Munayyer and Beinart’s historic debate on the solution to the conflict

US Politics
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Peter Beinart and Yousef Munayyer had a debate about the solution of the conflict last night at the New America Foundation in Soho (on video at the link). This was a historic encounter in that a mainstream organization was pairing a Zionist with an anti-Zionist; and Beinart, a leading liberal Zionist often asked to debate Zionists to his right, was engaging a Palestinian publicly on this question for the first time I’m aware of. Beinart writes for The Atlantic and Haaretz, Munayyer is leader of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

In days to come, we are sure to run several responses to the debate, but it seemed most important to get up transcripts of what the two men said. This is a painstaking process (and it’s a beautiful day) so I’m going to start out with substantial excerpts of their opening statements (and fill in some of the substantive clashes as the day and weekend proceed).

Peter Beinart:

I think those problems are basically two. The first is that millions of individual Palestinians lack basic rights. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians are not citizens of the state that controls their lives. Even inside Israel proper, Palestinian citizens suffer structural discrimination. This is the unjust, immoral one state reality that exists today. On this I think Yousef and I probably agree.

Where we may not is that I see a second problem that must also be addressed… and that is that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is not merely a clash of individual, deracinated human beings, it is also a clash of rival nationalisms. Most Israeli Jews and most Palestinians do not only want individual rights, they also want national rights. They want a Jewish or Palestinian state.

Individuals and activists may find this primitive, parochial, antiquated, but intellectuals and activists no matter how well meaning get themselves in trouble when they craft political arrangements that sound lovely in a seminar room, but don’t take account of the actual identities of the people on the ground. Modern history is replete with countries with beautiful sounding constitutions that descended into civil war.

[Beinart relates the support for partition, including recent polling of Palestinians by Khalil Shikaki and James Zogby]

He [Zogby] concluded that, “a two state solution remains the only viable option that remains acceptable albeit with differences to both sides. The one state solution is rejected by all parties, including Palestinian refugees.”

Why is this the case? First, as I said, because most Israeli Jews and Palestinians remain deeply committed to their separate national identities. I am sure we will talk tonight about the tension between Zionism and liberalism. There is absolutely such a tension. I acknowledge it in my book. The kind of Zionism I support would reduce that tension dramatically by stripping away many aspects of Jewish privilege inside Israel proper and of course it would require Israel to end its undemocratic control of the West Bank and Gaza. But it would still allow a preferential immigration policy for Jews and some Jewish public symbols. And even this thin Zionism would privilege Jews.

But if there’s a tension between Zionism and liberalism, there is also a tension between Palestinian nationalism and liberalism. If Zionism privileges Jews who are both an ethnic group and a religion, then Palestinian nationalism privileges both an ethnic group, Arabs, and a religion, Islam. Article one of the Palestinian constitution declares that “the Palestinian people are part of the Arab nation.” Article four says Islam is the official religion of Palestine. The principles of Islamic sharia shall be the main source of legislation. This is from the PLO, I haven’t even mentioned Hamas. I’m not saying this to demonize Palestinians. The Palestinian constitution also contains lots of terrific language about individual rights.

I’m simply arguing that when people reject two states in favor of one binational state, which is the main proposed alternative, I wonder where exactly do they see the appetite for this binationalism on either side. Binational states are exceedingly hard to keep together. Binationalism barely works in Belgium. The Czechs and Slovaks couldn’t make it work, Scotland is seriously considering seceding from the U.K, as is Catalonia from Spain, and these are all far, far more placid environments than the land between the river and the sea.

What would we call this Israeli Palestinian binational state? In post-apartheid South Africa the answer was obvious, because whites and blacks both considered themselves citizens of South Africa. In Israel and Palestine by contrast, this imagined binational state, we have no name because no national identity undergirds it. Let’s imagine that someone did create Israstine. What is its army going to look like? It would be an Army operating under conditions of unbelievable stress.
[Beinart relates situations in which the army would be torn apart by tensions due to orders to evict or not evict Jewish or Palestinian residents.]

This is not progressivism; it’s the great temptation of progressives, utopianism.

Is my view shaped by the fact that as a Jew I’m attached to the idea that in a post-Holocaust world, there should be one state on earth devoted to Jewish self protection and Jewish self-expression? Yes. I plead guilty. I’m not a pure universalist either. But I’m not trying to convince you to care about Israel in the way I do. I’m simply arguing that the two state solution as problematic as it is is better than any one state alternative, and you don’t have to be a Zionist to believe that. Listen to Marwan Barghouti, probably the most popular Palestinian politician alive, who told Al Monitor in 2013 that if the two state solution fails, “the substitute will not be a binational one state solution but a persistent conflict that extends based on an existential crisis, one that does not know any middle ground.”

Is the two state solution hard to achieve? Absolutely. But it’s easier than the alternative. We know what the rough outline of such a partition would look like. It was agreed to by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Geneva in 2003. Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas were converging on something similar in 2008..

[Beinart speaks of how many settlers would remain in their homes under redrawn boundaries, and details his support for pressure on Israel, boycott of settlement products, and opposition to BDS, as a one-state movement]

The two state solution is not a utopia, it does not represent perfect justice. It is in fact for both Palestinians and Jews in important ways a tragedy. Like democracy, it is the worst outcome except all the others. But it at least offers Palestinians and Jews what they most want, the dignity that comes from citizenship in a state of their own, and in a middle east that today flows with blood it it would be an achievement in which our generation of Palestinians and Jews could take enormous pride.

Yousef Munayyer:

I see the problem we’re trying to solve very differently than Peter and most liberal Zionists do in general…

As Zionists, they see the problem first and foremost through the prism of Israeli interests, not through the prism of justice for those being denied basic rights. So for liberal Zionists the primary problem is Israel’s identity crisis, and by this I mean liberal Zionists look at the situation and they see a state which claims the mantra of being both Jewish and democratic. But at the same time they see a reality on the ground that belies this claim. Because you have millions of Palestinians being ruled by a state that does not allow them any voice in government.

So for liberal Zionists that is the challenge, Israel’s identity crisis… Let’s just examine that analysis of the problem at first. To conclude as liberal Zionists do that Israel’s identity crisis is the primary problem, you have to do some very problematic things. One of them is you have to deemphasize the Nakba, which is of course the single most important event in the Palestinian historical narrative and experience. And ignore or deemphasize those directly affected by the Nakba, like the refugees.

We heard earlier from Peter about Palestinian citizens of Israel to some extent and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. We heard less about refugees… Because of this, liberal Zionists tend to begin their historical narrative in 1967.
Adding to the problem of the liberal Zionist analysis of the situation is that they have to promote this false dichotomy, and we heard it from Peter, between the state of Israel and the territory that it occupies and began occupying in 1967. This was explained by Peter in a piece that he wrote for the New York Times, making a distinction between a democratic Israel and a non democratic Israel. Of course this false dichotomy leads to a series of different problems. Ignoring the Israeli state’s history with the Palestinian citizens of Israel and its lasting legacy. There’s this sort of romanticism of the pre 1967 Israel that exists in the liberal Zionist narrative but did not exist in reality, certainly not for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

This false dichotomy leads again to downplaying the incompatibility of Zionism and liberalism even inside Israel. The facts that the so called democratic Israel refers to non-Jewish citizens like myself as demographic threats, prevents them from living with their Palestinian spouses to prevent what they call demographic spillover, and passes various discriminatory laws against them, are considered tolerable evils by liberal Zionists.

Some liberal Zionists not only downplay this incompatibility between Zionism and liberalism inside Israel, they have accepted this, as Peter seemingly has. He told Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010: “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.”

So I want to take this opportunity and Peter– I’m sure he can respond to this in rebuttal– to ask whether or not Peter still stands by this statement and how he can justify such a thing with a concept of liberalism.

If he does, and others do as well, these are questions for him and other liberal Zionists as well. How many Arabs are too many in Israel? What percentage of people like me, Palestinian citizens of Israel, is too many for you? How many can you not handle? Is it 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, 45 percent? Please draw the line and then explain to us, which illiberal policies are you willing to support to prevent the Palestinian citizen population of Israel from growing to that point, or beyond it. We deserve to know the answers now.

[Munayyer addresses the boycott positions of liberal Zionists.]

This false dichotomy also leads to another conundrum for liberal Zionists, which is that the window for a two state solution is always closing, but it can never really close. If it’s not closing there’s no urgency, but if it closes, they must answer the question they dread. What happens next? This argumentation is of course susceptible to the boy cries wolf syndrome and quickly loses credibility.  Time has been running out for a two state solution for nearly three decades now after all.

S,o if the liberal Zionist analysis of the problem is flawed for the reasons that I mentioned, what really is the problem?  I believe that the problem is that to achieve its aims in Palestine, the Zionist movement set up a system of injustice which it had to perpetuate to maintain itself. This system of injustice has manifested itself in multiple ways over time, and the main instrument upholding this system has been the state of Israel.

These manifestations of injustice to name a few include: The depopulation of Palestine and the denial or return for refugees through law to insure a Jewish majority at the expense of the native inhabitants of the land; the adoption of colonial-era British emergency regulations as martial law to govern Palestinian citizens of Israel until 1966, regulations which a person named Menachem Begin who if you’re familiar with him is no lilywhite dove, likened to the laws of the Nazis; adoption and then adaptation of those same laws to govern the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem since then.

And of course another manifestation is the harsh repression of any dissent against this system through the use of overwhelming state level force…

These manifestations exist on a direct historical trajectory which  goes back to 1948 and not 1967 and they represent an evolving yet, very importantly, singular system. Maintaining this system of  injustice has required the routine use of force, which over the years has led to countless casualties, most of which are Palestinians but include Israelis as well. The most recent and severe example of this was of course the war on Gaza last year which left over 2200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, dead.

So how do we solve this, now that I’ve defined the problem? I believe there’s only one way. This system of injustice must be dismantled. Not part of it, but all of it. And we must work toward something more just. I think there are a number of steps we can take in this direction. One of them hopefully we can begin tonight by expanding the number of people who actually agree on what the real problem is that we are trying to solve.

Step number 2, which I hope will happen concurrently with step number 3 is working together to bring the necessary pressure on Israel until these changes happen. And to this end I support full BDS, not partial BDS; because if you want to get Israeli state behavior to change, you must target the state not parts of the state or little hilltop settlements, but the state itself, until the decision makers come to a different conclusion than the conclusion that they have today, which is that the status quo is sustainable.

And the third step is engaging in serious conversation about what the practical implementation of a new system would look like. So many of the questions that Peter threw out to scare us all away from an alternative situation can be answered in a serious and rigorous way.

This is not a call for the destruction of Israel any more than the anti-apartheid movement was calling for the destruction of South Africa, but I realize some pro-Israel minded listeners may not accept this. And so I ask them, and I will end with this, What sort of state faces an existential threat by merely respecting the human rights of those whose lives it governs? How did it come to find itself in such a predicament, and is that really the kind of state that you want to support?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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116 Responses

  1. just
    June 5, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Historic is the correct word for this. Finally. This is the beginning of a new “peace process”, imho. It cannot be done in fancy hotels behind closed doors anymore. Kudos to these two fine gentlemen, Sigal Samuel, and NANYC

    Beinart was good, but Munayyer hit it out of the proverbial park! At long last the elephant(s) in the room were revealed to the PUBLIC, in public. I am very glad to see that “liberal” Zionism was exposed.

    I followed this as much as possible last night, and am so grateful that they have archived the video. Loads of thanks for this, Phil~ I was trying to be patient awaiting your fine journalism on this!

    This is exciting!

    • JWalters
      June 5, 2015, 7:14 pm

      Yes!

      • bintbiba
        June 6, 2015, 3:04 am

        Yes and Yes.

        Thank you , Phil , for getting us stuck in with your painstaking transcript.
        It was only hours later that I was able to get the adobe thingy going ( with help) and could start watching the video.
        Had to stop to get some shuteye and am about to continue to the end !

        Fascinating ! We need much more open debate such as this . Again , thank you.

  2. pabelmont
    June 5, 2015, 3:04 pm

    Beinart: “Palestinian nationalism privileges both an ethnic group, Arabs, and a religion, Islam.” I assume by “Arabs” he means “Palestinian Arabs”. No P’s are talking about a state, or a RoR, for all “Arabs” but just for Palestinians exiled in 1948, etc.

    Moreover, though I may be misinformed (most of my Palestinian friends and acquaintances have been Christian), I was not aware that any Palestinians (even Hamas) wanted to privilege “Islam” in a Palestinian state (or in a democratic non-discriminatory multi-ethnic and multi-confessional One-State).

    However, it is easy to get behind the times. I had never heard of the PNA’s (not PLO’s) 2003 Palestinian Constitution that Beinart attributes to the PLO (see wikipedia on Palestinian Constitution). Which does mention Islam and Sharia, just as Beinart says.

    And, BTW, Beinart is very convincing to me when he described 1SS as utopian and unworkable.

    That said, a sharing of the land would require (in my view) an “Israel” much smaller (as to land) than it is today (100% of Palestine) or was in 1966 (78%). Both countries if there are to be two will have to be small, but not necessarily vastly unequal in size. Is this idea more or less “unworkable” than 1SS?

    • Elliot
      June 5, 2015, 9:44 pm

      @Pabelmont: “However, it is easy to get behind the times. I had never heard of the PNA’s (not PLO’s) 2003 Palestinian Constitution that Beinart attributes to the PLO (see wikipedia on Palestinian Constitution). Which does mention Islam and Sharia, just as Beinart says.

      And, BTW, Beinart is very convincing to me when he described 1SS as utopian and unworkable.”

      At first blush, I agree but then I read Ali Abunima and Omar Barghouti’s one state declaration: http://electronicintifada.net/content/one-state-declaration/793

      We should consider that the current state of enmity reinforces the religious component on both sides. One example from the Jewish side was covered recently in Haaretz. Overwhelmingly, secular Israelis get married according to Jewish religious law or otherwise bind themselves to religious laws. Any two Jews who marry in Israel or whose marriage is recognized by the State are governed by the Rabbinical Courts. This means that in the case of a divorce, they must go before a panel of three Orthodox rabbis – all men – who typically live in a different world to the couple. I once had to have business with one of these Rabbincal courts. It was shameful. The Haaretz article posed the question why secular Israelis submit to this willingly. The analysis “Israel’s leading demographer” offered was that this strengthens Jewish identity and is a direct consequence of the state of war with the Arabs.
      Jewish and Palestinian nationalism mutually reinforce each other. Getting out of this vicious cycle is going to be tough and may take many years. But Beinart is wrong to tell us to despair of a one state solution because of current official attitudes.
      The United Kingdom has held together for over 400 years; other European countries have their histories of long civil wars and opposing identities.
      No reason why it can’t be achieved in Israel/Palestine. It’s just that Beinart doesn’t want it.

  3. Kris
    June 5, 2015, 3:41 pm

    Beinart says, “The two state solution is not a utopia, it does not represent perfect justice. ”

    He is just promoting the lie that there is ANY “justice” in his preferred scenario, where Jewish settlers get to keep what they have stolen, and the Palestinians are tossed a few crumbs.

    Typical morally-corrupt “liberal” Zionism.

    • pabelmont
      June 5, 2015, 5:13 pm

      Kris — good point about “justice”. I think Beinart is evolving over time. We should kindly but gently point out that “justice” thing to him and other LibZios who claim an interest in justice. Ask him (and them) to be a bit specific about the 2SS they are proposing (or whose basic form they are assuming to have been broadly agreed to) and to discuss the justice and injustice in these proposals for Israeli Jews on the one hand and for Palestinians on the other.

    • JWalters
      June 5, 2015, 7:11 pm

      Completely agree. Over the decades of this debate the Israelis NEVER use the word “justice”. The Palestinians use it frequently, desperately.

      For Beinart, “in a post-Holocaust world, there should be one state on earth devoted to Jewish self protection”, even at the cost of imposing the massive injustice of the Nakba on a non-Jewish people.

      There is an alternative. In a post-Holocaust world Jews could realize that “never again” should apply to everyone. And Jews could realize that Jews especially should know better than to inflict such cruelty on others.

      Further, the evidence is in – the American non-sectarian model has proven to be a MUCH better safe haven for Jews than the sectarian Israeli model. Beinart is living in an immoral fantasy.

      • JWalters
        June 5, 2015, 8:28 pm

        Edit Par 3: Jews might especially feel an aversion to inflicting such suffering on others.

      • Citizen
        June 6, 2015, 10:02 am

        Zionists will agree that up until the present, the USA model of citizenship and rule of law has worked net well for US Jewish citizens, but they will always point to pre-nazi Germany to tell you that can change relatively quickly. Given the right constellation of circumstances, USA too would pounce on even its most assimilated Jews. Hence the need for Israel, a Jewish majority Israel, as final safe haven.

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2015, 11:41 am

        “but they will always point to pre-nazi Germany to tell you that can change relatively quickly. -“

        In that case, I suggest they make even the most cursory study of what happened in “Germany” between 1878, and through WW1 and between the World Wars. It wasn’t all beer and Beethoven.

      • Keith
        June 6, 2015, 4:24 pm

        MOOSER- “It wasn’t all beer and Beethoven.”

        That’s right. One needs to be aware of the conditions that give rise to and/or exacerbate racism rather than describe events such as anti-Semitism as irrational and endemic, an anti-intellectual viewpoint in my opinion. For example, some of the same Jewish Zionists who complain about anti-Semitism, such as Victoria Nuland and Bernard-Henri Levy are providing strong support to the Right Sector and Svaboda neo-Nazis in the Ukraine. Is this logically consistent with concerns over the rise of anti-Semtism in Europe? Or is it more consistent with Zionism’s NEED for anti-Semitism to justify Israel as a Jewish state? Why am I infinitely more concerned over this support for these resurgent neo-Nazis than these Zionists or the state of Israel? Europe DOES have a recent bloody history, particularly Eastern Europe, always ripe for exploitation. This is extremely dangerous and immoral.

      • JWalters
        June 6, 2015, 5:45 pm

        Mooser, could you please say what you are alluding to?

      • JWalters
        June 7, 2015, 5:51 pm

        Citizen,

        “Given the right constellation of circumstances, USA too would pounce on even its most assimilated Jews.”

        Do you see circumstances today that might expand and cause many non-Jewish Americans to become that angry with Jewish Americans?

      • Mooser
        June 7, 2015, 6:33 pm

        “Mooser, could you please say what you are alluding to?”

        Germany, from the unification, through WW1, Versailles, and the period between the wars in Germany? Probably the entire thing was grossly exaggerated. More likely they ran out of weinerschnitzel once or twice.

      • Giles
        June 8, 2015, 12:30 pm

        “Zionists will agree that up until the present, the USA model of citizenship and rule of law has worked net well for US Jewish citizens, but they will always point to pre-nazi Germany to tell you that can change relatively quickly. Given the right constellation of circumstances, USA too would pounce on even its most assimilated Jews. Hence the need for Israel, a Jewish majority Israel, as final safe haven. ”

        I never followed this “logic”. If the USA turned into Weimar Germany with the Jews as its target (I would argue that currently it feels that way to me with Muslims serving in the role as target) does anyone really think that Jews would be safe in Israel? Have they not seen what the USA has done to Iraq, Syria, etc?

        Do you see circumstances today that might expand and cause many non-Jewish Americans to become that angry with Jewish Americans?

        Now that is an important point. There is nothing to indicate that Jews could become targets in America other than the aggressive, anti-justice, anti-free speech, support and loyalty to the foreign nation of Israel of the elite Zionists and supported by many rank and file Jews. That is a real danger.

      • catalan
        June 8, 2015, 1:12 pm

        “That is a real danger.” Giles
        I don’t feel in danger at all, not from being Jewish anyway. Aside from the Boston to Washington corridor, where many people think in terms of this or that -ism, or Neo this or Neo that or anti- this or that, most Americans living anywhere else just don’t care about Jews, Palestinians, the ME, etc.
        So thanks for the concern but I think I will be fine.

      • Giles
        June 8, 2015, 4:31 pm

        I don’t feel in danger at all, not from being Jewish anyway. Aside from the Boston to Washington corridor, where many people think in terms of this or that -ism, or Neo this or Neo that or anti- this or that, most Americans living anywhere else just don’t care about Jews, Palestinians, the ME, etc. So thanks for the concern but I think I will be fine.

        You completely missed the point. Jews are not in any danger from being Jewish in the USA today (or in the past as far as I can tell). In fact, there is lots of anecdotal evidence which points to the fact that Jews — not only the elite power broker ones — are largely above the law. But that’s for another day. However, if the tide is ever to turn and Jews do become the target of the System, it will almost certainly be due to the active (to say the least) support of Israel (often at the expense of the US citizenry) by the Jewish establishment and, as far as I can tell, a large majority of the rank and file Jews.

        By the way, I am glad you feel no danger from being Jewish as there is no rational reason to do so. Unfortunately, many Jews apparently do and are ready to run off to Israel. I have very rational, intelligent, down to earth Jewish friends who feel that way….it’s insane

      • catalan
        June 8, 2015, 4:45 pm

        “In fact, there is lots of anecdotal evidence which points to the fact that Jews — not only the elite power broker ones — are largely above the law -” Giles
        If true, I just have to add another item to the list of things I missed on, which is very depressingly long as it is (Victoria falls, supermodels, the Northern lights). I get stopped for speeding, and recently I even got yelled at by a cop for crossing on red. What do I need to do better? Mention that I am Jewish? I am afraid if I do that I may really confuse people and get locked up in the funny farm. Just like my guy friends in high school were able to uncover the mysteries of the female psyche while I watched on, it seems that other Jews just know how to take advantage of these secret loopholes in the legal system. Damn.

      • JWalters
        June 8, 2015, 8:04 pm

        I agree that Israeli policies violating bedrock American values of human rights is the most likely trigger on the horizon. And also that things are socially safe for Jews in America.

        The overall social circumstances in America today are very different than those of pre-Nazi Germany. There has solidified a strong freedom of religion culture. It is the standard view except for a less educated minority. It is defended quickly from many sides.

        And the information technology enables distribution of facts and debate on a whole new level. This makes it harder to push truth away; it adds a truth ballast. Information technology is revealing truth retroactively, enabling more detailed re-examinations of past events. And the better people can understand their situation, the better they can find agreement.

        So even in a worst-case scenario of some Jewish mafia behind the scenes somewhere, it seems to me most non-Jews today would not imagine that all Jews were part of that mafia.

      • Keith
        June 9, 2015, 12:37 am

        CATALAN- “What do I need to do better?”

        Move to New York? Become a member of a Zionist synogogue? Volunteer for AIPAC and/or the ADL? By the way, you are the only professed Zionist I have encountered that claims to not believe in eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. Why then are you a Zionist? It is irrational to declare fealty to an ideology/group which provides no benefits. Or are you holding out on us? Come on, you kosher cactus flower, spill the beans! (no need to count).

      • catalan
        June 9, 2015, 11:43 am

        “By the way, you are the only professed Zionist I have encountered that claims to not believe in eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. – ” Keith
        I actually don’t sit around wondering if people like Jews or not. Some do and some don’t I guess, but more importantly, it just doesn’t bother me if they don’t like me. There is an obsession with being popular these days, and I don’t know what it has to do with being happy. Also, because I like to read some history, I actually try to put the violence against Jews in the context of other horrors; since I don’t subscribe to the notion of human progress, I don’t see why people today should act any different from Assurnasirpal II, or Pompey. Indeed, they don’t, and there is some evidence that our brains are atrophying since the agricultural revolution. We are getting dumber! I just don’t see any hope at this point for humanity, so I just try to enjoy my life.

  4. Bornajoo
    June 5, 2015, 4:49 pm

    “Some liberal Zionists not only downplay this incompatibility between Zionism and liberalism inside Israel, they have accepted this, as Peter seemingly has. He told Jeffrey Goldberg in 2010: “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.”

    So I want to take this opportunity and Peter– I’m sure he can respond to this in rebuttal– to ask whether or not Peter still stands by this statement and how he can justify such a thing with a concept of liberalism.”

    Thanks very much Phil and MW team for this. It’s fascinating. I’m looking forward to watching the video to see if Beinart still stands by the statement above or whether he is genuinely evolving away from liberal zionism.

    His arguments against the 1ss, at first impression, seem to be worthy of a proper debate. We need to have that debate.

  5. marc b.
    June 5, 2015, 4:49 pm

    i looked, but couldn’t find, a clear, concise statement from beinart about his vision of a two-state solution. is it unequivocal support for retreat to pre-67 lines, or is he advocating the ‘concessions’ line about the need for adjustments to the facts on the ground, Israel’s security needs requiring modification of the 67 lines, retention of control over Jerusalem, etc. I’m afraid that there is nothing like a consensus of what a two-state solution looks like amongst liberal Zionists, and frankly still cringe every time beinart falls into his ‘jewish and democratic’ parrot act.

    • Kris
      June 5, 2015, 5:04 pm

      From the article:

      [Beinart speaks of how many settlers would remain in their homes under redrawn boundaries, and details his support for pressure on Israel, boycott of settlement products, and opposition to BDS, as a one-state movement]

      So apparently he is advocating the “concessions” line.

      • pabelmont
        June 5, 2015, 5:25 pm

        Kris: Worse. still, if he is arguing for retaining within new-Israel some of the settlers and their territory, then it would appear that he will want also to retain ALL of the Israeli Jews (and their territory) within Israel-48. That is to say, that occupation (whether in 1948 or 1967) gives rights — in his feeling — to the settlers which trump Palestinian rights. Makes you wonder what “concessions” he imagines describing as being on the Israeli side other than concessions of things illegally seized 1967-present.

        There will be tears (and not from LZ perspective “crocodile tears”) for the settlers displaced by “peace” but none for the Palestinians displaced by Israel 1947-present.

      • just
        June 5, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Peter Beinart might want to ask himself what impact this has on his ‘2ss’, and then report back to us! It’s devastating. Gideon Levy:

        “This huge settlement will ‘turn Palestinian villages into a prison’
        Construction proceeds apace in the settlement of Leshem, creating yet one more ‘settlement bloc’ in the West Bank and bisecting it irrevocably.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/twilight-zone/.premium-1.659551

        (I already posted much of this on another thread, but holy smokes~ this stinks to high heaven!)

      • yonah fredman
        June 5, 2015, 6:08 pm

        Although he does not accept it as dogma, Beinart refers to the Geneva “Agreement” of 2003. If you consider that unacceptable, then you are really not on the same page as those that speak of a 2 state solution.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Initiative_%282003%29

  6. hophmi
    June 5, 2015, 5:06 pm

    So, basically, Munayyer thinks Jews have no right to self-determination, and no answer to Beinart’s arguments about utopianism masquerading as progressivism.

    I don’t see why I should care about someone like Munayyer if he clearly doesn’t care about me. He wants something that he would deny to others.

    • just
      June 5, 2015, 5:56 pm

      “So, basically, Munayyer thinks Jews have no right to self-determination”

      What are you smoking, hophmi?

      This is a debate about Palestine/Israel, “Achieving a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine” is the title of the debate.

      It’s not about you, nor the entire worldwide population of Jews. Capisce?

    • lyn117
      June 5, 2015, 6:08 pm

      “right to self-determination” does not include the right to exclude the native people of a place from being included in the self-determination, and never did.

    • eljay
      June 5, 2015, 6:18 pm

      || hophmi: So, basically, Munayyer thinks Jews have no right to self-determination … ||

      People who wish to be Jewish have every right to be Jewish, but they have no right to establish or maintain an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and/or (religion-)supremacist state.

      No group of people is entitled to a supremacist state, and no state should exist as a supremacist state.

      • catalan
        June 5, 2015, 6:30 pm

        “No group of people is entitled to a supremacist state, and no state should exist as a supremacist state. – ” eljay
        Article 1 of the current Bulgarian constitution defines Bulgaria as a social, democratic and Christian Orthodox country. I am Jewish and about 15 percent of the population were Muslim. Is Bulgaria a supremacist state? I mean, I wasn’t bothered by it, but still, how is a Muslim or a Jew supposed to feel about it. Greece, Russia and several other European countries, including members of the EU have such references in the constitution.
        Come to think of it, the ruling block in Germany is the Christian Democrats and the social Christian Union from Bavaria. What is a German Jew or Muslim to make of the fact that the ruling party espouses Christian principles. Why not Hindu, or Ancient Greek ones?
        Even if the laws of Germany are not biased against Jews, a good case can be made that the name of the ruling party breaches the line between state and church.
        The thing is, if the vast majority of countries espouse a religion, or a pseudo religion like communism, then religious supremacism as you call it is the rule.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 5, 2015, 6:51 pm

        strawman, you can’t (necessarily) interchange countries that “espouse a religion” to “supremacist state”. try arguing what eljay said and not whatever you wish to argue.

      • eljay
        June 5, 2015, 6:57 pm

        || catalan @ June 5, 2015, 6:30 pm ||

        1. So…you’re in favour of supremacist states? Interesting.

        2. Re. Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, Germany: I wasn’t aware that these states have special / different rules for their Christian citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees compared with their non-Christian citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees. If it’s true that they do, I condemn them just as I condemn Israel.

      • Sibiriak
        June 5, 2015, 8:05 pm

        Annie Robbins: …. you can’t (necessarily) interchange countries that “espouse a religion” to “supremacist state”.

        ——————–
        True– which suggests that it could be a legitimate aim to have Israel abandon its ethno-religious supremacism while continuing to “espouse” Jewish religion, culture, language etc.

      • talknic
        June 6, 2015, 12:28 am

        @ catalan Article 1 of the current Bulgarian constitution defines Bulgaria as a social, democratic and Christian Orthodox country. I am Jewish and about 15 percent of the population were Muslim. Is Bulgaria a supremacist state?”

        I know it’s almost impossible for an apologist for Israel’s crimes, but please try to answer honestly. Is Bulgaria dispossessing people because they’re not Christian Orthodox? Is it in breach of hundreds of UNSC resolutions by illegally acquiring for the Christian Orthodox the territory of non-Christian Orthodox?

        ” I mean, I wasn’t bothered by it, but still, how is a Muslim or a Jew supposed to feel about it.”

        If you weren’t bothered by it and it didn’t restrict or harm you in any way … you simply don’t have a point

        ” Greece, Russia and several other European countries, including members of the EU have such references in the constitution”

        Are they in breach of hundreds of U+NSC resolutions for dispossessing people based on their religion/s?

        ” … the ruling block in Germany is the Christian Democrats and the social Christian Union from Bavaria. What is a German Jew or Muslim to make of the fact that the ruling party espouses Christian principles.”

        If they don’t restrict or harm Jews and/or Muslims in any way … you don’t have a point

        “Even if the laws of Germany are not biased against Jews, a good case can be made that the name of the ruling party breaches the line between state and church”

        Nonsense. They rule by the laws of the land.

        .“The thing is, if the vast majority of countries espouse a religion, or a pseudo religion like communism, then religious supremacism as you call it is the rule”

        Only if they rule as Israel does, favouring people by their being Jewish

        Did you have a point other than failing to justify anything by your inane idiotic whataboutery?

      • echinococcus
        June 7, 2015, 11:23 pm

        Talknic,

        I think you are saying that once whitewashed by some outside organization, the Zionists should be left free to impose all consequences of their invasion on the local population.
        Even if 181 had been fully implemented, that would have been a major injustice against the owners of the land. So freakin major that it should be fought about today, too.
        The promises by Zionists were of course bullshit and everyone knew it –they had just proclaimed it loud and clear to all.

        Israel now exists whether we agree or like it or not, it should now be held to it’s word and legal obligations

        Sorry, too late. It exists, whether we agree or not, and it can be made to unexist, whether it likes it or not.

        especially by those people it claims to represent, I’m one of those people

        Well, a lot of people of Jewish heritage, and a lot of devoutly religious people, are rejecting that scandalous claim and taking the Zionists to task for their nationalism. Good to know where you stand.

    • tree
      June 5, 2015, 6:44 pm

      Hophmi’s definition of “self-determination” would have allowed the Third Reich, as their “right”, to ethnically cleanse Jews from Nazi Germany in order to “self-determine” a German “Aryan” state. He obviously thinks that case of “self-determination” was morally wrong, as well he should. But as usual he is being a hypocrite.

      Hophmi supports a “right” that he would deny to any ethnic/religious group other than Jews, and then complains about someone else who is advocating equal rights for all, not special privileges for Hophmi’s affinity group.

      • eljay
        June 5, 2015, 6:50 pm

        || tree @ June 5, 2015, 6:44 pm ||

        hophmi – like all Zio-supremacists – is a hypocrite for believing and asserting that he is entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality he would not have others do unto him.

      • just
        June 5, 2015, 6:52 pm

        +1, tree.

      • pabelmont
        June 5, 2015, 7:04 pm

        tree: Forget what hophmi says here: Beinart has not offered even PRoR! so I suppose he espouses ethnic cleansing (selectively, of course!). Our task is tickling Beinart and other LZ’s under the chin to see if we can either change their publicly expressed minds or get them to say something flat out reprehensible. Sort of what Communists used to say were the inherent contradictions in capitalism, I suppose, but this time in Zionism or Liberal Zionism.

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2015, 11:50 am

        What none of the Hasbaratchniks ever consider when they “whatabout” is the price that nations have paid for those things. If they think Israel, and ‘the Jewish people’ can afford those prices, they are crazy.

      • talknic
        June 16, 2015, 12:29 pm

        @ catalan

        //“You can’t move to Israel simply because of your name. You can if you’re Jewish. – ” //

        “I was speaking figuratively. I can move to Portugal simply because I am Sephardic Jewish, just like with Israel”

        Nonsense. You’d have to have had a lineal descendant who had once lived in Portugal and was expelled

        “Anyway, I don’t agree that Israel is my state because of its immigration laws and some pronouncements that they have made. The fact is that I don’t speak Hebrew, I am not familiar with the culture, I haven’t studied there, worked there, or served in the military”

        Take it up with the Israeli Government http://pages.citebite.com/j2i2x2i6a5ruf

        “As an accountant, I can easily emigrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand”

        As an accountant? Bullsh*t!

        ” As an EU citizen I can move to France, Germany, or any other EU country”

        More bullsh*t. You can visit or pass thru. Immigrating to any of the states in the European union is another matter!

        “Therefore, it is clear that Israel is no sense my country, as I can move to any number of countries based on criteria that are not religious. I do like visiting Israel as a tourist but have no time to do that really either.
        So, Israel is clearly not my country. Its laws and policies are made by people for whom I don’t vote. Because I am a U.S. Citizen and pay taxes here, that is the only country I have”

        So why do you spend an inordinate amount of time bullsh*tting in defense of Israel’s clearly illegal activities in non-Israeli territories?

      • catalan
        June 16, 2015, 12:42 pm

        “More bullsh*t. You can visit or pass thru. Immigrating to any of the states in the European union is another matter! – ” talknic
        I can work without restrictions, live and be elected to municipal office in any EU country. Any Bulgarian citizen can. There is no limitation on this right.
        I am also entitled to Portuguese citizenship if I prove that I am a Sephardic Jew. I do not need to prove any lineal descent as you say.
        Finally, Canada has a point system for immigration, and accountants who speak French receive a lot of points. I can immigrate any time.
        What is it that you don’t understand that Israel’s immigration policies have zero bearing on me? What do I care if they invite all Jews or some Jews or no Jews?

      • talknic
        June 16, 2015, 1:52 pm

        @ catalan // You can visit or pass thru. Immigrating to any of the states in the European union is another matter! – ” //

        “I can work without restrictions, live and be elected to municipal office in any EU country. Any Bulgarian citizen can. There is no limitation on this right”

        You cannot automatically change your citizenship to that of another EU state.

        “I am also entitled to Portuguese citizenship if I prove that I am a Sephardic Jew. I do not need to prove any lineal descent as you say.”

        As I say? As the Portuguese Government say pal! http://www.timesofisrael.com/descendants-of-jews-who-fled-persecution-may-claim-portuguese-citizenship/

        “Finally, Canada has a point system for immigration, and accountants who speak French receive a lot of points. I can immigrate any time.”

        Not simply based on being an accountant.

        “What is it that you don’t understand that Israel’s immigration policies have zero bearing on me? What do I care if they invite all Jews or some Jews or no Jews?”

        For someone who doesn’t care you push an awful lot of Israeli propaganda.

    • Kris
      June 5, 2015, 8:10 pm

      @hophmi: “He ((Munayyer)) wants something that he would deny to others.”

      Like what, hophmi? Could you be specific, and tell us what this “something” is?

      Munayyer isn’t claiming the right to steal land from other people. The only people in the world who claim this “right” are the Zionist Jews.

      Please explain why Jews should be allowed to steal land. And then to keep what they have stolen.

      And please tell us what the “something” is that Munayyer would deny to others?

    • talknic
      June 5, 2015, 8:46 pm

      hophmi June 5, 2015, 5:06 pm

      “So, basically, Munayyer thinks Jews have no right to self-determination”

      Strange. We’ve had our self determined state for 67 years. It’s now in its 67th year of breaching International Law and 66th year of breaching the UN Charter in territories outside its proclaimed and only recognized borders, preventing the self determination of the Palestinians, preventing non-Jewish Israeli refugees it dispossessed from returning to Israel and preventing Palestinian refugees it dispossessed from returning to Palestine.

      Creeps like yourself are as far away from the basic tenets of Judaism as it is possible to get and the harder you try to justify the unjustifiable the more you prove yourself to be a stupid a very very stupid slime merchant for Israels crimes

      • catalan
        June 5, 2015, 8:59 pm

        “We’ve had our self determined state for 67 years.”
        We? I thought you were an Australian. I am an American. Who is the “we” in question? I certainly don’t “have” Israel.

      • talknic
        June 5, 2015, 11:35 pm

        @ catalan June 5, 2015, 8:59 pm

        “We? I thought you were an Australian. I am an American. Who is the “we” in question? I certainly don’t “have” Israel”

        You’re not Jewish? WOW!

        The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

      • catalan
        June 5, 2015, 11:47 pm

        “You’re not Jewish? WOW”
        I am Jewish. Israel is open to Jewish immigration. How does that make Israel my state? Portugal is also open to Sephardic Jews. Does that make Portugal my state?
        No. My state, with all its flaws, is the United States. Hey, so long as that makes the haters unhappy, it gives me a reason to stick around.

      • pjdude
        June 5, 2015, 11:57 pm

        i really wish you wouldn’t use the term self determination to refer to israel. its creation and existence have nothing to do with the concept of a right to self determination which is the right of the people of a territory to decide there own political status. Israel was created through naked conquest by people from outside the territory.. there is not a single solitary inch that was gained through naked conquest. to claim or imply other wise is misrepresenting what happened and only rewards criminals for there crimes.

        again Israel creation is literally the exact opposite of self determination.

      • echinococcus
        June 6, 2015, 5:02 am

        talknic,

        I must admit that Catalan was absolutely right. He wrote the answer that I wanted to write to you, word for word.
        Even if your answer was offered entirely in irony, which is doubtful, it leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

      • pabelmont
        June 6, 2015, 12:12 pm

        Talknic: the “we’ve had our self-determined state for 67 years” makes you out to be an Israeli, and by context an Israeli Jew. Was this the intended communication?

      • Kris
        June 6, 2015, 12:45 pm

        catalan: “I certainly don’t “have” Israel.”

        Except that, as a Jew, you do.

        You are entitled to Israeli citizenship if you want it.

        You can “return” to Israel, whether or not you or your family have ever been there. If you “return” to Israel, you will receive many incentives and benefits not available to the indigenous Palestinians, who, by the way, are NOT allowed to live in peace on their own land, let alone to return to the homes that Zionist Jews drove them out of.

        In fact, you will even be encouraged to move onto land that belongs to Palestinians who still live there, and always have! You and your children are even encouraged to join the IDF and engage in brutalizing the indigenous Palestinians without fear of penalty.

        Many Jews are “Israel-firsters,” calling into question their loyalty to the other countries where they hold citizenship. For example, Zionist “Israel-firsters” in the U.S. are proud to identify themselves as putting Israel’s welfare above that of the U.S.

      • Bornajoo
        June 6, 2015, 12:50 pm

        “You can “return” to Israel, whether or not you or your family has ever been there. If you “return” to Israel, you will receive many incentives and benefits not available to the indigenous Palestinians.”

        Excellent, factual and spot on comment Kris. Many thanks!

      • talknic
        June 6, 2015, 10:22 pm

        @ pabelmont

        ” the “we’ve had our self-determined state for 67 years” makes you out to be an Israeli, and by context an Israeli Jew. Was this the intended communication?”

        No, no and no. My profile is clear http://mondoweiss.net/profile/talknic and the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel tells me it is as much my state as it is any other Jewish person’s state. It also tells me it was to be equally the state of all its inhabitants. It has failed

        That’s why I’m here. I’d like my Jewish People’s Homeland State to be a law abiding member of the International Comity of Nations living at least up to the basic common sense tenets of Judaism which, even tho I’m a devout atheist, I still try to live by.

        ————–

        @ echinococcus

        catalan is a lying propagandist deceitfully attempting to score points for an illegal enterprise.

        I also have a bad taste in my mouth which comes from the fact that the legitimate population of Palestine was not consulted in regards to partition and; now that Israel does exist whether we agree or like it or not, aside from the plight of Palestinians and non-Jewish Israelis dispossessed and slaughtered by Israel, there are millions of innocent and factually naive Israelis, mothers, fathers, children caught up in the Zionist enterprise who’ve been fed a diet of bullsh*t for 67 years. If compassion is not also shown for them, we have failed.

        Had successive Israeli Governments adhered to the conditions undertaken by declaring statehood per UNGA res 181 and adhered to their declaration of statehood and adhered to International Law and the UN Charter it was quite possible that …… but they didn’t and Israel to this day lives in contempt of International law, the UN Charter and worse, in complete contempt of the basic common sense tenets of Judaism.

        ——-

        catalan “I am Jewish. Israel is open to Jewish immigration. How does that make Israel my state? “

        Go argue with the Zionist Movement

        The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles;

        Portugal is also open to Sephardic Jews. Does that make Portugal my state?

        I don’t believe Portugal was mentioned in the Partition Plan accepted on behalf of all Jewish persons. Nor is Portugal mentioned in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.

        “No. My state, with all its flaws, is the United States.”

        You also have the option of moving to the Jewish People’s Homeland State of Israel for no other reason than you’re Jewish. I don’t believe any other state in the world makes such an offer.

        ” Hey, so long as that makes the haters unhappy, it gives me a reason to stick around

        Whatever drivel you need to post to keep your bile flowing

      • catalan
        June 6, 2015, 10:31 pm

        “You also have the option of moving to the Jewish People’s Homeland State of Israel for no other reason than you’re Jewish. I don’t believe any other state in the world makes such an offer”.
        My son, an American boy with no connections to Bulgaria, can move there any time due to my citizenship. That doesn’t make him Bulgarian.
        Like I said, I can also move to Portugal, and soon Spain, simply because of my name, nothing more. That doesn’t make Portugal my state.
        I have no legal connection to Israel. Or to other Jews like you. Thankfully.

      • echinococcus
        June 7, 2015, 2:09 am

        Talknic,

        Saying nonono is good but you do, in effect, accept the Zionist misrepresentation:

        the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel tells me it is as much my state as it is any other Jewish person’s state

        How the hell is it your state or any other “Jewish person’s” state (other than pre-Zionism local Jews) and what exactly are your reasons for channeling the Zionist entity as if its claim to representation, its abusive state and it’s murderous immigration were legitimate?

        I am not joking. I know what “Catalan” is, but he (brainlessly) wrote the best anti-Zionist response to your claim –out of irremediable confusion.

        It also tells me it was to be equally the state of all its inhabitants

        You mean including the rapists who filled Palestine with the illegal riffraff from all over the world? The partition proposal has not been accepted –and anyone with a single brain cell cannot pretend that there was some obligation to accept it; 181 was equally unacceptable for the same reason.

        The charge of violating 181 is of course a serious one, but it does not mean that this unilateral international intervention is legitimate for the invaded peoples. It seems to me that, like “liberal” Zionists, you may be using your protest against the violation of 181 to legitimize the partition.
        When have the legitimate owners of Palestine agreed to become an appendage to millions of illegal immigrants, as “all its inhabitants”?

        It has failed

        Au contraire, it has been successful beyond the wildest dreams of the Zionists. Do you seriously believe some fairy tales from Ben Gurion times about equal rights, all inhabitants, etc., while the massacres and expulsions were still going on?
        Zionism is necessarily genocidal.

        As for the rights of the invaders’ offspring, instead of starting already to preach “compassion”, what with their unlimited immigration right to the US and multiple passports, how about leaving them to the future developments to decide? There’s no chance of the solution being peaceful in the least, in any case.

      • talknic
        June 7, 2015, 8:58 pm

        @ catalan June 6, 2015, 10:31 pm

        “My son, an American boy with no connections to Bulgaria, can move there any time due to my citizenship. That doesn’t make him Bulgarian”

        A) If he immigrates to Bulgaria he’d be required to get citizenship.

        B) If his mother is Jewish he can move to Israel. He cannot move to Bulgaria because he’s Jewish

        Like I said, I can also move to Portugal, and soon Spain, simply because of my name, nothing more

        You can’t move to Israel simply because of your name. You can if you’re Jewish.

        “I have no legal connection to Israel. Or to other Jews like you…”

        A) Never the less if you’re Jewish you can immigrate to Israel, despite your name or current nationality. You cannot move to ANY other country on the planet based on a similar criteria

        B) You only have connect with Jews who believe Israel is exempt from breaking International Law, the UN Charter, relative conventions that were adopted in large part because of the treatment of our Jewish fellows under the Nazis.

      • talknic
        June 7, 2015, 10:04 pm

        @ echinococcus

        Personally I think the International Community conceding to the Zionist Colonial enterprise’s demands was a huge mistake. The LoN Mandate for Palestine being the better of all the plans and options in the face of Zionist demands

        Were Israel to have adhered to the Jewish Agency’s pre-state statements to the UN and UNSC and were Israel to have adhered to its Declaration and were Israel to have adhered to International Law and the Rights and Duties of States and to the UN Charter and to the relative conventions, there would not have been mass dispossession, war, occupation, illegal settlements outside of Israel, in-equality of citizenship et al.

        However, Zionist Federation, the Jewish Agency lied and Israel thus far has failed to live up to its obligations. It is a rogue state.

        Israel now exists whether we agree or like it or not, it should now be held to it’s word and legal obligations, especially by those people it claims to represent, I’m one of those people.

        ” Do you seriously believe some fairy tales from Ben Gurion times about equal rights, all inhabitants, etc., while the massacres and expulsions were still going on?”

        No.

        “As for the rights of the invaders’ offspring, instead of starting already to preach “compassion”, what with their unlimited immigration right to the US and multiple passports, how about leaving them to the future developments to decide?”

        They don’t have any ‘rights’ in non-Israeli territories. Compassion for those who have been unwittingly deceived is an entirely different matter

      • catalan
        June 7, 2015, 10:42 pm

        “You can’t move to Israel simply because of your name. You can if you’re Jewish. – ” talknic
        I was speaking figuratively. I can move to Portugal simply because I am Sephardic Jewish, just like with Israel. I said because of my name to make a point.
        Anyway, I don’t agree that Israel is my state because of its immigration laws and some pronouncements that they have made. The fact is that I don’t speak Hebrew, I am not familiar with the culture, I haven’t studied there, worked there, or served in the military.
        As an accountant, I can easily emigrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand. As an EU citizen I can move to France, Germany, or any other EU country.
        Therefore, it is clear that Israel is no sense my country, as I can move to any number of countries based on criteria that are not religious. I do like visiting Israel as a tourist but have no time to do that really either.
        So, Israel is clearly not my country. Its laws and policies are made by people for whom I don’t vote. Because I am a U.S. Citizen and pay taxes here, that is the only country I have.
        This is all crazy talk. I am middle aged, sadly. It pains me to say it, but I am in no position at this point to uproot myself. It’s a life stage thing, really. A young person’s opportunity to take advantage of or to squander. I have done plenty of both.

    • Kris
      June 5, 2015, 10:15 pm

      @hophmi: “I don’t see why I should care about someone like Munayyer if he clearly doesn’t care about me. He wants something that he would deny to others.”

      Why should Munayyer care about someone like you, hophmi? You clearly don’t care about him. You want something that you would deny to others. That is, you want to be uniquely privileged above everyone else and thereby be allowed to steal and keep someone else’s land and resources.

      If “self-determination” for Jews means setting up a huge private residential club, then why don’t the Zionists just BUY a big piece of land somewhere for themselves? “Buy,” as in “pay for,” as in a willing owner voluntarily sells the land to you for mutually agreed-upon compensation. As in, having a clear title, and fulfilling all the requirements of applicable laws.

      Have you ever bought a house? Just FYI, you don’t get to kill the owner and then move in. (That used to be the case, but the Age of Discovery/Colonization ended a long time ago.) Now, you have to follow the rules, no matter who you are. If you missed out on the so-called “Age of Discovery,” and didn’t get to colonize, rape and pillage then, you didn’t get a raincheck to redeem later.

      The problem seems to be your bizarre sense of entitlement. Jews, just like everyone else, are NOT allowed to steal and keep someone else’s land.

      (BTW, could you please cut and paste the part where Munayyer says Jews have no right to “self-determination”; I can’t find it. And could you define what “self-determination” means to you. Thanks.)

      • bintbiba
        June 6, 2015, 2:54 am

        Kris, +1

        So very, very , very well said !
        Than you !!

      • echinococcus
        June 6, 2015, 5:05 am

        Kris,

        Very nicely written. As for land ownership, I appreciate the intent, but whoa. Land ownership and sovereignty are two very different beasts. Owning land in other peoples’ country does not give a group the sovereignty. Many times it does not even give individual citizenship.

      • Kris
        June 6, 2015, 12:00 pm

        Thank you, bintbiba and echinococcus.

        Echinococcus, if “sovereignity” is what “self-determination” means for the Zionists, then they will have to do without it, unless they can buy some land and get the country it’s in to give it independence. Germany is the obvious place where this should happen.

        Or they could use their fabled brilliance and technical know-how to create a floating island to live on out in the open ocean somewhere, since all the land on earth is already taken. Sad for them to have missed out on the Age of Colonization, but they did.

      • just
        June 6, 2015, 12:14 pm

        Great comments, Kris. ;-0

      • echinococcus
        June 6, 2015, 5:23 pm

        In Germany it would be attempted secession on religious grounds. Not something that’s likely to go unopposed by the whole world (except perhaps the more Zionism-addicted of the politicians.) As for a floating island, I have a feeling experts on international and maritime law may have a different take on that.

      • bintbiba
        June 7, 2015, 4:54 am

        @Talknic , 10:22

        Respect !

    • RoHa
      June 5, 2015, 10:25 pm

      “So, basically, Munayyer thinks Jews have no right to self-determination”

      We have discussed and presented arguments against the alleged right of self-determination of Jews qua Jews many times. In the light of this, one would think that hophmi would present at least a ghost of a hint of the beginnings of a possible sketch of what might, after much development, and when viewed with generosity of spirit, be something that vaguely resembles an approximation of an argument for such a right.

      But one would be mistaken to so think.

  7. JWalters
    June 5, 2015, 7:21 pm

    Phil, creating transcripts is painstakingly laborious. If you haven’t yet, you might consider some recent software to create the first draft from the audio.

  8. Gregory Wonderwheel
    June 5, 2015, 11:37 pm

    Well, I agree most with Munayyer in his critique of so-called “liberal” Zionism. Personally, I don’t accept that there is any such position as liberal Zionism. Zionism is inherently and inextricably anti-liberal. A Jewish Israel is as wrong as a Muslim Saudi Arabia or Muslim Iran.
    But Munayyer, at least in this portion, does not adequately address the problems of the Palestinians being ruled by two parties that do not want democracy or people’s rights in Palestine. The PA and the PLO and Hamas are hopelessly fighting for their fiefdoms and control and have no interest in letting the people debate and decide their course.
    What needs to be done is for the PA, PLO, and Hamas to allow constitutional committees to be formed and for the Palestinians to be able to create a constitution for themselves and create their nation without even caring what Israel or the USA thinks about it. Until they show the world that they know how to work together as a nation, there is no reason the rest of the world should take them seriously as a nation. And as long at the Palestinians don’t develop themselves politically and instead bow down to their Israeli and USA jailers, then the Palestinians won’t have the credibility it takes for people to want to help them break the blockades.

    • just
      June 6, 2015, 1:24 am

      Hi Gregory.

      You wrote:

      “Until they show the world that they know how to work together as a nation, there is no reason the rest of the world should take them seriously as a nation. And as long at the Palestinians don’t develop themselves politically and instead bow down to their Israeli and USA jailers, then the Palestinians won’t have the credibility it takes for people to want to help them break the blockades.”

      With a welcoming spirit, I have to say that “the Palestinians” have to demonstrate nothing, zero, nada, zilch, not one more iota of more restraint/patience/blah to the world in order for the “rest of world” to take them “seriously as a nation.” The “rest of the world” is responsible for the terrible condition that the Palestinians are living in!!! The Palestinians were, are, and will continue to be Palestinians. So will their homeland and roots and culture. It is up to the rest of the world to come to grips with the crimes committed against the Palestinians in the beginning, today, and to prevent the ones looming tomorrow.

      You also wrote: “And as long at the Palestinians don’t develop themselves politically and instead bow down to their Israeli and USA jailers, then the Palestinians won’t have the credibility it takes for people to want to help them break the blockades. ”

      The Palestinians are plenty “politically developed”, (some of their best and brightest are on a forever- style administrative detention, btw), but the Occupation and massacres by the Occupier, etc. ad nauseam are preventing more rapid development. They have lots of “credibility” among many here, there, and everywhere!

      End the Occupation, let the indigenous flowers that are the Palestinians themselves BLOOM, and hold Israel and its fierce “allies” accountable! I am so tired of everyone blaming the millions of victims~ all of the Palestinians imprisoned both inside and outside of Palestine.

  9. can of worms
    June 6, 2015, 1:39 am

    A crucial point that has been given far too little emphasis is that liberal Zionism would still have a problem with apartheid even if the 2ss were actually realized. A 2ss harbors apartheid, as follows: (1) two separate laws regarding RoR. This not only predetermines a “Jewish” demography , but you have to realize that when someone makes “Aliya” they get a bonus package from the govt which includes enormous freebies and advantages in education, housing and language (Ulpan). For decades this has skewed the income disparities between “Jews” and Palestinians. It is not for nothing that Palestinian towns have a different economy, everything sold at half the Jewish market price. Palestinian Israelis have for decades been the Jews’ source of cheap labor. (2) This is compounded by the “Judaization project” of the Naqab/Negev and the Galillee which would continue even under a 2ss. . Also the Naqab Bedouin live in shanty towns without electricity or running water and this would continue even under a 2ss. (3) Ethnic residential segregation and segregated public schools: Unfortunately, Israel is a country where entire cities and towns and kibbutzim are Jewish only. This Jim Crow system would continue even under a 2ss. In the Palestinian schools, Hebrew is taught as a second language, which predetermines lower outcomes in competing in the work force. There are laws in Israel which allow selection committees in housing. This would remain even with a 2ss.

    Liberal zionists like Beinart delude themselves that reducing the “Palestinian problem” to the 20% Israeli-Palestinian population would solve the apartheid problem.

  10. can of worms
    June 6, 2015, 5:38 am

    In fact right wing settlers and annexationists deserve some credit for being much more astute than liberal zionists in that they fully realize that in the entirely theoretical moment a 2ss comes to exist, the center of attention will turn to the apartheid within. At that moment that Israel hypothetically rids itself of the 67 occupation, a vacuum will be created and people are going to increasingly notice the totally segregated cities and segregated schools and they’re going to say, “no such thing as separate but equal.”

    And THAT segregation is what keeps Beinart’s “Jewish character” of Israel intact. For you can’t have a “Jewish character” anymore when people risk using the same residences, the same institutions, the same schools, the same languages, the same beds, the same jobs, the same economy. In the end the wishful 2ss will only have put off the inevitable. And Beinart should truly reconsider the settler p.o.v.

    • JWalters
      June 6, 2015, 6:03 pm

      Thanks for this pair of posts, and taking the analysis down the road the next mile. These are very sensible points that should definitely be incorporated in the planning for a just solution to this conflict.

  11. ritzl
    June 6, 2015, 7:13 am

    So why would Beinart agree to do this?

    There’s a reason Libzios only debate nutcases to their “right.” The assumptions are collective and therefore never challenged. The context is narrow. Everybody gets to come away with a win. It’s all so self-congratulatory, interminable, and career-propping.

    In this debate, as it is here, EI, and every Gideon Levy column, there would seem to be no upside for Mr. Beinart. His arguments, serviceable elsewhere, would/were simply exposed for the inconsistent hodge-podge they are — to all but the true believers, that is.

    Any sense of why, or is PB so completely immersed in his little uncritical world/past practice that the notion, let alone the implications, of actual public contrast never entered into his thinking?

    I’m not sure of the subtext (subtextual dynamics?) here, but there does seem to be some. A significant some maybe even.

  12. unverified__5ilf90kd
    June 6, 2015, 9:04 am

    Ali Abumimah says that Beinart as well as BDS activists argue that Zionism denies Palestinians equality even inside present-day Israel? But Beinart does not acknowledge this in his latest Haaretz column on Obama; nonetheless he himself has openly acknowledged that Zionism does, must and should deny equality to Palestinian citizens of Israel.
    Beinart made this clear in a 2010 interview in The Atlantic with fellow liberal Zionist pundit and former Israeli prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg.
    Here are Beinart’s own words:
    I’m not asking Israel to be Utopian. I’m not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I’m not even asking it 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.
    Could it be any clearer that in Beinart’s view there can be no Jewish state without deliberately inflicting inequality and inferiority on Palestinians?

    Ali Abunimah writes that he has asked Beinart repeatedly whether he stands by this position. Ali writes “Usually he ignores the question, but on at least one occasion he called me a “creep.”

    Abunimah suggested that the question Munayyer should put to Beinart is this clear one: “do you retract, repudiate and reject your odious view expressed in the Goldberg interview – that you yourself as a “liberal” would purport to recoil at in any other situation – that Palestinians should be denied full, equal citizenship so that Israel can remain a “Jewish state?”

    So it fits my theory that most so-called liberal Jews, even Beinart, are often quite irrational whine comes to Israel/Palestine.
    Over to you, Phil

  13. Ramzi Jaber
    June 6, 2015, 11:28 am

    I remember very VIVIDLY the day the zionists attacked my city at the start of the 67 war. I remember where I was, what I was doing. This is my “Where were you when JFK was shot?”.

    The zionists STARTED a war of AGGRESSION. They then savored their VICTORY since then, got even silly drunk on jubilation and arrogance. But now the chickens are coming home to roost. The UNJUST and ILLEGAL occupation of Palestine is eating up the zionists and the zionist entity from inside the core.

    It’s been 48 years to the day since the NAKSA, the 67 war.
    And it’s been 67 years since the NAKBA.
    (interesting coincidence of numbers)

    Let’s stop fooling ourselves. We’re delusional if we think by attaching a label to the word “zionist”, then it makes it OK or fine or right or peaceful or just. It does not.

    2SS has long been dead, thank you zionists and zionist entity.

    Only 1S1P1V is the answer. It’s happening every day in Palestine and outside Palestine.

    1S1P1V where all Palestinian Christians, Moslems, and Jews live in peace, harmony, and justice. Just like was the case before the illegal zionist invasion of Palestine from Europe and establishing an illegal entity.

    As I said before, the arc of history always bends towards justice and our cause is just.

    Please keep up on the path of BDS/ICC/ICJ towards 1S1P1V. (remember that the “J” in ICJ is for JUSTICE) Fight on. Resist, peacefully. We shall overcome.

    Thank you.

    • just
      June 6, 2015, 11:42 am

      Dear Ramzi,

      “1S1P1V where all Palestinian Christians, Moslems, and Jews live in peace, harmony, and justice. Just like was the case before the illegal zionist invasion of Palestine from Europe and establishing an illegal entity.

      As I said before, the arc of history always bends towards justice and our cause is just.

      Please keep up on the path of BDS/ICC/ICJ towards 1S1P1V. (remember that the “J” in ICJ is for JUSTICE) Fight on. Resist, peacefully. We shall overcome.”

      So beautifully and well stated! I stand with you. Many others do as well~ as was said yesterday on another thread:

      “Legions of people stand in solidarity with you, zaid!

      yep!!! too many millions to count! http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/worldwide-protest-israeli

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/brigades-prepares-israeli#comment-147372

      It will happen, Insha’Allah. All of us working together for justice for Palestinians and Palestine.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 6, 2015, 11:54 am

        ramzi will remember that link, see his excellent top comment ;)

      • just
        June 6, 2015, 11:56 am

        Thanks, Annie!

        ;-)

      • Ramzi Jaber
        June 6, 2015, 12:18 pm

        just, thank you very much for your support. I know we can always count on you and millions like you around the world. Thanks also for the links. I had missed them before.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2015, 11:58 am

      It’s been 48 years to the day since the NAKSA, the 67 war.
      And it’s been 67 years since the NAKBA.
      (interesting coincidence of numbers)

      wow, this is the first time i realized that, amazing. (and i’m not so sure how much i believe in coincidence)

  14. ritzl
    June 6, 2015, 12:33 pm

    The main neither even touched on is the water-energy issue. Israel will never accede to a Beinart-style Palestinian state because it needs Palestinian water to replenish the Sea if Galilee (and other ongoing uses). If the argument is accepted that Israel is going to be water self-sufficient in the near future, then Israel requires Palestinian energy resources to make that happen.*

    Beinart completely skipped over this principal driving fact, and Munnayyer, remarkably, never brought it up in rebuttal. I suppose that’s the limitation of having a political discussion about what is fundamentally a resource issue (and always has been if the early, 19. C Zionist maps are any indication). Beinart was talking consuming desire and Munayyer was countering with inarguable morality, when both should have been talking about the effect and remediation of water scarcity. Dull as drying paint, but the driver of everything (imho, of course, but one simply must maintain that European lifestyle in the middle of the desert by any and all means necessary, musn’t one).


    * Desalinated water is about 4x more expensive than ground eater due to the energy required to produce it. Therefore Israel needs Palestinian natural gas in Gaza either to use or to sell to cover the cost, or both.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stratfor/2013/12/26/israels-water-challenge/

  15. just
    June 6, 2015, 1:13 pm

    wrt “resources”, there’s this in Haaretz:

    “Growing population is a pressing but touchy subject in Israel

    Continuous population growth may cause growing dependence on food imports and adversely impact quality of life, but in Israel it’s not an easy subject to talk about.

    This week experts from different fields assembled at the Weizmann Institute of Science to found an academic forum that would generate professional and public discussion about the relationship between population growth and the social and environmental situation in Israel. This is part of a growing trend on the part of scientists to increase their public involvement. Another forum, on sustainable nutrition, has already been established.

    Among the leaders behind this initiative are Professor Alon Tal of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Dr. Eyal Rotenberg of the Weizmann Institute. They deserve credit for the courageous attempt to promote discussion of the subject, which environmental organizations and politicians shy away from due to social and religious sensitivities. But they also seem a bit taken aback with their own boldness: At the meeting this week, Rotenberg asked that they not get into political and religious issues. Problem is, to a large extent, these are just the factors behind population growth in Israel.”…

    http://www.haaretz.com/life/nature-environment/.premium-1.659500

    The accompanying photo takes a strong constitution, imho. Funnily enough, there was no mention of Israeli theft of Palestinian land, water, and other resources…

    • ritzl
      June 6, 2015, 9:19 pm

      Yeah, great post just. At the risk of being the proverbial broken record, that article shows that the intransigence driven by the Israeli need for Palestinian resources is only going to get worse as Israel’s population increases. On the water issue, desalination is not likely to “solve” Israels needs because Israels needs grow at a pace similar or greater to its ability to expand capacity. That’s almost certainly true on all the other scarcity issues that Israel faces, to which the “pesky” Palestinians offer cheap solutions.

      Two states is just never going to happen, or if it does, contrary to the conventional wisdom, one state will have to happen first. Current resource needs and the unending Occupation reality will force Israel and Palestine to become “Czechoslovakia” before they can even contemplate [amicably] splitting up into Czech Republic and Slovakia.

      Thanks for the info and context.

  16. Donald
    June 6, 2015, 2:37 pm

    Just finished watching–it was a much better discussion than anything one sees in the MSM on this subject.

    Beinart’s strongest argument is on the problems a 1ss would have, so if I have a criticism or suggestion it would be that they should have spent most of the time debating that. I would have liked to have heard a detailed rebuttal.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2015, 2:43 pm

      donald, why do you think the debate should have been centered around beinart’s strongest argument?

      • Donald
        June 6, 2015, 4:20 pm

        Oh, obviously because I have a deep and passionate love for Peter Beinart–I worship the very ground he walks on.

        When I watch a debate the only points that interest me are the ones that aren’t transparently stupid. That’s true on other subjects too–it is or should be common sense, though maybe in politics people prefer to focus on their opponent’s weakest point. The claim is that the two sides have incompatible desires–if true that would be a problem. Beinart thinks the idea of a 1ss with equal rights for all is unattainable–if he’s wrong on this his entire position collapses. If he is exaggerating then it would be good to hear the rebuttal. I can’t recall Beinart making any other argument against a 1ss that was worth thinking about, though maybe I’m forgetting something.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 7, 2015, 12:32 am

        I worship the very ground he walks on.

        not sure what the point of your snark is, i wasn’t trying to trap you and i have said before i like beinart (i think he is a thoughtful person) even tho i disagree with him on fundamental issues. i also really liked his nyrb article a few years ago , i think titled ‘the failure of the american jewish community’.

        i asked the question because of something munayyer said at the beginning of his first segment after beinart opened. tho it is not transcribed here it’s on the video. he said it was proposed the subject matter of the debate was a one state vs two state and he objected to that — he wanted to change the focus. so that was already established prior to the debate. interestingly, beinart opened as if the bedate had been a one state vs 2. (at least i thought he did). so i think arguing against a one state solution may be beinart’s comfort zone and i had already read his recent article in haaretz arguing the same thing.

        i’d rather see people argue something that is challenging for them. i don’t think it would be challenging for munayyer or beinart to defend their position on one state vs 2 as it’s an argument that’s been hashed over for a long long time.

        When I watch a debate the only points that interest me are the ones that aren’t transparently stupid. That’s true on other subjects too

        thanks for your efforts taking my question seriously.

    • Bornajoo
      June 6, 2015, 2:49 pm

      “Beinart’s strongest argument is on the problems a 1ss would have, so if I have a criticism or suggestion it would be that they should have spent most of the time debating that. I would have liked to have heard a detailed rebuttal.”

      Ditto that Donald. My thoughts exactly. Beinart’s arguments regarding the 1ss needs to be debated thoroughly, even if just to dismiss them once and for all. Until that happens he’ll keep falling back on them and they can sound convincing.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 6, 2015, 3:03 pm

      also, i think beinart has a lot of excellent points around what the problems of a 1ss would have, but i did think munayyer addressed it somewhat here:

      This false dichotomy also leads to another conundrum for liberal Zionists, which is that the window for a two state solution is always closing, but it can never really close. If it’s not closing there’s no urgency, but if it closes, they must answer the question they dread. What happens next?

      he also mentioned israel’s tight grip on the occupation and “the harsh repression of any dissent against this system through the use of overwhelming state level force” . for me, focusing on the difficulties of a 1ss as an argument not to have one is sort of a dead end given the circumstance because it looks to me like a 2ss is not an option, certainly not a reality, so why waste time (more time after decades) beating a dead horse.

      they’ve had decades to argue back and forth about 1 state vs 2. it’s time to talk about 1 state w/equality vs 1 apartheid state. because that’s the actual situation. and then as munayyer says “What happens next?” start from where you are and make it the best it can be. unless beinart can present a realistic situation of how a 2 state can come about (outside force/pressure on the government of israel, and he won’t even advocate to sanction them) then he has no business knocking the only option available. it’s already one state.

      • can of worms
        June 6, 2015, 4:07 pm

        @Annie – Yes Munayyer did address it beautifully:

        “the third step is engaging in serious conversation about what the practical implementation of a new system would look like. So many of the questions that Peter threw out to scare us all away from an alternative situation can be answered in a serious and rigorous way. ”

        Discussing the 1ss always has two sides: principle vs practice. The principle of democracy should be put before calculations of what ‘can’t’ be done. The principle of democracy should also be put before the dead horse fact.

        A transition into a 1ss. What would it take to make it happen.

      • ritzl
        June 6, 2015, 9:05 pm

        Great points, Donald, Annie, and Bornajoo.

        Beinart used the “because it’s bad now, it will always be bad”/”nothing EVER changes” argument to say why a 1SS isn’t possible. It’s the classic argument (because it seems to have worked, so far) that Israel uses to avoid actually talking to Palestinians in a good-faith, problem-solving way. To me, and I think I’m just paraphrasing your point about “falling flat” Donald, it’s the equivalent of defining the word using the word itself fallacy. Purely tautological, but nobody ever seems to call them on it.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 7, 2015, 12:54 am

        Beinart used the “because it’s bad now, it will always be bad”/”nothing EVER changes” argument to say why a 1SS isn’t possible. It’s the classic argument (because it seems to have worked, so far) that Israel uses to avoid actually talking to Palestinians in a good-faith, problem-solving way.

        ritzl, i don’t think beinart uses the argument to “avoid actually talking to Palestinians in a good-faith, problem-solving way” but i think it allows him to stay in his comfort zone. i think in the least, if he’s going to argue in favor of 2 states, he should, at a minimum, confront the “what now” munayyer asks, wrt how to implement it. because boycotting settlement products won’t bring about enough change to make 2 states happen, i don’t believe it would have enough impact. and if it would then why isn’t beinart lobbying european countries to do just that or making a big stink about these laws like the one illinios just passed. if he’s so anxious for 2 states, and his solution of bds the settlements, where’s his target companies. where’s his statistics on how much it would impact israel? but most of those banks giving loans to housing (as well as the gov providing massive settlement funding and approval are inside greenline israel as munayyer points out) are inside israel… so it’s a more challenging argument to argue against. but i would like to hear beinart argue how he thinks that’s really going to make a difference and back that up w/action. i think the ‘what now?’ question, as the title of the debate is called “ACHIEVING A JUST PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE” — how exactly do you achieve a just peace? how do you go about implementing this? what steps to get there, is a valuable question to ask. and if he thinks it’s thru 2 states, how to pressure the israeli government or the international community to make that happen? our answer is bds. beinart’s answer is too, but only the settlements. where are his sticks for israel? israel is always on a carrot diet.

      • ritzl
        June 8, 2015, 10:25 pm

        Hi Annie. I mostly agree. My use of that paraphrasing was meant to characterize what Israel does, epitomized by “Khamas Charter!!”, to avoid making or responding to meaningful overtures. It’s a crutch, refined to perfection by constant use and historical acceptance.

        I do think Beinart and people of similar bent, DO TRY to act in good faith, but the absolutist and/or immutable thought patterns that are endemic in Israel, and from which libzios osmotically draw their methods (the zio part), mean Beinart, imho and whether he realizes it or not, allows/uses a slightly less absolutist personal variant to guide his judgements. I don’t think he can help himself.

        I think my way of agreeing with the rest of your comment is to say if this debate was about getting people to drink orange juice for breakfast, Beinart would be saying, “nobody will like it because it’s not apple juice”, where Munayyer is saying, “try it, you may like it (and want more)”.

        You’re right. Munayyer’s approach is exploratory and potentially embraces everything where Beinart’s approach is narrow, self-defining, loaded with unstated assumptions, and is therefore likely to embrace almost nothing. Munayyer’s approach is so much more appealing, constructive, inclusive, etc. and would seem to be most likely to yield durable results, whether the topic is orange juice or justice for Palestinians.

        Great comments in this thread. I hate it when you/you all make me think. It burns us. :)

  17. Danaa
    June 6, 2015, 4:15 pm

    Many good comments made on this thread, which I think reinforce and bring to light the fundamental issues separating the Liberal-zionist side from the Liberal-palestinian side (added to make things symmetrical. After all, we rarely hear from true-blue muslim Palestinians, do we? more on that later).

    There are two points I wanted to make, which I think have not yet been brought to light:

    1. Beinart is not just a liberal-zionist. He is also an orthodox Jew. He gives the impression that his second identity inhabits and co-exists with the first. Yet, let’s face it – orthodox Judaism places strict limits on liberalism, especially when it comes to concepts such as universal justice and universal rights. I suggest that in beinart’s case, the reason he is able to sound so thoughtful, while maintaining that zionism can never be fully compatible with liberalism, is BECAUSE he lives inside the jewish religious traditions, which allow these kind of dichotomies by its very nature. So Beinart is easily able to navigate the liberal AND zionist landscape (despite the obvious contradictions) because he lives within a tradition that constantly navigates the liberal AND Jewish orthodox landscape. This means that he, unlike cruder versions of religious jews such as Boteach (just to name one) can do high-finess pilpul. But pilpul it still is, no matter the sophisticated covering. At home, and in the synagog, and in his heart of hearts Beinart still believes the Jews are chosen. The fine wordings and clever thoughtful-like style of argumentation is therefore part of the smoke screen. An effective one, dare I say, for its lack of transparency, except when he slips a little, as when he accepts that a not-quite-liberal and not-really-just state is a ‘small” price to pay for it being a “Jewish” state.

    2. The real elephant in the room of the 2SS is the fact that israel, far from becoming more liberal secular (as some American liberal jews dearly hoped), is becoming more and more religious, as statistics and governmental realities both tell us. That religious element in israel – quite unlike Beinart’s own orthodox denomination – is becoming less and less liberal and more and more parochial and xenophobic. Were Israel to rid itself of most of the West bank and gaza Palestinians by granting them a full country (even on full 1967 borders, just to be hypothetical) it would herald the birth of an extremely nationalistic and parochial religious country that will ultimately be ruled by some rather dangerous zealots, every bit as dangerous as salafists. The secular israel is dwindling in relative numbers daily, even as theirs are the voices the liberal jews of America hear, which is why they are able to go on with their illusion of a shining city on the hill (I can easily imagine which israelis Beinart meets when he goes on a visit. Not too many from the Bennet camp, I’m sure).

    Ok, so I lied – I do have a third point:

    3. In the much much larger scale of things the liberal parts of Israel desperately need greater number of Palestinians as allies in their very midst, to tacitly propel their quest for a more tolerant and progressive and less religious Israel. This may seem counter-intuitive (and sure, things can be torn asunder easily enough in a one state) but I believe that sometimes, progressivism needs the push and pull of two or three traditions/world views to come forth as a serious uniting principle. When it is one ethnic group that has all the cards, it’s too easy to give in to the temptation of triumphalism and singularism. One could say, for example, that it is from the clash of catholicism and protestanism that a more liberal and enlightened Europe was eventually born, at least leading up to the 20th century when power issues kind of ruined it for the continent. In Canada too, one could argue that the mere existence of Quebec as a semi-autonomous Francophile region has had a tempering effect on the Anglo parts, even if Canada is far from the best analogy for israel/Palestine.

    • lyn117
      June 7, 2015, 12:55 am

      3. In the much much larger scale of things the liberal parts of Israel desperately need greater number of Palestinians as allies in their very midst, to tacitly propel their quest for a more tolerant and progressive and less religious Israel.

      The only thing liberal Zionists have ever done with Palestinians is point at the members of knesset and say what a liberal state Israel is.

    • just
      June 8, 2015, 11:21 pm

      Super comments, Danaa, ritzl, and Annie… This thread is full of such great thought!

      I really like this, ritzl:

      “I think my way of agreeing with the rest of your comment is to say if this debate was about getting people to drink orange juice for breakfast, Beinart would be saying, “nobody will like it because it’s not apple juice”, where Munayyer is saying, “try it, you may like it (and want more)”. “

  18. biggerjake
    June 6, 2015, 10:53 pm

    For the life of me I can’t understand why this Beinart guy gets on TV and in the news.

    I have seen him everywhere and he just repeats the same tired talking points he has copied and pasted from the Neocon/Zionist playbook.

    This is from Daily KOs in 2006: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/06/14/218581/-Peter-Beinart-is-an-Asshole#

    To: bloggingheads.tv feedback.

    I wouldn’t ordinarily resort to profanity, [in email] but surely, surely everyone has to agree at least that Peter Beinart is a slimy, transparently self-serving asshole. Robert Wright was far too conciliatory.

    Let me put it this way: if two people were talking about writing a book. One person has never written one, but goes on record favoring a method that fails and fails miserably. The other person has written a book and argues against the method suggested by the novice. The novice is proven wrong.

    Does the novice who has never written a book and who has been proven wrong have anything of real value to say to the author, especially criticism of any kind?

    Cause that’s who Beinart is: a college boy who’s never fought who presumes to lecture his intellectual and militarily more experienced betters on their chosen fields of expertise.

    We’re talking Richard Clarke, Rand Beers, et al who mounted devastating informed critiques of the plan to invade Iraq.

    Who the fuck is Peter Beinart?

    He’s a magazine editor who might know something about spelling and punctuation, but is singularly and now spectacularly unqualified to write or speak on anything beyond essay construction.

    • biggerjake
      June 6, 2015, 11:07 pm

      BTW Phillip, the edit function of this site is not working.

      Small but aggravating detail I know….

      Just saying…..

      I will donate again so we can get it fixed.

  19. michtom
    June 7, 2015, 1:32 am

    Zionists always state there is a dichotomy between a democratic Israel and a Jewish Israel, but there is no Jewish Israel without democracy.

    What I learned in the Seder is that Jews should think of ourselves as having come out of slavery, i.e., we should identify with what it means to be oppressed. Second, we learn that no one is free until everyone is free. Finally, the Seder tells us that Jews have an obligation to work toward that universal freedom.

    Since Zionists are inherently working against universal freedom, they are not Jews as defined in the Seder. So, until Zionism is ended, Israel will be neither democratic nor Jewish.

    Only a non-ethnocentric, non-theocratic state can live up to Jewish ethical requirements. A one-state solution is the only Jewish answer.

  20. Pixel
    June 7, 2015, 4:13 am

    I was fascinated by the “body English” displayed by YM and PB during the debate.. From the start, YM appeared calm, centered, and confident. His voice never rose in volume or increased in speed.

    In contrast, PB was visibly flushed from the neck up, for the first 5 minutes, if not longer, and had to have had a painful crick in his neck the next day from trying to sit up straight while at the same time leaning away from YM for all he was worth and/or leaning toward the moderator. For much of the time he was leaning in that direction while simultaneously trying to keep his head up and straight ahead.

    It was awkward and odd. In addition, Peter’s began to talk ever-faster, at points, raising to a shrill volume. He seemed nervous, very nervous, and I give him a lot of credit. Why did he agree to participate? The reasons are no doubt complex but he has to know that, to stay in the conversation he can no longer simply preach to the choir.

    The 2ss solution died long ago but there’s a natural movement, an unfoldment, that’s part of the process. Will he ever change, will he ever come around? Yes. He can’t keep hanging onto his untenable arguments and rationalizations forever. It’s a matter of integrity, intellectual honesty, and morals.

    He’ll get there kicking and screaming all the way but on some level, a very very deep level, I think part of him knows the game is over. His brain just has to catch up to what his heart already knows.

    Personal and spiritual growth is hard and he’s got a lot of baggage – a lifetime of baggage – to sort through and reject. More than baggage, it’s actually who he is. That’s what he hangs onto because ultimately accepting the hardest truths is death of one’s identity, one’s entire sense of self.

    • bintbiba
      June 7, 2015, 4:26 am

      Pixel,

      Their body language and tone of voice were very much in contrast and evident.
      Told me a lot about their state of mind and nerves.

      Thank you, Pixel , for your interesting appraisal .

      • Bornajoo
        June 7, 2015, 6:16 am

        Ditto that Bintbiba

        Very good observation Pixel. I went back and viewed parts of it again and your comments are spot on.

        I must pay more attention to body language! Very telling….

      • Mooser
        June 7, 2015, 6:51 pm

        Very good observation and analysis of Beinart’s minor Ziocaine Syndrome episode. Thank goodness it wasn’t one of the more violent or intense episodes.

      • gamal
        June 7, 2015, 11:11 pm

        “Told me a lot about their state of mind and nerves.”

        I liked Beinarts’ injustice is normative schtick, from this a neck crick is an inevitable consequence, all be it the most minor affliction caused by this insanity, its all “narratives” and “competing nationalisms”, his comments about Saudi’s made me laugh out loud, I think I hear the Derfner bus rounding the corner, excuse me, I may gone for sometime, I think the driver is from the Islamic State.

        what is it with his trauma trauma mantra, the only people who instrumentalize trauma are those who have lived in luxurious privilege and security, like the chickenhawks who love war, they lay the basis for ongoing trauma with their naive loyalty to injustice and murderous repression but what about those Arabs, eh, must go my bus is leaving.

        Beinart has never read Taha Muhammad Ali’s:

        Revenge

        by Taha Muhammad Ali,

        (translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi and Gabriel Levin
        21 December 2006 )

        At times … I wish
        I could meet in a duel
        the man who killed my father
        and razed our home,
        expelling me
        into
        a narrow country.
        And if he killed me,
        I’d rest at last,
        and if I were ready—
        I would take my revenge!

        *

        But if it came to light,
        when my rival appeared,
        that he had a mother
        waiting for him,
        or a father who’d put
        his right hand over
        the heart’s place in his chest
        whenever his son was late
        even by just a quarter-hour
        for a meeting they’d set—
        then I would not kill him,
        even if I could.

        *

        Likewise … I
        would not murder him
        if it were soon made clear
        that he had a brother or sisters
        who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
        Or if he had a wife to greet him
        and children who
        couldn’t bear his absence
        and whom his gifts would thrill.
        Or if he had
        friends or companions,
        neighbours he knew
        or allies from prison
        or a hospital room,
        or classmates from his school …
        asking about him
        and sending him regards.

        *

        But if he turned
        out to be on his own—
        cut off like a branch from a tree—
        without a mother or father,
        with neither a brother nor sister,
        wifeless, without a child,
        and without kin or neighbours or friends,
        colleagues or companions,
        then I’d add not a thing to his pain
        within that aloneness—
        not the torment of death,
        and not the sorrow of passing away.
        Instead I’d be content
        to ignore him when I passed him by
        on the street—as I
        convinced myself
        that paying him no attention
        in itself was a kind of revenge.

        Nazareth
        April 15, 2006

        Taha

      • just
        June 8, 2015, 11:24 pm

        Thank you, gamal. Those are really fine observations.

        Taha Muhammad Ali’s words are powerful indeed.

  21. Bosnorth
    June 7, 2015, 7:45 am

    The very simple answers to the “end of the Jewish state” anxiety are,
    a)that justice, equality and freedom for all will increasingly erode or modify the original nationalisms into political alliances regardless of history and ethnicity (e.g. a right vs. left axis, a secular vs. religious axis etc). Even here and now we have the Joint List as a living precursor and prototype. So all the calculations of the demographic percentages are irrelevant, and what could be a better starting point (after refugee return) of almost exact parity;
    and b)that instead of a Jewish state we will have a “very Jewish country”. (Look at the US with just 5% Jewish population and influence: if Jews were 30%, 40% or 50% of a new Palestine, that would still be significantly different from anywhere else in the world.

    Beinart asks “what will the army look like?” and the answer must be, integrated at all ranks from Day One. How, he asks, will it respond to orders to evict individuals, villages and areas etc? Can he not imagine a country between the River and the Sea where there will be NO MORE EVICTIONS?

  22. Elliot
    June 7, 2015, 4:41 pm

    Beinart’s need for a Jewish national state is another example of projecting American Jewish needs on to Israel/Palestine.

    The reality is that there is an Israeli identity that is distinct from American Jewishness. It is actually a tribute to the success of Zionism: a vibrant Hebrew culture, connection to the country and its Palestinian citizens. Say what you will about hummus but its function for Israelis is similar to Palestinians and nothing like its place in the lives of American Jews. Most Israelis have much more in common with Hebrew speaking Palestinians like Sayyed Kashua and his peers than with Beinart and American Jews.

    And yet secular Israelis choose to share power with ultra-Orthodox Jews rather than with secular Arabs. Imagine in the U.S. if progressive Democrats made coalitions with rightwing Republicans only because they happened to be Christians, never mind whether it’s Southern Baptist of Episcopalian.

    This identification of Israel with Jewish nationalism is artificial and is kept alive, in part, by the needs of American Jews (and Christians).

    Beinart is part of the problem.

  23. KRN
    June 9, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Does anybody have a link to the “Zogby” poll Beinart cites in this debate to support his claim that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship want a two state solution? The Mondoweiss link goes to the PCPSR, and the polling data I have from them implies a 60% approval for the one state solution. Or is he just cherry picking and being careful with words? Thanks.

  24. genesto
    June 9, 2015, 4:34 pm

    The importance of this conversation is that it forces liberal Zionists to address the ‘why’ of the situation – to explore, to its roots, Zionist ideology. Once this is done, courageously and completely, anyone who truly cares about justice and human rights will have to abandon Zionism once and for all.

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