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Now he tells us (Jeffrey Goldberg says ‘many’ American Jews regard occupation as ‘moral disaster’)

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Here’s Jeffrey Goldberg, acknowledging that American Jews are sick of Israel. “How Israel can stop alienating American Jews,” at Bloomberg News. This guy has an eye for the main chance. How long before he comes out for democracy between the river and the sea? (Q. And why is it that Jewish attitudes matter more on these questions than anyone else’s? A. It’s too early in the morning to answer that question.)

But now we’re seeing strikingly intolerant applications of ultra-Orthodox practice in Israel. The most offensive manifestation at the moment might be attempts to segregate women on public bus lines that pass through certain Orthodox neighborhoods. On many of these lines women have quite literally been forced to the back of the bus. If this sort of misogyny is tolerated, Israel will lose the support of battalions of American Jewish women (not to mention the current U.S. secretary of state).

Moral Disaster

 The third issue creating unease is the ever-expanding Jewish settlement project on the West Bank. Many American Jews, especially those in their 20s and 30s, look on the settlements as a moral and political disaster. They believe that the Palestinians, no less than the Jews, deserve a homeland. They believe that Israel should be both Jewish-majority and democratic, and they understand that it won’t be either if Israel maintains its hold over the Arabs of the West Bank. They believe that Zionism is not mainly about the redemption of land promised to the Jews by God in the Torah, but about the national liberation of a persecuted people.

The permanent occupation of the entire Promised Land is not a theological requirement for national liberation.

P.S. The answer to a moral disaster is thoroughgoing reform. That is the American lesson– the civil rights movement. I don’t see why it is right to temporize in this situation. Well actually I do see why it is right: Because we empowered media Jewish voices are not being afflicted. If those were our cousins in the occupied territories? Heck, we’d destroy the idea of Zionism in a New York second.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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9 Responses

  1. pabelmont on December 6, 2011, 10:46 am

    I hope he’s right about American Jews in 20s and 30s. That’s what Beinart said a while ago. JUST WAIT til those 20s and 30s are 60s and 70s and control the money AIPAC now spends! (Of course the 1% see things differently).

  2. Dan Crowther on December 6, 2011, 10:47 am

    I think its a “new york minute” my brother….

    I’m glad you asked “why do jewish attitudes matter more?” – cuz, it’s far from a jewish only issue – a better title for Goldie’s piece might read: “How Israel can stop alienating Humanity.”

  3. gracie fr on December 6, 2011, 11:15 am

    On a deeper level, Israel’s campaign of acceptable “Jewishness” interfered with the very core values of the modern American family: the freedom to choose one’s life partner beyond the confines of religion, a choice based on affinities, the ability to compromise, shared life goals and mutual respect. Of course Judaism might and does play an important role in personal selection of one’s spouse, but not exclusively. That the State should decide, that the religious apparatus on which the State has built its identity should interfere with the institution of marriage went beyond the pale for many American Jews as does the Haredim treatment of women
    Furthermore, the prohibition to marry “ undesirable persons” or outsiders, or condemn parents for instilling in their children a liberal worldview which values the universality of all customs and friendships goes against the grain of American egalitarianism and equality, already in short supply in the United States….

  4. seafoid on December 6, 2011, 11:44 am

    Fair play to Goldberg for speaking up. He’s an important catch. Next I hope to see Dershowitz recant. Or has he booked his place at Masada?

  5. Richard Witty on December 6, 2011, 12:28 pm

    I think he has come out for democracy between river and sea.

    A democracy in Israel, AND a democracy in Palestine.

    There is a way that the advocacy for a democratic single state is a backhanded slap at Palestinians, in the potential that Palestine would not be a democracy in a two-state solution, with equal rights and equal due process for all parties.

    Some of the militant advocates for Palestinian rights here, speak in terms that would deny any presence of a Jewish minority in the West Bank, and that even if a few Jews (say residents prior to 1948) were allowed to remain, that they would not receive equal rights and equal due process.

    Please remember that significant Jewish Israeli institutions existed on the Palestinian side of the green line prior to 1948, the Hebrew University in particular.

    To imply that in a two-state resolution, that that institution and the people that live near it supporting it, should be removed, would be a grievous violation of equal rights.

    I hope that isn’t what Phil is implying.

  6. American on December 6, 2011, 1:31 pm

    “They believe that Israel should be both Jewish-majority and democratic, ”

    The US fundies also believe the US should be majority Christian (it is in fact) and that US government should reflect their Christian beliefs.
    There is no country that is going to have exactly even numbers of religious or ethnics. But the difference in democracy or not democracy, is that the majorities and minorities occur naturally or on their own, not by government policy and mandate. And that the government doesn’t incorporate any specific religion.
    So the above is still a contridictory position.

    “(Q. And why is it that Jewish attitudes matter more on these questions than anyone else’s? ”

    Jewish attitudes only matter more to politicians and the Zionist. For reasons we all know. Non Jewish and even non- Pro Israel Jewish opinions are kept off the national and political radar screen by the msm.

  7. ehrens on December 6, 2011, 3:30 pm

    I’m sorry. I don’t need Goldberg to speak for me. Lots of American Jews have been saying this for decades. I guess we have no voice unless “Jewish leaders” speak for us.

  8. DICKERSON3870 on December 6, 2011, 3:37 pm

    RE: “If those were our cousins in the occupied territories? Heck, we’d destroy the idea of Zionism in a New York second.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Many of them are. Quite a few of the half of a million settlers in the West Bank are Jews from the U.S.

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