As a promoter of Peter Beinart’s new book The Crisis of Zionism (albeit with major differences), I was overjoyed to read David Shulman’s review of the book in the new New York Review of Books. The piece is not yet online, I got it in the mail. But it shows what an important blow Beinart has struck: his liberal-Zionist attack on the Israel lobby and the occupation has licensed a leftwing writer to bring important news to influential Americans: the two state solution is over, and there goes the Jewish state.
Almost every other mainstream review of Beinart has been negative and ultra-Zionist. But Shulman’s piece is a lot closer to Austin Branion’s review here (which was negative and not Zionist). Shulman praises Beinart’s bravery, and says he does not go far enough.
I’ll post longer excerpts from the piece when it’s online, but the revelations in the article are: What about that word apartheid?
“Those who recoil at the term ‘apartheid’ are invited to offer a better one; but note that one of the main architects of this system, Ariel Sharon, himself reportedly adopted South African terminology, referring to the noncontiguous Palestinian enclaves he envisaged for the West Bank as ‘Bantustans.'”
What should Americans do? They should come to the West Bank and protect Palestinian civilians from “marauding settlers and the soldiers who inevitably back the settlers up.”
What will the new coalition do for the Palestinians and the two state solution? Diddly.
“The new cabinet will continue to entrench the occupation and to legalize the massive theft of Palestinian lands while loudly complaining that the Palestinians are responsible for the collapse of negotiations.”
And what should Americans prepare themselves for? It’s one state, dears, it’s inevitable, and it should be a democratic place.
“It is impossible to keep millions of human beings disenfranchised for long and to systematically rob them of their dignity and their land…
Thus the likelhood must be faced that unless the Occupation ends, there will also, in the not so distant future, be no Jewish state.”
That’s the ending. Without tears. Shulman stakes out the New York Review’s historical territory, surveyed by Tony Judt in 2003 with his one-state argument. I hope that this great moral presence in our intellectual culture has resumed its work on this question, and the NYRB– which is so outspoken about women’s rights in Egypt, and the failure of Freudianism– will now take up a vital role, leading Jews to embrace democracy.