Peter Beinart’s cognitive dissonance on ‘threats to Israel’s demographics’

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments

In Tikkun, Peter Beinart struggles to make Israel both Jewish and democratic without affecting Palestinians:

Lerner: Would it be acceptable in your mind to have a democratic Israel if through demographic changes a majority of Israelis were Palestinians? Or would you say that to preserve its Jewish character it would be permissible to infringe on its democratic character?

Beinart: It would be wrong for Israel to take any coercive measure to reduce its Arab population… We are a long way away from the time when an Israeli state would have an Arab majority, but if Israelis thought that was about to happen, I would oppose any measures (such as expulsion of Arabs) designed to coercively impose a Jewish majority.

But Israel has done this continuously for the past 64 years, both in Israel “proper” and in the occupied territories. Israel’s Jewish majority is solely due to premeditated ethnic cleansing. If Beinart acknowledges it “would” be wrong for Israel to do this (in an imagined future), was it wrong to do it in the past? Is it wrong to do it now? He thinks it’s wrong in the West Bank, but what about Israel’s current routine ethnic cleansing of Bedouin villages within the green line? Beinart calls inside-the-green-line Israel “democratic Israel”; what about ethnic cleansing is democratic? (Because the majority — who is only a majority due to prior ethnic cleansing — voted for it?)

On the right of return of Palestinian refugees that Israel expelled in order to impose a Jewish majority, Beinart says approvingly:

The formula will most likely [be] a relatively small return by original refugees who are now getting relatively elderly now to pre-1967 Israel—perhaps 20,000 or 50,000 or 100,000, but a number that would not seriously threaten Israel’s demographics….

Is Beinart’s opposition to “expulsion of Arabs” lip service?

Or more hopefully, is there a part of Peter Beinart’s moral unconscious that is fighting with his tribal ideology, resulting in the cognitive dissonance we see in this interview?

And when will the morality defeat the tribalism, finally, and lead Peter to support genuine Israeli-Palestinian equality from the river to the sea?

P.S. – Changing the hot seat, which is Rabbi Lerner more concerned with: an act of atonement, or the appearance of one?

Lerner: We at Tikkun have suggested that Israel take in twenty to thirty thousand refugees each year for the next thirty years, because at the expectable growth rate of populations that number would not undermine the demographic balance and yet would appear to be a rather significant act of atonement.

Surely this would be a huge concession on Israel’s part relative to its current stance. But if more than thirty thousand refugees per year want to return to lands that were stolen from them and live in peace with their neighbors, does Israel have the moral or legal right to say no, while continuing to provide an unlimited right of “return” to Jews who live comfortably in the U.S.? What does that have to do with the so-called “complete equality” promised in the Israeli founding documents these two men revere?

Question to Lerner and Beinart: Can you watch this video and not be for the right of return of refugees who wish to live peaceably with their neighbors? Can you walk up to these children and tell them “No you cannot return, but any Jew anywhere in the world can move tomorrow to live on top of the rubble of your grandparents’ destroyed homes?”

40 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    May 15, 2012, 10:32 am

    Psychiatrists will perhaps have a name for mental states of people clinging to dreams which are out of touch with history and present reality.

    In ancient times, people were honest with themselves and others: they said, “I seized this place by violence and I will keep it, and keep the original owners away, also by violence, until such time as the others, my victims and enemies, can eject me by greater violence.” No claim to “rights”. No demand for “pity”. None of this crying about “holocausts” and “pogroms”. No, certainly not. These ancient people were DOING holocausts and pogroms and saw nothing wrong with it. It was the way of the world. If BDS could eject Israel, it would be perfectly proper. Of course!

    Beinart and his pals presumably flinch at Israel’s use of primitive violence, its use of holocausts and pogroms. They don’t like the Israeli treatment of the Gazans, in time of military trouncing or in times of mere siege. Soft-hearted, they are, like me.

    But, unlike me, they are also soft or twisted minded. Ask the psychiatrists.

    • aiman
      May 15, 2012, 11:35 am

      “These ancient people were DOING holocausts and pogroms and saw nothing wrong with it.”

      Yes and no. Even Genghis Khan felt the need to make calls for virtue. I think civil society has endowed human beings with better sensitivity to the human condition, but the establishment does not flinch outside those confines. Take the example of liberalism which articulates respect and diversity within the borders and is good for the native population but employs imperialism abroad without moral insight. There has been no moral progress in human history. The face of power as it snarls at the meek has always been scary. As you rightly point out, the face of power wears a mask of enlightenment these days.

    • Mooser
      May 15, 2012, 1:28 pm

      “Psychiatrists will perhaps have a name for mental states of people clinging to dreams which are out of touch with history and present reality.”

      For some people, that’s being witty.

  2. Newclench
    May 15, 2012, 10:38 am

    This isn’t so hard. Most liberal Zionists, along with post- and anti-Zionists recognize the Nakba and see the birth of the modern state of Israel as a process that involved many crimes, human rights abuses and violations of international law. This is of course true for for other modern states, including Poland, to name just one post WWII example, but also India and Pakistan.
    The question is what kind of solution involves the right measure of realism, maturity, mercy and justice. It might be ‘just’ to allow the relatives of a murder victim the right to murder the perpetrator – but most societies have moved past that. It might be ‘just’ to return vast portions of North America to First Nations. But few organizations call for that. It might be ‘just’ to physically expel Jewish Israelis from homes, villages and cities that were stolen from Palestinians. And yet…. this isn’t part of the current political program of very many Palestinian groups, though it was before 1967. (Though it is a widely accepted position for the post-67 settlements in the West Bank.)
    The right of return exists, but its future implementation will involve a balancing act, a historic compromise between the two major groups living in historic Palestine. Both sides recognize this. Both sides are haggling over the details.
    When the Palestinian side is strong enough to get a deal worth taking, we’ll hear about it. And I for one will support it. Looks like Rabbi Lerner and Beinart might as well. Will you?
    I’m hearing you suggest that any number, any ‘process’ whatsoever is inherently wrong because it doesn’t grant absolute justice right away. That doesn’t feel very helpful.

    • seafoid
      May 15, 2012, 11:13 am

      “yet…. this isn’t part of the current political program of very many Palestinian groups, though it was before 1967. (Though it is a widely accepted position for the post-67 settlements in the West Bank.)
      The right of return exists, but its future implementation will involve a balancing act, a historic compromise between the two major groups living in historic Palestine. Both sides recognize this. Both sides are haggling over the details.”

      the 2 ss is dead, clench, habibi.
      there is only one side that wants to talk. the other is running apartheid.
      Israel will have to take whatever it is offered when the check comes.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 15, 2012, 11:17 am

      Baloney. This is two American Jews trying to justify conflicting self-identities: 1) liberal and 2) zionist. It’s one big giant circle jerk in the American Jewish community, so that they can square the circle and not have to admit to themselves the truth that is apparent to those of us on the outside: They’re hypocrits. They want to be looked upon as and think of themselves as being super-liberals. At the same time, they want to figure out a way that they don’t have to apply the clear liberal principles in Israel, because of their ethnic chauvanism is slaked by the zionist entity. (Hence Beinart’s nonsensical notion that the same state is “democratic” [by which he really hopes it means “liberal”] on one side of a line and non-democratic on the other; conveniently ignorning the fact that the supposed “democratic” side was the one which imposed the disparity in the first place, based solely on ethno-religiously prejudiced [i.e., non-liberal] grounds.)

      It’s fundamentally a joke, because the Jews in Israel are fascist and becoming more so by the day. They are happy to be regressive barbarians so long as their judeo-fascist apartheid state continues.

      • Kathleen
        May 15, 2012, 11:43 am

        “It’s one big giant circle jerk in the American Jewish community, so that they can square the circle and not have to admit to themselves the truth that is apparent to those of us on the outside”

        Never quite thought about this recent better late than never movement as a “circle jerk” but think you have something.

    • evets
      May 15, 2012, 1:16 pm

      I think Newclench makes some good points. I’m less optimistic about prospects for a deal, though I’d certainly be supportive. However, I’m equally pessimistic about being able to rewind the clock and achieve full justice as his detractors demand. Getting anywhere close would be a great achievement.

      BTW – Lerner challenged Beinart on some his basic premises in that interview, but he didn’t feel it necessary to call him a fascist.

      • evets
        May 16, 2012, 11:08 am

        ‘he didn’t feel it necessary to call him a fascist’

        or Newclenchian

    • Mooser
      May 15, 2012, 1:30 pm

      “Psychiatrists will perhaps have a name for mental states of people clinging to dreams which are out of touch with history and present reality.”

      Newclenchians?

    • American
      May 15, 2012, 2:00 pm

      “The right of return exists, but its future implementation will involve a balancing act, a historic compromise between the two major groups living in historic Palestine. Both sides recognize this. Both sides are haggling over the details”

      Total bs. Israel isn’t haggling over anything, it’s marching right on eating up Palestine making their state impossible.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 15, 2012, 2:43 pm

        “Total bs. Israel isn’t haggling over anything, it’s marching right on eating up Palestine making their state impossible.”

        Exactly. The “haggling” line is the lie that the hasbarists spread, and the lib-zios eat up, to pretend that the overt fascist agression isn’t happening.

      • Newclench
        May 17, 2012, 8:56 am

        There is a distinction to be made between the current Israeli government, which indeed uses negotiations dishonestly to advance a pro-occupation agenda, and other arenas of engagement. Haggling between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians does take place, as it has, for many years now. Haggling might be the wrong word for it, but it would be strange to deny that the two sides are engaged in a conversation about possible futures – all of which require compromise.
        If such a healthy attitude is to bear my name, I’ll take it with pride.

  3. seafoid
    May 15, 2012, 11:21 am

    I don’t get the impression Zionism is ready to face up to the full awfulness
    of what it has become

    This wiki entry on the Shin Bet, Israel’s torture and murder service, has obviously been tended to by a committed group of hasbaradim and the organisation comes across as no different to an English garden party. The Shin Bet is the organisation that blackmails gay Palestinians into collaborating. No mention of this on wiki. no mention of those tortured to death. No mention of what torture means to Tikkun olam and all the old religious BS about morality.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  4. Kathleen
    May 15, 2012, 11:40 am

    “But Israel has done this continuously for the past 64 years, both in Israel “proper” and in the occupied territories. Israel’s Jewish majority is solely due to premeditated ethnic cleansing. If Beinart acknowledges it “would” be wrong for Israel to do this (in an imagined future), was it wrong to do it in the past? Is it wrong to do it now? He thinks it’s wrong in the West Bank, but what about Israel’s current routine ethnic cleansing of Bedouin villages within the green line? Beinart calls inside-the-green-line Israel “democratic Israel”; what about ethnic cleansing is democratic? (Because the majority — who is only a majority due to prior ethnic cleansing — voted for it?)”

    You nailed it

  5. Talkback
    May 15, 2012, 11:48 am

    “If Beinart acknowledges it “would” be wrong for Israel to do this (in an imagined future), was it wrong to do it in the past?”

    In the past it was ‘good for the Jews’, in the future it wouldn’t. This has nothing to do with universal and eternal morality.

    • Kathleen
      May 15, 2012, 12:18 pm

      “This has nothing to do with universal and eternal morality.” Beinart is reading the writing on the wall. Not like he has really had a moral epiphany. He knows what has been going on. Opportunist but a welcome one.

  6. eljay
    May 15, 2012, 12:04 pm

    >> I would oppose any measures (such as expulsion of Arabs) designed to coercively impose a Jewish majority.

    That’s good. But since he still advocates for a Jewish state – rather than an Israeli state of and for all Israelis, equally – other options remain on the table, including:
    – Legally-enshrined, permanent-majority status for Jews.
    – Legal or functional second-class citizen status for all non-Jewish Israelis.
    – Special right of “return” for non-Israeli Jews (but not non-Israeli non-Jews).

  7. American
    May 15, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Beinarts statements featured above show how two faced the lib zio position is….’oh yes we so regret” on one hand…..but then…” a number that would not seriously threaten Israel’s demographics.”

    I have no use for the zios of any stripe or any of the bs about Israel’s purpose being a safe haven for Jews…..it’s clear what Israel is about and that isn’t it…it’s about domination and greed, that’s all.

    • evets
      May 15, 2012, 4:13 pm

      Do you feel that the Zionist movement was born out of greed and a desire for domination ?

      • seafoid
        May 15, 2012, 5:08 pm

        I think that’s how it evolved. The problem for Zionism was the dose of violence that was required to prise Erez Israel from the hands of its rightful owners was so massive that it set Israel off on the wrong path and it has never been able to find its way back to where Martin Buber thought it could be.

      • evets
        May 16, 2012, 11:12 am

        OK — that’s a reasoned response. It doesn’t conjure up images of the elders of Zion sitting in a basement and scheming, or intimate that there’s some basic Jewish need to extract a pound of flesh.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 16, 2012, 11:34 am

        Jewish need to extract a pound of flesh

        jeez evets, were you just dying to write that or what? btw, that rejoinder could have been tacked onto any response to your question, or was that the point? a hasbara fishing expedition to lay the groundwork?

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 16, 2012, 11:46 am

        “OK — that’s a reasoned response. It doesn’t conjure up images of the elders of Zion sitting in a basement and scheming, or intimate that there’s some basic Jewish need to extract a pound of flesh.”

        Do you think that a group of people who happen to be Jewish are somehow incapable of greed or a desire for domination? Do you believe that those traits are exclusive to non-Jews?? Do you think that, therefore, any suggestion that the original Zionists were greedy and desired domination could only be the eqivalent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion???

      • evets
        May 16, 2012, 12:04 pm

        I have little problem with what seafoid said. Politically we may be quite close. The original comment by American and some (not all) of the respondents to my question had a very different tone — thus my remark about elders of Zion etc. I’m not sure how my response qualifies as hasbara. I wasn’t trying to explain away anything. In fact, I complimented seafoid on a comment that was manifestly devoid of hasbara.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 16, 2012, 12:57 pm

        “The original comment by American and some (not all) of the respondents to my question had a very different tone — thus my remark about elders of Zion etc.”

        And that is the problem. You responded to what you think was the “tone,” rather than addressing the point.

        There is nothing in the world, other than ethnic chauvanism, which would preclude an essentially ethno-colonial, 19th Century enterprise from being borne of greed and a desire to dominate, simply because it was Jews who were doing it. Most of geo-politics in the world at that time (and in some ways still today) were about greed and a desire to dominate. There was nothing improper about the suggestion regarding Zionism starting this way, and so it was your knee-jerk reaction and invocation of the protocols of the elders of Zion — suggesting that to believe that this paradigm (which was clearly consistent with an acceptable world-view in the place and time it was generated) was antisemitic — that was complete baloney.

      • MHughes976
        May 15, 2012, 5:59 pm

        I think Zionism was born very slowly out of a desire to make modern sense of religious traditions, Christian and Jewish, beginning with Finch’s ‘Great Restoration’ of 1621 and the proclamations of Sabatai Zvi in 1665. These things happened against a background of conflict and persecution, so the birth was much stimulated by fear. In all human beings fear and the desire for power are closely linked, as Hobbes demonstrated. The desire for power went with the belief that Jewish people have a special mission to do good to the whole human race: this belief in turn was easily able (like many of its Christian echoes and counterparts) to turn into the perilous idea that those who stand in the way, or simply have the ill fortune to be in the way, of the mission have no rights. One of the most tragic birth stories in all history.

      • American
        May 15, 2012, 8:37 pm

        MH….

        I think you would change your mind about the religious aspect in the birth of zionism if you read Herzl..the Father of Zionism. He had and wanted nothing to do with Judaism 0r any religion at all. In fact Jewishness didn’t hold much allure for him or concern him until he joined some political party and was shocked at it’s anti semitic -Jewish.stand…that’s where his interest started initially.
        His is a sad story in a way, his mother was mentally unstable and he was subject to bouts of depression. Then his family had tragic endings , his daughter died, his son suffered depression and killed himself. I said before I don’t he was mentally stable all the time cause some of his writings and plans about how the Jewish state should be were how kind it would be to others, but then he would turn around and describe how Jews would have to move the poor off property to make room for themselves and so on without missing a beat, like there was no contridiction. The flights of fancy about the goodness and then the contradictions in the details is sort of schizo. In some of his statements you see the touch of supremacy, the flights of fancy…like they are going to be some great benevolent rulers dispersing light and kindness on the world, no doubt he thought that was part of his plan ……but still he doesn’t connect it to religion in any way.
        Anyway read this and use the links in the Wiki bio to read his papers.
        He plainly says it is about Jewish Peoplehood, he calls Jews One Nation based on ‘being Jews’ not based on Jews following Judaism.
        It was never religion that got zionism off the ground, it was definitely the belief that anti semitism couldn’t be defeated and the belief that Jews were a distinct people aside from Judaism.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • MHughes976
        May 16, 2012, 9:24 am

        ‘Judenstaat’ certainly seems to me (from memory) a very odd document, rather like a business prospectus for much of its length. (The number of people whom it persuaded must have been quite small.) There’s no overt religion, but there’s a provision for each Jewish group to be accompanied by a rabbi – no religion but abundant religious organisation. At the end, as I remember, the prospectusy style changes into rather clunky mysticism, with a passage about the supernatural element in the establishment of nations. Your perception of someone struggling against mental illness sounds convincing to me.
        And I think he was having trouble forgiving himself, ‘assimilated Jew’ that he really was, for not having spotted from the first the anti-Semitism inherent in the Dreyfus case when it was staring him in the face as a journalist in Paris.
        Still, I think there are deeper problems than those of Herzl’s troubled mind. The whole relationship of Jewish nationalism to Jewish religion is destructively ambivalent, a radical attempt to have it both ways.
        Not that Herzl was the real founder of Zionism. It developed over a long time with the help of questionable people like Scofield and progressive idealists like George Eliot. Not to mention the Reverend Alexander Keith of the Church of Scotland, effective inventor in 1843 of the Empty Land mantra. Many midwives with many motives at this slow birth of a false moral principle, ascribing special rights to some and not to others.

      • eljay
        May 15, 2012, 7:13 pm

        >> Do you feel that the Zionist movement was born out of greed and a desire for domination ?

        How it was born is considerably less relevant than how it was implemented…which is:
        – Jewish / Israeli terrorism;
        – Jewish / Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and land;
        – the establishment of a religion-supremacist “Jewish state”; and
        – a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder (which the Jewish state has the power to halt immediately and completely, but which it refuses to halt).

        My desire to chat up a lovely lady may be born of a desire to have sex with her, but if I drug her, kidnap her, take her to a remote location and continue to rape her indefinitely, I suspect that people might look past the seemingly-innocent “birth” of my desire and focus more on the hateful, immoral and ON-GOING reality of its implementation.

      • American
        May 15, 2012, 7:19 pm

        Born out of?….no I wouldn’t say it was born out of that in the very beginning. ..least not from what I have read about it’s origins although I don’t think Herzl was exactly a stable person in the mental department.
        It’s not the call for the Jewish ‘separation’ in zionism…there are other groups that live separate, or mostly or somewhat apart, from other’s society for various reasons like religion, some Quakers and so forth.
        But the ‘us vr others’, the we eternal good victims, the world eternal bad evil others, part the call for separation in zionism was based on, the non Jews – the world as ‘eternal enemies’…. that was guaranteed to go wrong.
        Because …..they didn’t really go live separately unto themselves, for peace and protection and preserving their culture and religion, did they?
        No they didn’t.
        They involved others outside their tribe, affected others outside their tribe, made demands for their tribe on the outside world, even before the holocaust boosted the idea of a safe haven for Jews, stupid as that idea was and is in reality.
        I don’t know what to call zionism as it turned out to be except the longest running criminal con game and racket ever played on the world and on the Jews too for that matter…maybe particulary on the Jews cause many of them don’t see it for what it really is.

      • Hostage
        May 17, 2012, 12:13 am

        Do you feel that the Zionist movement was born out of greed and a desire for domination ? . . . It doesn’t conjure up images of the elders of Zion sitting in a basement and scheming

        The political objective of the national chapters had always been for the Jewish people to take over Palestine as their own possession through colonization and conquest. Herzl had met the Kaiser in Palestine to obtain his support for a draft Charter of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) that contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer the non-Jewish population to other parts of the Ottoman Empire. link to jstor.org

        Moses Montefiore made nine trips to Palestine between 1827 and 1875. So he and Herzl were both aware of the presence of a the non-Jewish majority.

        Naham Sokolow listed a Who’s Who of authorities and leading Jewish citizens of standing who were also the members of the national chapter of Hovevei Zion. Then he went on to say:

        A sober and dispassionate examination of all these ideas without regard to mere catchwords must lead to the conclusion that Sir Moses Montefiore’s representations to Mehemet Ali in 1838 were substantially the same as Herzl made to Abdul Hamid in 1898. However, both aimed at a legally assured home and both insisted that Palestine should belong to the Jewish people. And no real student of contemporary Jewish history will imagine that Sir Moses was an isolated dreamer. He never undertook anything in Jewish affairs without consulting the authorities of his time.

        –Sokolow, Nahum. History of Zionism : 1600-1918 Volume II. London : Longmans, Green, 1919 page xxxvii- xxxviii.

        The documentary record proves that Herzl had backroom conversations and correspondence with the other leaders of the Zionist Organization about launching the “conquest” of Palestine from Jewish colonies in places like East Africa – and all of this certainly does conjure up images of greed and of the elders of Zion sitting in a basement and scheming:

        “It is precisely the duty of the leader to set the people on the path which, by apparent detours, leads to the goal. You refuse the life which is offered you out of fear, cowardice. Miserable eunuchs that you are, you sacrifice the sources of your power. Look at Britain! It pours its excess popula­tion into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild’s philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first- fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel. If we accept Chamberlain’s offer with gratitude, we strengthen our position, we oblige him to do something wise for us should our commission of enquiry reject the land proposed. In our transactions with this mighty nation we shall acquire the status of a national power. We will not stop there! Other States will follow Britain’s example, new “reserves of power” will be created in Mozambique with the Portuguese, in the Congo with the Belgians, in Tripolitania with the Italians.”

        link to books.google.com

        A few weeks later he explained to the Sixth Zionist Congress that the East Africa proposal did not alter the “Basle Program” which still required on-going efforts to establish a National home in Palestine. He explained that “The Basle Program remains valid and intact,” but lamented the fact that he had not been given the one and a half million pounds required to secure the Charter in 1901. link to books.google.com

  8. lysias
    May 15, 2012, 1:57 pm

    At the time of the partition of Ireland, in 1921-22, the Protestants had a 2/3 majority in Northern Ireland. (Indeed, it was in order to provide Northern Ireland with as large a territory as possible with a reliable Protestant majority that the boundary was drawn by Britain where it was. Northern Ireland was and is made up of only six of the nine counties of Ulster, including two counties, Fermanagh and Tyrone, with bare Catholic majorities at the time.. If Northern Ireland had included all nine counties of Ulster, there would not have been that reliable Protestant majority.)

    After partition, and until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the government of Northern Ireland — and private businesses as well — adopted policies that discriminated against Catholics and were intended to encourage Catholic emigration, so that the Protestant majority could be maintained. Gerrymandering assured substantial Protestant majorities even in the county councils of Catholic-majority Fermanagh and Tyrone.

    However, since the Good Friday Agreement, the policies that encourage Catholic emigration have been abandoned, and the Catholic share of the population has gradually increased, as a result of a higher birth rate. In the 2001 census, 43.8% of the population came from a Catholic background (as opposed to 53.1% from a Protestant background). It seems that at some point in the not too distant future the Catholics will be a majority.

    • seafoid
      May 15, 2012, 3:31 pm

      northern Ireland was a technology world beater in the 1920s with its shipbuilding industry- it built the equivalent of the ipod, the Titanic – only Protestants were given jobs in the shipyards- by the 1970s shipbuilding was on its knees . Tech advantages fade, Israel.

      The same thing happened in Lebanon where the French jerrymandered a statelet with a Christian majority that held until the mid 70s when the Muslims became the majority again thanks to a higher birthrate.

      Israel got a 40 year advantage thanks to the carnage and ethnic cleansing of 1948 but threw much of that away when it reoccupied Gaza (WTF) and the West Bank in 1967.

      • lysias
        May 16, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Ali Abunimah thinks Northern Ireland can be a model for the settlement of the Israel/Palestine dispute.

  9. American
    May 15, 2012, 2:44 pm

    Well I gonna give up banging on this wall also….the one where some people believe that “liberal” zionist can have an effect on Israel gov itself….I don’t see that happening. ”IF” liberal zios had an effect on the US congress on the other hand, you might see some improvement, but still you wouldn’t see anything close to a ‘fair’ settlement. Palestine would get the tiniest piece of the hind end of any deal the US pushs for I/P.

    Only thing I’ve seen so far that has the zionist worried at all is the BDS movement because it’s delegitimization of them ‘world wide’ and could pick up even more world wide steam and support with the apartheid label.
    But even this worry hasn’t slowed them down in expanding and seizing land.
    Why? Because as long as they ‘own’ the US congress and politics on Israel no one is going ‘do anything’ to stop them…any time soon anyway. ..that is their sole ace in the hole for everything they get away with.
    I don’t know who I despise most, Israel or the US congress. I guess really they are the same thing.

    • seafoid
      May 15, 2012, 5:11 pm

      I think it’s a sign of real weakness on the part of the Ziobots to build opposition to BDS around the themeof ” delegitimisation” . It’s a sign that they are very uncomfortable. Why don’t they attack BDS with whatever Hebrew language justification they use to convince ordinary schmuck Yossi Israelis that YESHA is good ? Because it doesn’t fly in any other language.

  10. ahhiyawa
    May 16, 2012, 7:37 am

    Beinart’s argument for 2 states is moot, meaning irrelevant and no longer practical due to the Israeli colonization of the W/B. Nor do I believe a 2nd term Obama is committed to 2 states as he was in his first term. My hunch is that this president will surreptitiously begin moving US policy towards a 1 state, anti apartheid, democratic outcome. After all, the fools in Jerusalem have been plotting and begging for for a 1 state, greater Israel for years. Why not give it them?

  11. Patrick
    May 16, 2012, 1:03 pm

    In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg two years ago, Beinart stated:

    “I’m not even asking [Israel] to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state.”

    In the more recent interview with Rabbi Michael Lerner he states in addition to a establishment of a Palestinian state,”they [Palestinians] need to have full individual rights within the State of Israel.” This, he says, would “constitute a ‘completion’ of the Zionist project.”

    Given these two passages, one has to wonder if there has been an evolution in Beinart’s thinking over the last two years, or if he is simply telling his interviewer what they want to hear.

    In the interview with Rabbi Lerner, Beinart is at least acknowledging that Israel does not have full and equal citizenship for its non-Jewish citizens. All he can offer to support his notion of a democratic Israel then is a tenuous hope that Israel’s ‘founding principles’ will somehow be instated, even as the country moves in exactly the opposite direction.

  12. Polly
    May 17, 2012, 10:10 am

    I’ll support Beinart because his main thrust is to stop the settlements. The criticism over the rest of his Jewish elitism and his cognitive dissonance over I/P history may be justified but so what? There are simply too many wrongs to be righted and too few people willing to put their careers on the line.
    He’s in a privilaged position to make a difference and its very possible he may be bending his actual views for diplomacy’s sake anyway.

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