not care so much about them.

        • piotr says:

          Greater Albany, or Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area does not include Kosovo and never will.

        • Mooser says:

          “Right, and we appreciate your honesty and your apparent inability to make comparisons that pass the test of basic logic.”

          Jeez Hophmi, if you think ZIonism should be, or is, based on the same principles as National Socialism in Germany, just come out and say it. Don’t beat around the bush.

        • hophmi says:

          “Jeez Hophmi, if you think ZIonism should be, or is, based on the same principles as National Socialism in Germany, just come out and say it. Don’t beat around the bush.”

          Mooser, if you think Nazism and democracy are the same thing, just come out and say it. Don’t beat around the bush.

        • Cliff says:

          hophmi, if you think Israeli democracy is so meaningless so as to compare it to surrounding Arab dictatorships or conditions in Darfur or Sudan or blah blah – then just say so.

        • Mooser says:

          Thanks, Cliff. I didn’t think Hophmi would get it, and as usual, he exceeded my expectations.

          “What Cliff means is that he’s for US cultural imperialism, and that every state should have exactly the same policies and tenet as the US does.”

          Why that’s just fine Hophmi, your Israel can be any kind state it wants to. If the egalitarianism, civil rights and rule-of-law violates your Jewish-state “tenets”, don’t take our money, our protection, and don’t cause us trouble.

        • Mooser says:

          And I’ve always wondered how we are going to have a “Jewish conversation” over Israel, when the very first thing Zionists tell you is :’if you disagree with Zionism, you’re not a Jew!’

          “Nowhere did I say Israel should be ethnic supremacist; and indeed, it is not”

          Now let’s see, who am I going to believe, this “Hophmi” guy, or my own lying eyes and experience?
          Oh whoops, I didn’t notice that “Hophmi” says “he doesn’t think Israel should be ethnic supremacist” Thank God for the Web! In the old days it might have been days before “Hophmi’s” command reached Israel, and the entire legal, social and economic system is overhauled. Now I’m sure they’ll start today!

        • Hostage says:

          Right, and we appreciate your honesty and your apparent inability to make comparisons that pass the test of basic logic.

          Right. For quite a while, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had a binational state. The Zionist Organization would never hear of such a thing. “We” also appreciate the fact that you’re one of the name calling Zionist trolls.

        • Mooser says:

          “We” also appreciate the fact that you’re one of the name calling Zionist trolls.”

          Aww c’mon. After all, it’s hard work for Hophmi, protecting “visitors” to Mondoweiss from my juvenile ad hominems! And when I think on the fact that I too, am merely a “visitor”, do I even have the right to answer back to Hophmi? Cause I know he’s always got the best interests of Mondoweiss at heart. Phil should be grateful. Zionists usaully charge big for being gatekeepers, and here we get the service gratis

    • marc b. says:

      So we are going to have two BDS movements with different objectives regarding equal rights for Palestinians and refugees from Israel?

      no doubt phil will soon be gushing over the imminent arrival of bernadine dohrn on the scene. no worries, she’ll patch things up in double time.

      • Mooser says:

        “no doubt phil will soon be gushing over the imminent arrival of bernadine dohrn on the scene.”

        Dohrn? D-o-h-r-n? Does that sound like a Jewish name to you?

        • marc b. says:

          Dohrn? D-o-h-r-n? Does that sound like a Jewish name to you?

          it’s in the inflection. really, mooser, you just gotta learn to spot these things. let your inner bigot speak. i was taught that it was impolite to ‘size up’ people, ethnically speaking, but then, as i ‘grew up’, i learned that many of those who complained the most about the negative implications of stereotyping were the greatest practitioners of the craft. self love is a crazy, crazy kind of love. that’s part of the fascination with ‘mad men’, for example, which, to paraphrase don draper, that 60′s-ish farm-raised, gentile-ish icon, “We’re ‘Mad Men’, the least jewish, most jewish TV show there is.’ i can’t wait for eposide 5 of the upcoming season, entitled ‘don’s yarmulke’. didn’t see that coming.

    • Talkback says:

      I agree, but I’m not sure, if your Sudetenland comparison works 100%, because there the majority were Germans (considering spoken language, culture and selfdefinition).

      • Hostage says:

        I agree, but I’m not sure, if your Sudetenland comparison works 100%,

        Yes it does. There was no international mandate or obligation to establish and maintain a racist regime there, regardless of the demographic ratios.

        There was no international obligation for Czechoslovakia or other states to recognize the acquisition of the territory through annexation by Germany, despite the conclusion of the Munich Agreement by Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini on 29 September 1938.

  8. ahadhaadam says:

    The problem with the “partial boycott” approach is that its effectiveness is close to zero and its failure is predictable: it will enable Israelis to completely wash their hands off the occupation/Apartheid while continuing to serve in the military and enforcing the occupation and continuing to vote for parties that entrench and perpetuate this monstrosity.

    Israel should be viewed for what it is: a one state from the sea to the river, de facto, and therefore all attempts to limit the boycott to parts of the country are bound to fail since they do not include the real perpetrators of Apartheid, which is the Israeli public and all its elected governments since 1967.

    • seafoid says:

      Israelis aren’t going to listen to some schmuck from the US. What’s in it for them ? And he probably doesn’t even speak Hebrew. If he does he wasn’t in the army. He doesn’t speak Sabra Hebrew. He looks down on the Sephardim and so on.

  9. pabelmont says:

    Beinart wishes to support pre-1967 Israel, which he desperately praises as “democratic Israel”, while asking American Jews (not Americans generally!) to boycott businesses operating in occupied territories which he calls “undemocratic Israel” (and which in my view includes West Bank, all of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan). He even calls for the USA to remove tax-deductibility for gifts to charities operating in “undemocratic Israel”. Well, that last, at least, makes sense. And he asks newspapers to use his new terms, “democratic Israel” and “undemocratic Israel” (not, note, “occupied territories”); it will be interesting to see what terms the NYT adopts, as they say these days, “going forward”.

    However, no boycott of the OPTs (and Golan) by American Jews which does not boycott all of Israel makes sense, and this for three reasons.

    First, the occupation arises from all of Israel, not just from the OPTs, and cannot be “rolled back” by Israel unless it is rolled back by Israelis living in “democratic Israel”. To energize all of Israel toward a pull-back from the OPTs, a boycott must target all of Israel.

    The second reason is that the occupation is not intrinsically or principally a manufacturing enterprise. It is also a land-grabbing enterprise, a human-rights-denying enterprise, a population-expelling enterprise. If it had no manufacturing at all, it would still be evil. A boycott aims at manufacturing alone and will not affect the principal evils of the occupation.

    The third reason is that a boycott by American Jews will have effect only to the extent it serves as a model and “gives permission” to non-Jewish Americans (the other 97.5%) to join the boycott. A boycott of the OPTs alone is less than half-hearted and models a far too understanding, far too forgiving, attitude toward Israel — the whole state and all its Jewish people — who are responsible communally for a great evil. Beinart admits the evil, sort of, but seeks to prevent any but the mildest response. In effect, he says, this is not serious. Dear American Jews, he seems to say, please don’t tell the American people at large that it is actually serious.

  10. ‘Judea and Samaria’

    Beinart says, only ‘Jewish hawks’ refer to the West Bank as ‘Judea and Samaria’. That’s nonsense. Israels Central Bureau of Statistics does. In Israel even the statisticians have a metaphysical notion of their country. What Beinart avoids is attacking Israel’s metaphysical identity. But that’s the heart of the matter.

    • perhaps Israels Central Bureau of Statistics is made up of jewish hawks. there are very few lefties left in israel. even their ‘moderate’ is hawkish by normal standards.

  11. Mooser says:

    I suggest a nice big piece of 1.2-3mm. leather, salvaged from an old motorcycle jacket, firmly affixed with double stitched nylon carpet thread. Installed on the “inside leg” across the crotch and down to the other thigh. Sure, it’s not very fashionable or comfortable, but it makes fence-sitting while you wait for your inheritance so much more comfortable.

    • seafoid says:

      Alternatively Mooser 2 great buys for anyone joining in the Jewish discourse over Israel are a pair of ear muffs and a thick carpet to crawl under.

      • Mooser says:

        “are a pair of ear muffs and a thick carpet to crawl under.”

        I tried that once. It meant I couldn’t hear ‘em coming, and then they kicked hell out of me through the carpet. And the itching from the leather crotch in my pants was torturous.

        We had a “Jewish discourse over Israel” once, and what did we get out of it? Israel! I suspect any “Jewish discourse” on the subject will end up pretty much the same.

    • Sure, it’s not very fashionable or comfortable, but it makes fence-sitting while you wait for your inheritance so much more comfortable.

      And what about the goyim? What’s a stereotypical waspish goy like me to think? What’s it going to do to my 401k? I’m already paying almost $4 a gallon for gas! Where’s it all going to end up?

      Those d@#n Jews are at it, again. Robbing and stealing those people blind, their land and all. And wasn’t that Madoff guy Jewish? What’s this about a Green Line? Judea and Samaria are on the Jewish side of the Jordan River, right? I learned that a long time ago in vacation bible school. How come there are Arabs living in the Holy Land, anyhow? All those people deserve what’s coming to them – that’s what I think. There’s this song by Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall” – I really dig that because it sorta says where I’m at with this whole business,

      I don’t know, those folks over there are really f@#ked up. I think that’s why I never liked history and geography in school, you know.

      ,

      • Oh, yeah – and I wanted to say I feel left out of this discussion.

      • Mooser says:

        “And what about the goyim? What’s a stereotypical waspish goy like me to think? What’s it going to do to my 401k? I’m already paying almost $4 a gallon for gas! Where’s it all going to end up?”

        Rutherford, if you are saying that it will be, more than likely, others, instead of what is usually considered “the Jews” who will, in desperation, finally try to do something about Israel, while “the Jews” continue their eternal debate on “Why should we give up something we got so cheap?” I think you are probably right.
        Say, think you can do it without Israel loosing an atom bomb at somebody or other? That sure would be nice.

  12. Mooser says:

    “Beinart’s move is very important in the Jewish discourse and therefore the mainstream American discourse. Unlike so many others, Beinart is not in denial that Israel is in crisis.”

    I agree! When secular, or even Reform Jews from Tel Aviv or New York City (get a rope!) can tell ultra-Orthodox Jews, or fanatic settler Jews what to do, you can kiss the entire Zionist project goodbye! What’s next, Saturday morning in the settlemnts will be time to go to Wal-Martowitz and Costcostein and stock up on supplies, instead of honoring the Sabbath.
    All those do-goody redeemers of Israel simply have one motive at heart: they want to eliminate all the most religious Jews, all the real Jews from any power.
    Well, I’m not gonna stand still for this! In fact, I’m gonna go make a burnt-offering today!
    C,mon now, how many of you weeny liberal do-gooder anti-Zionists are willing to steal or kill for your religion? That’s what I thought, no devotion.

  13. Pixel says:

    It’s all about adding to the discourse.

    Not too long ago, there was none – n o n e – none.

    • Pixel says:

      Even two years ago, you’d never read or hear the word “nuclear” in the same sentence with “Israel.”

      How far things have come.

      How far they have, yet, to go.

      This op-ed, Zion Square, and Beinart’s forthcoming book are important because they’re lighting fires under people’s butts.

  14. Mooser says:

    As long as Jews insist their religion can support a state, when it hasn’t even proven very good at supporting a religion, we’re screwed.
    A state is where moribund religions go to die.

    Hard not to think that if Jews in Israel were like the Jews in the US (about 2%), Israel would have been a fantastic success.

  15. piotr says:

    Mooser: I do not understand your charge that State of Israel has not proven effective at supporting religion. For example, I have read that the number of scholars of halacha reached record levels. Consider this:

    The Institute for Science and Halacha is dedicated to the development of a sound halachic base for dealing with all matters connected with science and modern technology. This base is built on the firm foundations of our eternal Halacha and rooted in the sources of the Talmud and Posekim.
    INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND HALACHA
    1 Hapisga Street, P.O.B. 16121, Jerusalem Israel 96465 Tel: 972-2-642-4880 Fax: 972-2-642-0949 [email protected]

    For example, each submarine of Israeli navy has a compartment where Torah scrolls are stored to be perused by mariners in proper circumstances (off-shift on the Sabbath day? shift schedule accommodating Halachic requirements in an optimum manner, calculated by on-board computer).

    I think that Judaism is a very confusing religion (or a groups of related religions) and lesser minds, like Mooser’s are too easily exasperated. [Until 5 minutes ago I did not even know what Posekim means. Check how the explanation of this term is packaged with ads and links. Why is Google ad of Charmin toilet paper triggered by a search on Halachic terms? link to answers.com ]

    • Mooser says:

      “Why is Google ad of Charmin toilet paper triggered by a search on Halachic terms?”

      As far as I know, roll-squeezing is mostly a Kabbalistic concern, but the two are closely related. Try refining your search terms.

      • Mooser says:

        Although I have heard that the shot of Mr. Whipple with a roll of toilet paper are supposed to subconsciously trigger images of Rabbis with Torah scrolls. But you know what they say about advertising and Madison Avenue!

    • Mooser says:

      “lesser minds, like Mooser’s are too easily exasperated.”

      Well, there’s no denying that! Thanks for your guidance, I was quite perplexed.