One could not ask for a more perfect museum quality specimen of the spiritual crisis and degradation that Zionism has wrought. It is one thing for the Michael Walzer-Paul Berman-Alan Dershowitz school of masturbatory meditation on the “ethics” of war and occupation in the name of “liberalism” to be the basis of one’s politics. But for such political discourses to be the basis of a religious discourse is the moral monstrosity that has characterized most non-Orthodox Judaism for the last 70 years.
It is worth noting that this particular rabbi has been one of the chief ideologues of Reform Zionism in the last generation and, in saying he is “worried about Reform rabbis and rabbinical students” makes a point of identifying himself with the protestations of Daniel Gordis. “What does it say about the future of liberalism,” the good rabbi asks “if in less than a decade Peter Beinart has gone from hawkish liberalism to calling for a boycott of Israelis?” What indeed.
The avalanche of neocon hysteria that has rained down against Beinart even before the official release date of his book is frightening and unprecedented. It is the living confirmation of what I was always told by my elders that the people Norman Podhoretz most wanted to see shackled in a gulag were his progressive Zionist former friends. What was once said of the expelled American Communist leader Earl Browder can thus now be said of Peter Beinart – there, but for an accident of geography, stands a corpse!