Two friends tonight told me excitedly about Joshua Cohen’s review of Yitzhak Laor’s book, The Myths of Liberal Zionism, in the new Harper’s. This piece strikes me as a high watermark in the American mainstream press’s treatment of anti-Zionism as anything other than leprosy and proves if it needs re-proving that after 50 years of purdah, and abeyance and obedience to the lobby, anti-Zionism is coming back into the house. (When will the Atlantic get the news?) Not available online yet, but Jeffrey Blankfort got me this excerpt:
The Myths of Liberal Zionism is a work of political critique as literary criticism, a treatment of statecraft as an adjunct to poetic craft, and it is also an attack on the famous writers of Laor’s generation, whom he reads as providing humanitarian cover for Israeli abuses. Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, even David Grossman, who lost a son in the 2006 Lebanon war— Laor accuses these and others of sanctioning, through impotent dissent and empty rhetoric, the tragic status quo. Novelists who pen pietistic eulogies but have never resisted their governance; public intellectuals who absolve liberal guilt but have never directly opposed the moral compasses of their readership—“They shall not be cleansed.” According to Laor, the singular Myth of Liberal Zionism is Liberal Zionism itself. Like the beasts Behemoth and Leviathan, a Zionis liberalis is inconceivable to Laor, because whereas his Liberal believes in openness and the policies of empathy, his Zionist—more than a century after Theodor Herzl recalled Palestine as the Judenstaat— believes that millions can be denied their patrimony, dispossessed, abused, and even murdered in the name of Jewish statehood.
And piece ends with this $60,000 question:
Can a Zionist act morally if morality dictates Zionism’s erasure?