Jerome Slater has an excellent piece up on his site about Peter Beinart's book and its critics. Slater is devastating on the ideological choices by the New York Times and Washington Post on who would review Beinart's book: rightwing critics Jonathan Rosen and Alana Newhouse, respectively, both of the Tablet family, both embracers of Israel's foundational myths. (I do think that those reviews killed the book as a commercial stock; where is the full-page ad? Nowhere.)
Slater is outspoken on the role of the Israel lobby in forcing Obama to cave, and he is wicked, writing as a Christmas tree Jew, about Beinart's communitarian call for reenergizing religious segregationist impulses in Jewish life to fight assimilation. Hasn't Beinart noticed, Slater asks, that he is empowering the most intolerant political segment of the Jewish community when it comes to his chief cause, saving the two-state solution?
The piece concludes with this plainspoken statement of Jewish identity and call for sanctions. Slater remains a liberal Zionist but one with fewer and fewer illusions:
As an anti-religious Jew, my own self-identification with our community has been principally a function of a defiance of an anti-Semitism that has now essentially disappeared but was hardly uncommon in my youth, combined with pride in the Jewish tradition of rationalism and morality--at least as that has been previously understood, and not only by Jews. The enlightenment tradition has been betrayed by Israel, and it gets worse practically day-by-day. Consequently, there is no good reason to revere or love Israel; such feelings should be reserved for the unflinchingly honest and brave Israeli dissidents.
The Israeli left can be helped only by truly serious outside pressures, including making U.S. and other Western economic, military, and political support of Israel conditional upon an end to the Israeli occupation and repression of the Palestinians. That is the sine qua non for a genuine legitimization of Israel, whether as a full democracy with equal rights for all its citizens, or as a Jewish state which privileges its majority in certain limited ways but which can be legitimately characterized as a democracy in most essentials.
The likelihood of such sanctions being imposed on Israel by the American Jewish community, the U.S. government, and the West, is close to nonexistent. Yet, somehow, even if we believe the struggle is hopeless, we must act as if it isn’t.