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Beinart warns Jews that not talking to Palestinians and anti-Zionists ‘makes us stupid’

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Last night Peter Beinart, the savior of liberal Zionism, and Daniel Gordis, a rightwing Zionist, debated Beinart’s book in a Jewish space at Columbia University in New York. Tablet sponsored the event (though writers associated with the publication have trashed Beinart’s book in mainstream venues). You can see a recording of the event here.

I watched most of the debate. I found Beinart refreshing and even bold given the smoky-tent tribalness of the environment. “The book made me sad and the book made me feel lonely,” said Daniel Gordis, whom I went to seders with as a boy. He challenged Beinart to stand up for the “profound… tribal” essence of Judaism.

All the references to tribal in your book are negative, said Gordis. No, they’re not, Beinart said, then he challenged Gordis, Don’t you think tribalism sometimes crosses an ugly line?

Tablet had billed the debate as a heavyweight fight, but that was bait-and-switch; there was no winner and loser voted on or declared. “I think I have a quarter of the crowd with me,” Beinart said. This is a terrible reflection on organized Jewry.

The essence of the difference between the two men is that Beinart sees the crisis piling down the tracks toward his beloved Israel and feels that Israel must be accountable tot he world and Gordis does not. He thinks Jews can work their way through this with the backing of a superpower. “The Palestinian position internationally is infinitely stronger than it was 10 years ago,” Gordis said, realistically; but they must not believe that time is on their side. The answer, he said, is more Israeli intransigence. We must make them think that if they don’t cut a deal for their state now, they will get a measlier state when they finally come to the table. The only pressure on them is from Israel gobbling up more of their land.

Gordis several times compared partition to a business deal where if you turn down a good offer the next offer is worse. Human rights are not a business deal; and he is endorsing greater suffering, more dairy farms destroyed by a tyrannical power.

We can’t let them think that this is going to go the way of South Africa, Gordis said, but Beinart sees Israel is turning itself into South Africa. The boycott movement is growing “stronger and stronger” because “we don’t have an alternative way of expressing our opposition to settlement growth and our belief in the right of Israel to exist.”

The delegitimizers, said Beinart, are led by “a hard core of people who are fundamentally opposed to Israel’s right to exist,” and they are able to attract more and more support because young people say, “What do you mean a democratic Jewish state?” or “what do you mean a two state solution? we’re in South Africa-land.”

Beinart is right; I am running along with that hard-core and asking those questions (much as privileged abolitionists in Massachusetts cheered on John Brown). But he has been unable to present a meaningful alternative. His dream of stopping the settlements has come up against the tribal nationalists in that room last night. He thinks he’s Moses but maybe he’s Quixote.

Whatever the case, I admire him. He said one really good thing and one really bad thing last night. The good thing was, “We need to engage non- and even anti-Zionists in these public discussions as well.” I make the case for Zionism, he said, but we have to allow the non and anti-Zionists in because “news flash”– most Palestinians are not Zionists. And not talking to these people, he said, inhibits our ability to talk to Palestinians, the people to whom we must rationalize the existence of his Jewish democracy.

“The lack of engagement with Palestinians makes us stupid,” he said. Because Jews don’t hear the obvious human-rights objections to the Jewish state and its nonstop ethnic cleansing.

As for the bad thing–

Beinart called Gordis out for supporting the “transfer” of Palestinians out of the Jewish state so as to save the tribal democracy because Palestinians aren’t loyal citizens. Tribalism crosses the line there, Beinart said. Why should transfer be the first resort? Why not try and improve Israeli Palestinians’ health care? Why not give them affirmative action to get government jobs?

The clear implication of Beinart’s comments was that he would support transfer as a last resort. I guess he was playing to the ugly crowd. But Beinart should have to answer this question now: Do you rule out the use of transfer to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel?

Philip Weiss

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

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101 Responses

  1. lysias on May 3, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Ethnic cleansing is a crime under international law, and in particular a crime against humanity under the statutes of the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

  2. Citizen on May 3, 2012, 3:07 pm

    As a simple American, part of the 98% that is not Jewish, it’s really annoying that my country’s foreign policy regarding Israel and its conduct is made at my expense, and without my participation. What do I need to do to to get it across to those with power that I don’t support Israel’s agenda, and I think said agenda costs Americans way too much to support; not to mention, as a humanist, I don’t support either Israel’s or my own country’s foreign policy?

    • Mooser on May 4, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Don’t worry, Citizen, when it’s all said and done in the ME, the fact that Zionism and Israel was mostly started by Jews and used the troubles of Jews as its raw material and motivator will be the least significant thing about it.
      It may be typical of Jews to assimilate Christian values like colonialism, but it’s not really all that significant.
      The more we harp on the Jewishness of Zionism and Israel, the more we validate using its ostensible Jewishness as a defense for it.
      Why Jews, pretty much as part of a whole (how’s that for equivocation?) are content to take on the roll of stooges for Zionism and Israel (I mean besides those who profit in some material or necessary psychological way) is beyond me, but it is, wouldn’t you say, quintessentially typical of modern man to first cavil about how hurt, damaged and disabled he is, and simultaneously contend that all that damage makes him more capable and worthy. Know what I mean?

      • Citizen on May 4, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Mooser, my understanding of modern man may be different from yours. There’s the modern man who sees that the various isms & ideologies implemented in the 20th & 21st centuries are not ever implemented with him (or her) in mind, but as a thrust for replacement power with means justified by the ideal ends, usually by people who never lived a day as an average worker bee in the hive, so to speak, and another version of modern man is one imagined by Camus, with the help of the old Sisyphus myth. These two versions of modern man are not distinct from each other except in the sense the former targets elites, the latter targets life itself, as we receive it for our short duration. It does appear to me, e.g., that many many Jews never deserved the fate they got dished out to them by fellow humans, and the same could be said (with slightly less focused industrial might, bar gays and Roma), for many non-Jews. We may as well not even discuss those humans who will grab at any reason simply to feather their own nest in terms of power and material luxury, whether they simply want to keep it, or get it. So what left over with which to access or contemplate “typical modern man” as you describe him? In my own personal life, early on I came face to face with bullies; I learned the concept is useful way beyond the school sandlot of my youth and the streets where I lived. I learned the power of $ & “who you know” additional to the simple bully, or bully gang. So what should I do with this awareness? Whether as as a child, or an adult, or nearly senile like me, it’s a political question, is it not? I take it as a given that nobody knows shit about God, G-d, or the “afterlife.”

  3. American on May 3, 2012, 3:29 pm

    “But he has been unable to present a meaningful alternative”

    Obviously his alternative is to have Israel ‘back off’ and be reasonable enough regarding Palestine to make itself halfway acceptable to the world and it’s critics. Thing is, he has “no power” or not enough power to overcome the hard core and he is trying to drum up some among Jews.
    But if we want to be realistic…so what if he got 90% of US Jews in his corner who would say enough on Israel’s behavior, stop supporting it. Would DC pay any more attention to them than they pay to the rest of us? The zionist $$$ donors would still be politicians first consideration.
    Unless Mossad stops wasting it’s time on Hamas and starts knocking off the hard core Zio Hierarchy in Israel and the US I’d say we are all trapped on this train till it runs off the rails.
    I hate being defeatist.

    • yourstruly on May 3, 2012, 7:31 pm

      it isn’t how many of us jewish-americans are opposing our government’s unconditional support of the zionist entity, it’s are we able to enlist the general public in pressuring our politicos to do the right thing. the recent vote on divestment at the methodist church indictates that we’re making headway. yes, divestment lost but the fact that similar battles are raging throughout our land has to be looked upon as progress. as for all the zionist donor $$$, once we have these israel firster traitors on the run, all the zionist donors & all their $$$ won’t be able to put the special relationship together again.

      • American on May 4, 2012, 12:20 am

        “but the fact that similar battles are raging throughout our land has to be looked upon as progress. as for all the zionist donor $$$, once we have these israel firster traitors on the run, all the zionist donors & all their $$$ won’t be able to put the special relationship together again.”

        Sounds nice but that’s not the way you beat a Mafia gang.

    • stevieb on May 4, 2012, 10:10 am

      I understand where you coming from when you say “I hate being defeatist” – but I dont’ think you need to be, really.

      I think if 90% of U.S Jews were in his corner and stopped supporting Israel’s behavior I think DC would have no choice but pay more attention – I really do.

      But I don’t think we’re anywhere near getting 90 pecent of Jews in Beinhart’s corner….but it’s not impossible – I hope. And I hope the way we get there is through rational consideration and compromise…

      • Mooser on May 4, 2012, 2:06 pm

        “I think if 90% of U.S Jews were in his corner and stopped supporting Israel’s behavior I think DC would have no choice but pay more attention – I really do.”

        So you feel I should announce my religion to the government so thay can make a note of it, and start arbiting policy by the number of Jews versus number of Christians for it? Screw that, I’ll leave that wonderful in-fighting to your denominations.

      • PeaceThroughJustice on May 4, 2012, 2:55 pm

        Mooser, the point (as I think you know) is the amount of power represented by “90% of U.S Jews”, not their numbers.

        U.S. Jews, roughly speaking, run 80% of the mass media, fund 50% of the elections, and own 30% of the economy. Given how modern mass democracies function, having their collective weight behind any single issue is going to determine the outcome.

      • stevieb on May 10, 2012, 1:06 pm

        I didn’t say that. But it is interesting that you think that’s what I mean..

  4. PeaceThroughJustice on May 3, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Gordis: “Our disagreement tonight fundamentally lies in the response to the following question: … What does it mean to be loyal to your own people. That, it seems to me, is the fundamental question elicited by Peter’s book.”

    • yourstruly on May 3, 2012, 7:40 pm

      what does it mean to be loyal to one’s own people? that’s easy, make sure that nothing is done in the name of one’s people that violates the human rights of other peoples.

    • RoHa on May 3, 2012, 8:13 pm

      “What does it mean to be loyal to your own people. ”

      What is it that makes a group “your own people”?

      I was born in the UK, and I am a British Citizen.
      Does that make the British “my own people”?
      I was brought up in Australia, I am an Australian Citizen, and I live here.
      Does that make the Australians “my own people”?
      (Or are just the people who were born in Britain and brought up in Australia “my own people”?)
      My wife is Japanese. I speak primitive Japanese, have lived in Japan, and have a 3rd Dan in Aikido.
      Does that make the Japanese “my own people”?
      I speak Swedish and have lived in Sweden.
      Does that make Swedes “my own people”?
      I have a great admiration for Confucian philosophy.
      Does that make Confucians “my own people”?
      I am a boring old fart.
      Does that make boring old farts “my own people”?

      How do we decide?

      • annie on May 3, 2012, 8:22 pm

        I am a boring old fart.
        Does that make boring old farts “my own people”?

        absolutely!

        ;)

      • RoHa on May 3, 2012, 8:33 pm

        Right!
        So for all the boring old Jewish farts out there, remember that your loyalty should be to boring old farts. We, not “the Jews”, are “your own people”.

      • Talkback on May 4, 2012, 8:16 am

        RoHa,

        please remember that old farts have a right to self determination which can only be achieved by having a state of your own. Are there any particular young-farters you’re going to expell while establishing a majorty of old farts? You could argue that old farts have been living in your place for centuries and that you have a special connection to the land.

      • eljay on May 4, 2012, 10:55 am

        >> please remember that old farts have a right to self determination which can only be achieved by having a state of your own.

        Hmmm…something about that doesn’t quite smell right… ;-)

      • annie on May 4, 2012, 11:31 am

        Hmmm…something about that doesn’t quite smell right… ;-)

        old farts unite!

      • Talkback on May 4, 2012, 12:34 pm

        Antioldfartist!

      • RoHa on May 4, 2012, 11:46 pm

        “old farts have been living in your place for centuries ”

        I certainly have.

      • eljay on May 3, 2012, 9:11 pm

        >> I am a boring old fart.

        Ah, so you’re also Canadian. ;-)

      • stevieb on May 4, 2012, 12:48 pm

        I was born of English parentage in Canada – a nation formed by the British empire and France. I am of the white, Christian British tribe – and I am very proud to be so. And in Canada, America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand we are the majority and we are the founders(mostly) of those nations – an undeniable fact. And these nations were prosperous and civilized and were moving towards greater equality amongst it’s citizens and in it’s laws and in the global community.

        “Globalization” has changed all of that…

      • RoHa on May 4, 2012, 11:47 pm

        Not all Canadians are old.

      • RoHa on May 4, 2012, 11:48 pm

        Unconscionable frivolity aside, are there any answers to the question “What is it that makes a group “your own people”?

  5. pabelmont on May 3, 2012, 3:41 pm

    Thanks, Phil, for asking your final question: “Do you rule out the use of transfer to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel?” Might be better not to force him to answer, though.

    Gordis asks a question about tribalism in a people which is (in part) bruised and hurting. I think that he was NOT talking about the Palestinians. For him, Israelis are still bruised and hurting. Is that from something in Moses’s time? Holocaust? No. From angry (and hurt and bruised) Palestinian reactions to Israel’s refusal to return to the 1967 line.

    Maybe some people think that “tribalism” is better language than “racism”, but Gordis (at least) ignores the requirements of human rights. The language doesn’t matter.

  6. Woody Tanaka on May 3, 2012, 4:31 pm

    “The clear implication of Beinart’s comments was that he would support transfer as a last resort. ”

    Of course he would. He’s already said that he would abandon his supposed liberalism to save a Zionist state.

    Gordis, with his “‘profound… tribal’ essence of Judaism” horseshit is a Nazi, pure and simple. Beinart’s just a sucker.

    • yourstruly on May 3, 2012, 7:43 pm

      more like a last stand apologist

    • American on May 4, 2012, 3:44 pm

      “Gordis, with his “‘profound… tribal’ essence of Judaism””

      Yea, sound familiar.

      White Fist – My heritage is loyalty – YouTube
      ► 4:14► 4:14
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgU0mN_G8Kc Jan 1, 2011 – 4 min – Uploaded by Delvidekert
      White Fist – My heritage is loyalty.
      Preserving our white race is essential for the existance of our earth. Without our Aryan brothers and sisters destruction is imminent.
      We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”

      Someone should punk this guy by presenting him with research that says ,guess what?.. you aren’t Jewish after all, your parents and grandparents lied, their ancestry was all made up, they were actually Spanish Catholics who assumed a Jewish family’s identity to get in on the Jewish immigration slots to the US in the 1930s.
      LOL….opps, no tribe for you Gordy.

  7. on May 3, 2012, 4:34 pm

    “Because Jews don’t hear the obvious human-rights objections to the Jewish state and its nonstop ethnic cleansing.”

    If they are non-religious and call themselves “Jews”, they cannot, almost by definition.

    Tribal loyalty is opposed to belonging the the human race (as opposed to some cultural origin, which cannot be “Jewish” except if one swallows the Zionist absurdity.)

    Many knew that right from the start. Others only understood it while coming of age at the occasion of one of the major crimes against humanity, 47, 48, 67, 73, 82….

    There is also the statistical aspect of it: statistically speaking, we should even be ashamed to have Jewish names.

    That’s what makes things like the rear-guard actions by Zionists like Beinart so nineteenth-century and not worth a glance. Leave that kind of handwringing to the Zionist.

    If you think that your tribal-loyalist censorship is doing you good, by all means go on. But at least be honest about it and have it in the open.

  8. Krauss on May 3, 2012, 4:40 pm

    The talk was interesting as a temperature of the Jewish community. I don’t know how representative it was, but I’d gather it was a more mixed crowd than, say, the Jpost conference.

    Beinart basically had 20-25 % of the crowd with him, Gordis had the absolute majority. Gordis came across as below Beinart’s level on both knowledge and intellect. He was good at cracking jokes and zinging oneliners, though, and he’s a crowdpleaser. He gave them what they wanted.

    At one point Beinart got heckled. For me the most powerful point came when Beinart flatly pointed out after Gordis’ long rant that he never even mentions the Palestinians. Beinart mentioned both, and he should be honored for that.

    Still, how hard is it to appear liberal when you’re facing a man who claims settlements isn’t the problem?

    One thing I kept thinking is that Gordis is really isolated intellectually. He may think settlements are a non-issue, because they are in Israel and have been for a long time, but that isn’t the case internationally. Whenever Beinart pressed him he went for rants(often clipped-together oneliners) that tickled the crowd but were all variations of the same themes(it’s all their fault. Judenrein! The left is dead, deal with it. Settlements aren’t the problem!).

    Beinart didn’t debate that well, he stumbled a lot. I felt he got emotionally constrained. His power rests in his superior intellect and vast knowledge. The man is an encyclopedia on Israel. He often got strung by Gordis’ wind in his back(via the crowd) and Gordis’ ability to make jokes and always attack Beinart for “romanticizing the Palestinians” or “saying things no Zionist can do” without much further substance. This constantly forced Beinart on the defence.

    Beinart was best when he simply stated that Gordis has no plan. Gordis nominally opposes settlements(just like Goldberg or Dershowitz do) but like them he says no at everything which might stop their expansion.

    Gordis even slipped at one point and said he supports the ‘natural outgrowth of settlements’.

    Yet the most interesting aspect for me was the crowd. I believe the crowd was more diverse than the JPost conference. It was also hosted in NYC(at Columbia), so the demographic ought to be more liberal(but as we know, Israel negates all such natural effects).

    And yet Gordis won hands down with the crowd. Beinart said something true; that speaking with those who disagree make you smarter. And it’s obvious that most people simply don’t like that, they want to be fed the oneliners that Gordis and people like him feeds them, because that’s safe.

    And this made me think. Hasbara isn’t just directed towards non-Jews, it’s also an internal thing, and it’s actually remarkably consistent. The same bulletpoints that Zionists like Gordis preach to the world, they also tell Jewish audiences.

    And it’s also somewhere here that it just hit how totally screwed the internal discussion is. Beinart is simply very isolated, we have to admit that. Sure, there are a few intellectuals here and there, but by and large, he has been unilaterally attacked. And he isn’t even that much of a leftist.

    This is part of the reason I was disappointed when the Methodists voted down the disinvestment bill; because this conflict won’t be resolved within American Jewry. It’s too entrenched and too tribal. I think the reason why Beinart will fail is because of the same mechanism that both he and Gordis were in absolute agreement on; that tribalism is the essence of Jewish life. And that implicitly means that tribalism will be in conflict of principles, including liberal principles. So how can Beinart act surprised when he asks why Jews were at the forefront of the civil rights struggle and not for equal rights inside the Jewish state?

    I don’t mind tribalism in of itself, but when you say it’s the ‘foundation’ of Jewish life. Gordis went so far as to say that ‘for too many Jews, Judaism has become more about the religion than peoplehood’ what he really meant was ‘we have to preserve our racial purity’. This is also why Zionists talk about ‘maintaing the Jewish characte within Israelr’ while they of course mean the pureness of the racial balance within Israel.

    But they can’t say those things in an open way, they can only wink and nudge so the audience gets it. Why? Because that is not what a liberal says – and they know it.

    And Beinart’s constant appeals to this sentiment – his almost only agreement with Gordis during the night – just furthers my point.
    No, change won’t come from inside, because tribalism is put ahead of principles.

    It will be forced from the outside and that will be traumatic. But there’s no other way, which was proved that evening.

    • PeaceThroughJustice on May 3, 2012, 6:24 pm

      That’s what caught my attention too. It’s an eye-opener to see the word “tribal” used so frankly as a badge of honor, to the extent that Beinart must scurry to defend himself against the damning charge of being insufficiently tribal.

      “I remember in your response to my Jerusalem Post piece you said that you were a Zionist and a tribalist, and I’m willing to accept both. But why is it then in every single case in your book when the word “tribal” is used, … it has a negative connotation?” (Gordis, 36:40)

      “It’s not true that every reference in my book to tribalism is negative!” (Beinart, 38:50)

      “I think that American Jewish life is going through a great trauma. … American Jews are reconstituting themselves more and more as a relgion and less and less as a people. … We are turning Judaism into a faith and not into a people. I think that is an evisceration of what Judaism is. I think that yields a Jewish conception of the self which is weak, anemic, and not compelling and will utlimately render American Judaism so meaningless — kind of a Hebrew style Protestantism — that nobody is going to be terribly interested in it.” (Gordis, 38:10)

      “Judaism at its most tribal is also it’s most profound and most noble.” (Gordis, 59:00)

      This is all fine, but it’s very different from what gentiles have been taught Judaism is. NPR never mentioned this.

      • annie on May 3, 2012, 7:15 pm

        and to think i got royally chewed out on dkos for saying ‘the tribe’ once. sheesh!

    • yourstruly on May 3, 2012, 7:57 pm

      proved that evening? nonsense! the struggle for the soul of judaism is ongoing and won’t be decided by any single battle. here in america, anyways, fitting in, not tribalism, is the foundation of jewish life.

      • dbroncos on May 3, 2012, 8:38 pm

        .” here in america, anyways, fitting in, not tribalism, is the foundation of jewish life.”

        Well said, yourstruly. and that goes for all Americans who are invited by our Constitution to “fit in.”

    • dbroncos on May 3, 2012, 9:59 pm

      Thanks for your analysis, Krauss.

      “No, change won’t come from inside, because tribalism is put ahead of principles.”

      Beinart engages his tribe on their terms (no Palestinians allowed) and in their comfort zones, and for now, I applaud Beinart’s efforts. Too many American Jews are blinded by their nationalism. However, Beinart is someone the tribe is at least willing to listen to and I can picture more than a few people in his audiences who are quietly convinced or at least disturbed by his analysis. That’s a good thing. 10 years ago Zionists were sleeping peacefully. Not anymore, and Beinart is banging his pots and pans, helping to raise the alarm.

      However, his place on their stage may be short lived. The tribe wont tolerate Beinart’s one-man show indefinitely, regardless of his bona fides. They will get to him like they got to Goldstone and he’ll burst like a bubble in a mud pot, melting and vanishing back into the tribal whole. If Israel’s future means more to him than the demands of the tribe, Beinart will need to seek allies outside the Jewish Establishment, including Palestinians. Of course this will mean that Beinart will have to understand the whole injustice and unworkableness of Zionism. That would be a big leap for him, but its a leap he’ll have to make soon if he wants to keep his place among respectable criics. I hope he’s brave enough to say ‘goodbye’ to the unjust people he loves and ‘hello’ to people who share his vision of a more just world. He would be a powerfiully articulate ally.

    • Woody Tanaka on May 4, 2012, 8:39 am

      I previously refered to Gordis as a “Nazi,” and while it was clearly hyperbole (as he obviously isn’t a National Socialist), there are striking connections between the approach to politics of the Nazis (especially in the pre-1933 days) and the approach taken by Gordis here: the reliance on ethnicity and blood (though he uses different terms); the anti-intellectualism; the reliance on hype, passion and easily digestable sloganeering; the identification of an external people as the threat; the reduction of non-in-group members as, essentially non-persons, etc.

      It is quite scary what is going on in the Zionist world today.

    • Mooser on May 4, 2012, 2:14 pm

      “The talk was interesting as…/…proved that evening.”

      Wow, did you get all that from the video? I hope you are available to thus explicate all the material in this blog. I lost my omniscience in an industrial accident, and appreciate you loaning us yours.

  9. johndee on May 3, 2012, 4:42 pm
  10. piotr on May 3, 2012, 4:51 pm

    What is Daniel’s middle name? “Peace is not an option”? http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-israel-daniel-gordis/1102491815?ean=9780471789628

    Tribalism with nukes does not bode well for the survival of the species.

  11. Bumblebye on May 3, 2012, 5:16 pm

    These guys are both supposed to be Americans.
    So WHY the “we” and “us” when referring to Israel and Israelis? Is their primary self-identifier Israeli?

    • Woody Tanaka on May 3, 2012, 5:38 pm

      We should ask hoppy. Whenever anyone even suggests that a Jewish person might have a loyalty to Israel, he jumps right in to set the record straight, to let us know that it is absolutely antisemitic to think that. He can clear up this mess…

      • yourstruly on May 3, 2012, 9:02 pm

        he jumps up because the truth hurts.

    • yourstruly on May 3, 2012, 8:43 pm

      it’s their israel firstness than renders them vulnerable. they know it too. why else do they tremble with fear any time the subject is brought up. which raises the question how come we anti-zionists aren’t going all out at israel firstness? fear this might of stoke the flames of antisemitism? but isn’t holding back from nailing them tantamount to accepting the claim that israel speaks for all jews & that zionism = judaism? worse yet, by holding back we’re denying ourselves the use of a proven strategy (eisenhower used it to stop the ’56 israeli-british-french war against egypt & bush the elder did so in ’92 in an attempt to stop israeli’s expansion of wb settlements, and a year or so ago general david petreus, among others, employed it to chasten the pro-israel echo chamber). so when it’s a matter of reaching the public, is there any other approach as effective as shaming the israel firster, letting all americans in on the not so secret that these israel firsters put our nation at risk? that’ll wake’em up. count on it!

  12. eGuard on May 3, 2012, 5:44 pm

    Philip Weiss: in a Jewish space

    Oh.

    • Mooser on May 4, 2012, 2:16 pm

      “in a Jewish space”

      You can tell where that is from a mile away, if you’re downwind. All the old farts are there.

  13. eljay on May 3, 2012, 5:52 pm

    >> The clear implication of Beinart’s comments was that he would support transfer as a last resort.

    Not surprising, really. Based on what I keep reading about him on this site, two things are clear:
    – he remains a committed Zionist; and
    – he believes in and asserts for a supremacist Jewish state.

    • pabelmont on May 4, 2012, 11:26 am

      I had imagined (or read) that Beinart opposes the occupation. If the occupation were to end, what would constitute the “last resort” that would require transfer, and transfer of whom? removing Palestinians from Israel-proper? From territories retained after relinquishment of the rest of OPTs in a quasi-end of occupation? what’s this “last resort” anyway? “Last” after a long list of WHAT?

      Maybe saying transfer is OK as a last resort is like saying, OK, I’m OK with 1948, never mid what human-rights folks say, never mind what UNGA-181 said. I suppose it means he opposes RoR. But is he saying he would someday favor a further round of transfer?

      • Citizen on May 4, 2012, 11:57 am

        One thing that seems obvious is Beinart has had ample time to think about all the issues because he’s the son of South African Jewish immigrants, and his mother is the former director of Harvard’s Human Rights film series. I’m not impressed, given his background that he’s so limited in his advancement of human rights when it comes to the natives of Palestine. Ziocaine is a powerful drug to curb him so.

  14. English colleague on May 3, 2012, 6:57 pm

    This is a horror show. Gordis is not just ignorant, he is grotesque. Far more frightening than this freak is the thought that much of the audience is drinking up his racist rant without question.

    I feel rather sorry for Beinart – he appeals to ‘his people’s’ feelings of racial superiority and desire for racial exclusivity and privilege and ‘right’ to keep land from which Palestinians were violently driven, then pleads that they do not follow this through to its natural conclusion: apartheid, the completion of the Zionist project to ethnically cleanse Palestine and the spread of a vile, ignorant racism among the majority of Israelis and American Zionists.

    Sad, pathetic.

  15. dbroncos on May 3, 2012, 8:27 pm

    “… given the smoky-tent tribalness”

    “…sees the crisis piling down the tracks toward his beloved Israel”

    I enjoy the use of imagery in your writing, Phil. It’s measured and employed enough but not too much. If Beinart’s transformation gets stuck in the mud he may find himself on the outside peering through the glass at the next wave – Phil Weiss, Ali Abunimah, Glenn Greenwald,etc…

    • Mooser on May 4, 2012, 2:19 pm

      “… given the smoky-tent tribalness”

      Well, if it’s a matter of staying in a tribal tents with old farts who smoke nasty cigars, I passed that test, long ago.

  16. justicewillprevail on May 3, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Interesting how the language is changing. As the zionists are stripped of their previous myths and lies about Israel, they are being forced into rebranding what is becoming unassailably clear: that they are hellbent on separatism, an Israel which extends to the Jordan, and no equal rights or citizenship for the people who have the wrong parents. In other words, apartheid. But no, it is being reframed with vague references to ‘tribalism’ and, no less, ‘profound tribalism’, as if somehow that was a getout argument, as if it were a good thing, a natural and inextinguishable part of being Israeli Jewish, and it must be preserved. It is such a ridiculous attempt to hide all of the racist assumptions behind a word they think is less controversial. They are really painting themselves into a corner with such gerrymandered language. And now the talk seems to be of a ‘Jewish democracy’, implicity conceding they can’t pretend it is a democracy without any qualifiers. The twists and contortions necessary to keep the pretence up is grotesque, and reveals the inherent impossibility of defending the discriminatory and deeply racist society they are building. A thin veneer of window dressing, through the manipulated use of words like tribal, and appealing to others sense of cultural identity, as if that overrides all political and humanitarian concerns, is desperate – history will judge their attempts as a sham effort at concealing systemic discrimination and separatism, with vicious attacks on the already dispossessed.

    • seanmcbride on May 3, 2012, 9:13 pm

      Peter Beinart is a Jewish tribalist and Jewish nationalist in precisely the same way that David Duke is a white tribalist and white nationalist — no? Anyone care to debate this proposition?

      He actually said this: “American Jews need to care about Israel more than they care about global warming, health care, gay rights, and a dozen other issues.”

      Is not Beinart basically saying that he is not only a proud “Israel Firster” but a “Jew Firster”? Jewish tribal interests come before all other interests?

      How will that sentiment go over with most Americans, who are not ethnic tribalists or nationalists, and particularly with progressive Americans who care a great deal about universal values?

      BEGIN ARTICLE
      AUTHOR Peter Beinart
      PUBLICATION Jerusalem Post
      TITLE Crisis of Zionism: A response to Daniel Gordis
      DATE April 19, 2012
      URL http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=266654
      BEGIN QUOTE
      I call the failure to give young American Jews the Jewish education necessary to live committed Jewish lives a “tragedy.” I say that young American Jews need to care about Israel more than they care “about global warming, health care, gay rights, and a dozen other issues.” I advocate government funding for America’s Jewish schools, a suggestion widely opposed by my fellow American Jewish liberals precisely because it is so, well, tribal….

      I am a Zionist and a tribalist, a partisan of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
      END QUOTE
      END ARTICLE

      • seanmcbride on May 3, 2012, 9:22 pm

        It’s fascinating to read the barrage of Jewish attacks on Beinart which followed this Jerusalem Post article. For instance:

        1. “You are just another Jew trying to make a name for himself, ingratiate himself with the goyim, at the expense of the peace and security of Jewish people everywhere, Toulouse, Israel and everywhere Jews reside.”

        2. “The Talmud singles out those who spill Jewish blood and those who abet them as being without the possiblity of redemption. Peter Beinart has aligned himself with Jew killers. Enough said.”

        The comments which appear on Israeli publications like the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and Ynet News often beggar belief. One gets the impression that Israel is gradually drifting away entirely from the rest of the planet.

      • dahoit on May 4, 2012, 11:00 am

        Whats really funny is that Americans seem, very willing to ingratiate themselves to their Jewish masters in media,(BW,DS,KC etal,)finance,healthcare etc. in our neolibcon economy.
        Anti Zionist?Again,what people do in their own nation is their business,but when my nation is destroyed and made more evil(not that we were unblemished before this coup d’ tat, of course)) by following corrupt Zionist monster neolibcon dual citizen 5th columnists,my blood boils.
        I understand completely the Jewish peoples want of a safe secure homeland,but they aint getting that result by being scumbags.
        Ron Paul in 2012.

      • Citizen on May 4, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Yep, dahoit: Ron Paul in 2012!

      • evets on May 4, 2012, 9:49 am

        I suspect Beinart exaggerates the tribal element in his attachment to Judaism in order to show he’s ‘on the team’ and thereby gain the ear of his target audience. It looks like he’s trying hard to balance Judaism’s particularist and universalist impulses, a difficult high wire act, but one which (I believe) authentic Judaism demands. Most religious Jews have simply chosen to reject this tension, toss out the universalism, and declare themselves (like Gordis) more authentic for doing so.

        I respect Beinart’s efforts and hope he keeps his balance. It’s tough enough to do in private, let alone in the face of a hostile public.

  17. Kathleen on May 3, 2012, 9:06 pm

    “savior of liberal zionism” Oh for gods sake stop it.

  18. Kathleen on May 3, 2012, 9:09 pm

    “Because Jews don’t hear the obvious human-rights objections to the Jewish state and its nonstop ethnic cleansing.” “ethnic cleansing” Good for Beinart. Brave, bold, savior not…better late than never. Yep

  19. Kathleen on May 3, 2012, 9:18 pm

    This is an incredible special on CNN. Finally catching up to what Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have been saying for at least seven years.

    Christiane Amanpour starts this documentary with “what the experts know and don’t know may surprise you” An individual would not be surprised by what you hear on this program if you have been following over at Race for Iran. http://www.raceforiran.com/

    Finally some truth telling on CNN. MSNBC has not gone near the truth about Iran. CNN…better late than never.

    Really worth the watch. All three segments. To think Christiane had Hillary Mann Leverett on. Will miracles never cease.
    SPECIAL PRESENTATION – A Nuclear Iran: The Expert Intel
    http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/14/special-presentation-nuclear-iran-the-expert-intel/?hpt=hp_c2

    The fourth person interviewed who claims “we know” and on and on about a program existing was not identified like everyone else.

    • Kathleen on May 3, 2012, 9:44 pm

      Christiane Amanpour repeats the debunked “Israel should be wiped from the face of the map” Why did she repeat this misrepresentation? She has to know this has been proven false. Then Christiane refers to “Iran’s persistence provocations” Damn all we hear are Reps in the US congress Liebermann, Wasserman Schultz, Ros Lehtin, Gohmert, Clinton, Ledeen, Ross, Israeli leaders constantly threaten Iran. For years now. We have been hearing these threats towards Iran.

      Iranian leader “we will respond and reciprocate proportionately”

      Hillary Mann Leverett if the US attacks Iran “the US standing in the middle east dwindle to near 0″

      • Kathleen on May 3, 2012, 9:59 pm

        Just finished the third segment of Christiane Amanpour’s special segment. Hillary mann Leverett “from President Reagan to President Bush to President Clinton to President Obama. None of them wants to come to terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran for a very basic reason. It would mean having to deal with and recognize independent Iranian power that will not agree with US policies. that will complain about US policies..oppose US policies”

        Hillary has said that Israel and the I lobby have interferred with US negotiations with Iran for decades

      • dahoit on May 4, 2012, 11:05 am

        I imagine outside ruling circles and their flunkeys it’s already minus zero,and I’m sure the MSM will report that with their usual felicity and alacrity.

    • annie on May 3, 2012, 11:18 pm

      thanks so much kathleen, i will check this out.

      • Kathleen on May 4, 2012, 9:01 am

        A group of friends and I have been politely pounding MSM outlets for almost 10 years about the Iran situation. Begging, petitioning, visiting some of their offices in D.C. and New York talking with host of these program to dig deeper into the Iran situation, tell the truth, stop repeating the unsubstantiated claims about Iran which made an attack on them almost a given. While Christiane Amanpour repeats the debunked claim that the Iranian President said Iran wants to “wipe Israel off the map” (which Chris Hayes also did on his UP program a few weeks ago while talking about Iran) and Chritiane fuels the false idea that it has been Iran fomenting a possible war (which Chris Hayes also did several weeks ago) this 3 part documentary is a real breakthrough. Now if we can still get NPR (Diane Rehm etc), MSNBC,Fox and other outlets to have the Leveretts on. To have former weapons inspector Robert Kelly who knows maybe the American public can actually access in mass factual information about the situation with Iran

    • annie on May 4, 2012, 12:13 am

      highly rec. excellent

      • Kathleen on May 4, 2012, 10:07 am

        Pound, knock, petition, phone calls, emails, twitters, facebook, visits to their offices etc…one has no idea when an individual a group may or may not get through to our Reps to a MSM host, experts, alleged experts, world leaders..you just keep politely (most of the time) pounding because as one of my gurus Ram Dass has said over and over again “you do it because your conscience is guiding you” You may or may not see results but your chances of influencing positive change are far greater than if you do nothing. My other guru is George Carlin (tee hee) Really

  20. MHughes976 on May 3, 2012, 9:51 pm

    Rescuing the word ‘tribalism’ from its cloud of negative connotations might be a triumph of a kind. But it would be a limited triumph. How would they react to tribalism on the part of others, particularly were the tribe to be distinctly non-Jewish, as presumably some tribes are?
    I agree with Eleanor that it’s all a bit pathetic. Also terrifying.

  21. eGuard on May 3, 2012, 11:52 pm

    Beinart, first stop settlements, then start talking to others. OK?

  22. American on May 4, 2012, 12:10 am

    http://mjayrosenberg.com/2012/05/03/rolling-stone-piece-on-the-awesome-power-of-the-israel-lobby/

    Rolling Stone Piece On The Awesome Power of the Israel Lobby

    The terrific historian, Rick Perlstein, has the best review I’ve seen on the Peter Beinart book.

    As he notes, you won’t find too many good reviews of Beinart’s book because people are scared shitless at the very though of praising a book that tears apart the lobby.

    The best part of Perlstein’s review is that he is new to the issue and, before reading Beinart, really had no idea how dominant the lobby is in Washington. Perlstein:

    ”As for Israel, I don’t think of it much. Even in a career as a political writer given to disputation, the sheer viciousness (which you’ll see from the hate mail this piece produces: I plan to publish it) faced by those who criticize not merely Israel, but certain specific de rigeur formulations about Israel, turned me off the entire subject. Instead, and I’ve never admitted this publicly before, the deeply saturated irrationalism surrounding it as I was growing up was what made me fascinated with political irrationalism as such – and helps explain why I ended up a scholar of the American far-right.

    That reflexive intimidation, in the end, is what most fascinates me about The Crisis of Zionism. I’d heard great things from friends about the book — but read almost nothing admiring about it in the public prints. People are cowed at the thought of taking on the shrieking Israel absolutists, the ones who imagine themselves every day saving six million lives and their critics as hastening the slaughter. Apropos: In one stunning story Beinart tells in his book, a group of young Jewish leaders declined to stand together at a Jewish gathering and sing the national anthem, but also declined to join a public resolution opposing settlement growth: “In the organized Jewish world, left-leaning young Jews often rely on establishment Jewish institutions for financial support. And publicly criticism is an excellent way to endanger that support.” Again and again, he prints quotations from unidentified sources, who apparently fear attaching their name to even innocuous opinions: like the former official of the American Defamation League who says it is “first and foremost a fund-raising organization”; and the “prominent Jewish journalist” who remarks that one major institutional conference “looks like the day room at the old-age home.”

    Another anonymous source is a “senior State Department official,” who recently traveled with Secretary Clinton from Jerusalem to Ramallah in the West Bank: “There was a kind of silence and people were careful, but it was like, my God, you crossed that border and it was apartheid.” For the most prominent victim of this climate of intimidation, and the retreat from reason and empirical observation it enforces, is the president whose Chicago home sits across the street from a venerable synagogue where, Beinart argues, he learned from the Jewish community that embraced him a Zionism that was both deeply felt and opposed to settlement growth. But then Barack Obama moved into the White House, where he found it impossible to follow through on his convictions, thanks to “Jewish pressure,” as a revealing headline in Time magazine puts it.

    Jewish pressure issues from people like Malcolm Honlein, not from any preponderance of actual Jews; polling finds “the gap between Jews and other Americans has not narrowed at all” on approval of Obama, and only 10 percent of American Jews make Israel their primary voting issue. “Members of Congress,” Beinart concludes, “worried that the administration did not fully grasp what he had gotten himself into” when he made a halt to the growth in settlements by the Israeli government a precondition for further diplomatic progress. Now, however, he has given up, and his statements sound like “they were faxed to his office by the Israeli prime minister’s office,” according to one Israeli commentary Beinart quotes. “‘If you’re going to pick a fight with a bully, you need to win.’”This quote is from a “Congressional staffer who works on Israel policy” – who, naturally, asked not to be named.”

  23. Bill in Maryland on May 4, 2012, 9:35 am

    The point Krauss makes, viz. “this conflict won’t be resolved within American Jewry. It’s too entrenched and too tribal.” is a point that Phil frequently comes back to, and why JVP is growing (they act in solidarity with Palestinians, Christians, Muslims) while J Street is mired in omphaloskepsis.

    Beinart’s intellectual prowess and honesty coupled with his strong moral compass make him a fascinating protagonist to watch, in a kind of Shakespearean drama still unfolding. One of these days his compass will take him right over the edge of his current belief system, at which point he must face the inherent contradiction of Zionism (ethnocracy ≠ democracy).

    • dbroncos on May 4, 2012, 6:40 pm

      Beinart seems to believe that his best chance of success within the tribe is to convince liberal Zionists of his arguments. This strategy makes sense to me. He has next to no chance of success with the Gordis’ of the world. As a liberal Zionist himself, though, Beinart is an interesting case. Unlike many of his lib Zio fellow travellers, he doesn’t believe that the failure to achieve peace is all the fault of the Palestinians. Unlike his fellow lib Zioa, and most importantly, he understands that time is running out on Israel. Running out because Israel has become an aparthied state, BDS is picking up steam, criticism is mounting, and good opinions about Israel among her American benefactors are dwindling. I’m sure Beinart understands the personal implications of this “running meter” aspect of his critique. As time runs out on Israel to make dramatic changes, it also runs out on Beinart. He has to know that his credibility is at stake. He’s put a lot on the line and I respect him for that. Ultimately, however, he’ll have to shed his liberal Zionism or fall back into line among the ranks of his fellow Zionists.

      • Bill in Maryland on May 5, 2012, 12:44 pm

        Very true words dbroncos: “Beinart understands the personal implications of this ‘running meter’ aspect of his critique. As time runs out on Israel to make dramatic changes, it also runs out on Beinart. He has to know that his credibility is at stake.” Ultimately I think Beinart will be disappointed by his fellow lib Zios (less courageous than Beinart) and as Israel slides deeper into obvious fascism he will undergo metamorphosis, shedding his lib Zionism.

      • Citizen on May 6, 2012, 4:15 pm

        Hey, Bill in Maryland, snakes do it, even Chosen people do it, let’s fall in love!
        Shed that skin, Yeah!

      • Kathleen on May 14, 2012, 11:18 am

        Beinart solidly part of the better late than never crowd being spun as “brave” Beinart is not all of a sudden an empathetic humanitarian. An opportunist acknowledging the writing on the wall. Again better late than never. But this attempt to make the better late than never crowd some type of heroes is a bunch of hooey and so self serving

      • seanmcbride on May 14, 2012, 1:56 pm

        Make no mistake: Peter Beinart is still a Jewish nationalist in precisely the same way that David Duke, Kevin MacDonald or John Derbyshire is a white nationalist. His politics revolves entirely around his ethnic nationalism. All ethnic nationalists are obsessed with the same few ideological themes. It’s all about their ethnic self-interest.

      • Citizen on May 14, 2012, 4:22 pm

        seanmcbride, I agree.

  24. dahoit on May 4, 2012, 11:44 am

    Nice attempt at a worthy cause,peace and justice,but when Beinart lays those terror charges at the feet of the Palestinians,all I can think of is Helen Thomas and why do they use terror,why do they hate Israel,and why do people like Beinart use piss poor descriptions of Palestinian violence vs. defending Israeli violence ?
    Sorry,as I’ve seen this guy on Cspan numerous times,my faith in him as a message mover is very very small,as he still uses BS as truth.
    Is he more better than right wing morons?Yeah,a little,but it seems mental faculties of Zionists are shrouded in poopie cockie,delusion and paranoia,despite their expert texpert reputations.

  25. Mooser on May 4, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Why are people so fascinated with the fact that the people in Israel, Israel’s leaders, Zionism’s supporters in the US, whatever, claim to be Jewish? Big freakin’ deal, they claim to be Jewish. Good for them. And if 90% of Us or world’s Jews get mad at them, they’ll just call themselves, or us, something else, and we can natter about that, while they complete their project.
    The more I read Mondoweiss, the more I am convinced that Judaism is the least relevant factor in the thing, and the most effective distraction. Has any Zionist anywhere, ever, managed to gain a single dunam of land by calling down a rain of frogs or plague of butt-boils on the Palestinians (Let’s not get to the ultimate first-born-male-infant-mortality thing, way too disturbing)? Well, when they do, I’ll think Judaism is relevant to the situation.

    • Citizen on May 6, 2012, 4:25 pm

      Frog to Mooser: remember the story about the frog on the stove grid, where the temperature is gradually turned up? Is it really a distraction when humans do what they do to the detriment of innocents in the name of religion? As a practical matter, is it not a justification offered, and too often accepted?

  26. Charon on May 4, 2012, 4:12 pm

    The ‘peace process’ as a business deal is worth highlighting. That’s what the Western powers interpret it as and that’s always how the Israeli leaders have treated it. Something is wrong about that and few seem to care. Even the peace agreements, international law, and UN resolutions are interpreted by Israeli leaders as if they were a business contact. Who does that? Maybe it’s because Israel is a corporation with so many corporate hands in the Zionist cookie jar. That’s all they know

  27. OlegR on May 4, 2012, 9:12 pm

    /Do you rule out the use of transfer to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel?/

    Lets flip it a little
    Do you rule out the use of transfer to preserve an Arab majority in Palestine?/

    • eljay on May 5, 2012, 1:36 am

      >> /Do you rule out the use of transfer to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel?/
      >> Do you rule out the use of transfer to preserve an Arab majority in Palestine?/

      Yes to both cases. Israel and Palestine should both be secular, democratic and egalitarian states: Israel, the nation state of and for all Israelis, equally; and Palestine, the nation state of and for all Palestinians, equally. No use of transfer is required.

      How ’bout you, OlegR? What do you say?

      • OlegR on May 5, 2012, 9:28 am

        Two state solution
        Israel with Palestine besides it.
        No one get’s transferred no settlement demolished.
        The Arab citizens of Israel remain the Arab citizens of Israel.
        The Jews in Palestine get full citizenship in Palestine.
        The conflict ends.
        Sure i am all for.

      • eljay on May 5, 2012, 10:46 am

        >> The Arab citizens of Israel remain the Arab citizens of Israel.

        But do non-Jewish Israelis remain Israelis on equal footing with Jewish Israelis? Or are Jewish Israelis – and non-Israeli Jews – entitled to more and/or different rights?

        >> Sure i am all for.

        You omitted any mention of secular, democratic and egalitarian. Does your “i am all for” include those adjectives? Or are you “all for” Israel as a “Jewish state”?

      • OlegR on May 5, 2012, 11:01 am

        How about you find me a Palestinian willing to agree to everything i just agreed
        upon and then we will talk more ha Eljay?

      • eljay on May 5, 2012, 11:42 am

        >> How about you find me a Palestinian willing to agree to everything i just agreed upon and then we will talk more ha Eljay?

        What a pathetic attempt at evasion. My questions are directed to you, not to some random Palestinian.

        Nevertheless, thanks for making it perfectly clear that what you are “all for” does not include equality.

      • seanmcbride on May 5, 2012, 11:59 am

        OlegR,

        1. Which ethnic nationalist movements around the world do you care about other than your own?

        2. Which ethnic nationalist movements should Americans care about and why?

      • Citizen on May 6, 2012, 4:27 pm

        OlegR, what happens to those & their families who were booted out of Israel during the Nakba?

    • RoHa on May 5, 2012, 2:42 am

      I, for one, would. If a single unified state, in which everyone has equal rights, is established in Palestine, then it does not matter which group is the majority.

      Of course, I would like to see the people give up this stupid business of being Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Baha’is, and just be reasonable people. But I do not expect to see that much good sense for a long time.

      • OlegR on May 5, 2012, 9:32 am

        /Of course, I would like to see the people give up this stupid business of being Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Baha’is, and just be reasonable people./

        That in itself is a noble idea but i personally don’t see it happening
        in centuries to come.
        Also i am not sure that from our species survival point of view
        a unified planet government and unified identity is a good thing.
        Differences and struggles do move forward progress and “evolution”
        of our species. Conformity usually leads to stagnation and decay.

      • eljay on May 5, 2012, 11:38 am

        >> Also i am not sure that from our species survival point of view
        a unified planet government and unified identity is a good thing.
        >> Differences and struggles do move forward progress and “evolution”
        of our species.

        So…without religions, humans cease to have diversity. Race, colour, culture, languages, individual personalities, etc. – they all just disappear without religion. Interesting.

      • OlegR on May 5, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Well personally i am an atheist.
        I was talking about all those things that make us different from one
        another religions nationalities ideologies etc.

        You really seem to have a fixation on religions eljay
        especially on Judaism why is that ?

      • eljay on May 5, 2012, 6:35 pm

        >> I was talking about all those things that make us different from one another religions nationalities ideologies etc.

        You were replying to RoHa’s post, in which he suggested neither that “a unified planet government and unified identity is a good thing” nor that all of humanity should “conform”. He spoke only of religious identities. So, either you lack comprehension skills, or you specialize in deflection and diversion.

        >> You really seem to have a fixation on religions eljay especially on Judaism why is that ?

        Fixation? No. Especially on Judaism? No.

        I think all religions are a waste of time. On this site, and because of the religion-supremacist nature of the Glorious Jewish State, it only seems that I have a “fixation … especially on Judaism”.

        But there you go diverting and deflecting again.

  28. anonymouscomments on May 5, 2012, 1:58 am

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/03/first-step-to-peace-conquering-nakba-denial.html

    this article needs to be highlighted. as much as mjayrosenberg and even beinart have moved things in a positive *direction* they both gloss over 1948. neither is honest about the refugees, or the degree to which they diminish or disregard their plight.

    they both are committed to a *jewish* state, and by extension, cementing the dispossession of 1948 (maybe they would accept some very limited form of return? who cares…). i don’t even mind so much if they want to make this ethnocentric self-interested argument, out of “jewish suffering”, jewish “self-determination” or whatnot, but they need to be honest about the history and where this leaves refugees caught in the wheels of zionism. i make similar arguments out of realpolitik at times, but i know it is zionist power that i am bowing to. i am explicit about what is right, but sometimes ask what can you do when violent right wing zionist extremists, supported by the majority of israelis, stand in the way?

    but this is big that such previously verboten topics are slipping towards the MSM, and written in a very clear and well supported manner.

  29. Talkback on May 5, 2012, 5:53 am

    Beinhart says that it is a problem that Jews are citizens in the West Bank and Palestinians not. Of course he fails to identify the same problem on Israel’s side where expelled Palestinians are not citizens, too. He (and Gordis) doesn’t even acknowledge that many Palestinians in Gaza (2/3) and the West Bank (1/3) are expellees and their descendants and should be Israelis by international and human rights law (and of course resolution 181, Chapter 3.1).

    Demand for human rights, but not for all of them. Demand for equal rights, but not for everyone and everywhere. Jewish tribal wet dreams are more important.

  30. Rusty Pipes on May 6, 2012, 8:09 pm

    New Meme: Zionism makes you stupid.

    Whatever the case, I admire him. He said one really good thing and one really bad thing last night. The good thing was, “We need to engage non- and even anti-Zionists in these public discussions as well.” I make the case for Zionism, he said, but we have to allow the non and anti-Zionists in because “news flash”– most Palestinians are not Zionists. And not talking to these people, he said, inhibits our ability to talk to Palestinians, the people to whom we must rationalize the existence of his Jewish democracy.

    “The lack of engagement with Palestinians makes us stupid,” he said. Because Jews don’t hear the obvious human-rights objections to the Jewish state and its nonstop ethnic cleansing.

    Pro-Israel indoctrination requires adherents to suspend their critical thinking skills and penalizes them for making analogies with human rights in other contexts. Would Jewish parents think twice about exposing their children to Zionist summer camp or Birthright Israel if they thought that it could stunt their children’s intellectual growth and limit their academic achievement? And then there is the relative quality of the Israeli education system …

  31. MHughes976 on May 6, 2012, 10:00 pm

    I have never found that engagement with Zionists raises my IQ, but I suppose that’s a lost cause anyway.

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