Future Democratic leaders at Harvard are ‘infuriated’ at Israel, ‘Haaretz’ reports

Israel/Palestine
on 47 Comments
Again going where the American mainstream press is afraid to set foot, Haaretz has an excellent piece on the growing disaffection of American elites with Israel, written by Tom Dan, an Israeli at Harvard. (Thanks to Annie and Karen Platt).
 
“I cannot see one good reason we should continue supporting you guys over there,” says Dan’s classmate, Will, described as
 
a devout Democrat, who has participated in two campaigns for seats in the Senate and the House, and is well on his way to becoming a leading figure on tomorrow’s Capitol Hill. Like Will, more and more Harvard students are criticizing Israel.
 

Wake up and smell the coffee! Dan offers a sharp analysis of the American generational shift, culminating with the assertion that Israel’s hamhanded propaganda efforts have successfully aligned the left with the pro-Palestinian community. True. 

The Democratic Party’s old generation is still strongly committed to Israel’s well-being. The likes of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and even President Obama are still as pro-Israel as they come. Next election’s candidates will also be no different – rising stars like New York’s charismatic governor, Andrew Cuomo, or Newark mayor Cory Booker have done everything but bake us Valentine’s Day cookies. 

But if we scrape off these layers, as more and more old leaders are replaced by young ones, we find a bleak picture for Israel.
 
Another friend who graduated last year with high honors for his work in the Department of Government asked me rhetorically, in reference to the Israeli government announcement to expand the E-1 settlements near Jerusalem, the day after the U.S. voted against Palestinian statehood in the UN, “do you really think it makes sense for us to give you weapons as you keep embarrassing us?”
 
It is not so much the questions themselves that are worrying as their tone and the feeling of infuriation behind them. And sadly, our pathetic attempts at hasbara (public relations) have been failing…
 
No, despite our efforts, things will get worse. As long as the criticism came from Europe or better yet – from one of the hostile third-world cartoonish dictatorships that comprise most of the international community, we could feel safe. But we have done a wonderful job at aligning the American left more closely with the rest of the world.
 
…as much as it is convenient to blame it all on Netanyahu, what we see is a longer trend. The interest in Israel as a partner is diminishing as it becomes less clear how we are more than just a trouble-maker, and our presence in the West Bank is increasingly becoming more of an ideological problem for liberal Americans. It is not a coincidence that Hollywood – another liberal stronghold – has picked as Oscar nominees two films that are critical of the Palestinian problem.
 
I think this claim diminishes Dan’s moral authority:
 
The issue after all has nothing to do with any deep hatred toward Israel; but rather just a general fatigue with the delinquent child whose older brother is tired of having to protect him in the schoolyard.
 

If he is talking about the left, the disaffection is far more profound, and involves the fact that 1967 has blurred into 1948 in the rear-view mirror, and the whole project, of ethnic cleansing and Jewish nationhood, seems no liberal advance in society.


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