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Sachar, eminent historian of Jews, celebrates the rising American Jewish concern for Palestinian freedom!

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Once you open the door and question the monolithic ethnic-solidarity of Jews behind Zionism, I don’t know where it leads. Well, for one thing, you smash the lobby, a process I believe is underway. Also, you question the neocon fools that led so much of the Jewish community leadership to support the Iraq war.

And most of all, you stand up for Palestinian human rights. Which brings me to the eloquence of octagenarian historian Howard M. Sachar’s piece at Foreign Affairs. (try this link: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67045/howard-m-sachar/enforcing-the-peace?gp=67159:9b4767824d51b753). He is calling for an imposed solution, just as Partition was imposed (except that it wasn’t!).

And notice his sly references to the Israel lobby. “The so-called Jewish vote.” It’s not just a vote, my dear. Note the effort to wean Jews from their generational “insecurities”–fears of anti-Semitism trumping any concern for minority rights. Note the reference to Kosovo, which got a Muslim state in a timely manner, even as Palestine has waited for decades.

Note his implicit admission that the Jewish community granted political power to the crazy Revisionist Jews, with their apocalyptic vision of the holy land. This means Leon Wieseltier and Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol. 

And finally, note the nobility that Sachar grants to pro-Palestinian Jews. A beautiful statement indeed. And a benediction. As I say, I don’t know where this leads, except to.. democratic visions:

Without great-power diplomatic benediction and financial life support, would there ever have been a State of Israel or an embryonic Palestinian state in the making? Similarly, without the application of an unrelenting great-power agenda, could the Israelis or the Palestinians accept a formula that each side until now has rejected as politically unpalatable?

Finally, another issue may be added to Washington’s list of diplomatic and political challenges. Will a U.S. president risk alienating the so-called Jewish vote by adopting a policy of firm evenhandedness in the Middle East — one that confronts Israeli territorial aggressiveness no less than Arab guerrilla terrorism? Actually, during the past 30 years, a verifiable shift in perspective toward Israel’s West Bank settlements has been developing not only within the liberal West but also within the American Jewish community. The executives of mainstream American Jewish organizations, who tend to pander to their constituencies’ reflexive insecurities, remain oblivious to the mounting evidence that those constituencies — younger and more sophisticated than their forebears — have moved on.

With the exception of a small (if clamorous) minority of Revisionist Zionists, whose version of the Holy Land is apocalyptic, American Jewry has been wedded to the principle of religious and ethnic freedom, participated in the vanguard of the civil rights movement, and has pleaded the overseas causes of such minorities as the Kosovar Muslims — and, increasingly, the Palestinians — with all the urgency characteristic of a minority people uneasy at the palpable international isolation of its much-loved surrogate homeland and ethnic status symbol. Any president or legislator who ignores the depth of this unease — the visceral yearning of both the Israeli and the American Jewish “silent majority” for an evenhanded settlement imposed by Israel’s greatest Western supporter — could justly be characterized as a political Rip Van Winkle.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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