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MJ Rosenberg’s conundrum

Israel/Palestine
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M.J. Rosenberg (Image via The Forward)

M.J. Rosenberg (Image via The Forward)

Part I – Down with BDS, Up with the Two-State Solution

Michael Jay Rosenberg is a well-known, sharp-minded critic of the Israeli government. But he is also a “liberal Zionist” who believes in the legitimacy and necessity of a Jewish state. This point of view has led him to attack the BDS movement in a recent piece, “The Goal of BDS is Dismantling Israel”. In the process he seriously underestimates the movement’s scope and potential in an effort to convince himself and others that BDS has no chance of actually achieving the goal he ascribes to it. However, the only evidence he cites of the movement’s weakness is the recent failure of the University of Michigan’s student government to pass a divestment resolution. At the same time he fails to mention an almost simultaneous decision by Chicago’s Loyola University student government to seek divestment. Rosenberg also makes no reference to BDS’s steady and impressive efforts in Europe.

Rosenberg continues by asserting that the reason the boycott movement “keeps failing” is because its goal is to destroy Israel rather than to attack the occupation and pressure for a two-state solution. “The BDS movement is not targeting the occupation per se. Its goal is to end the State of Israel itself.” What does that mean? Well, according to Rosenberg it means “replacing Israel itself with a state” that would be “in theory, hospitable to Jews [but] would no longer be Israel.”

At this juncture there are several points in Rosenberg’s thinking that warrant scrutiny. First of all his emphasis on “in theory” in the comment above implies that, in his view, only a Zionist state can really be “hospitable to Jews.” Take the Zionism out of Israel and you really have to take the Jews out as well. One can understand his concern, since he is aware of the wrongs committed by the Israeli government and knows that reconciliation with the Palestinians will not come easily. However, given the right sort of compromises, his fear for the well-being of Jews in a non-Zionist Israel does not have to necessarily translate into fact. Secondly, he is still arguing that a two-state solution is possible. “The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is two states for two peoples.” Maybe “in theory” that is the case. However, “in the real world” (to use Rosenberg’s words) it is almost impossible to envision this happening given the make-up of the Israeli power structure and its worldview.

Most of those who organize and participate in the movement to boycott Israel know that the two-state solution is dead in the water. Even if the present negotiations led by Secretary of State John Kerry produce some pale imitation of a Palestinian state, it is hard to see it amounting to anything but a Bantustan. The fact is, even now, there is only one state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and that is Zionist Israel. Having realized this, the boycotters have two choices: to give up the cause or to pressure for the transformation of Zionist Israel into a democratic, religiously and ethnically egalitarian state – a new Israel. This is what Mr. Rosenberg calls “dismantling Israel.”

Part II –  The South Africa Precedent Plus the Right of Return

Those seeking a genuine democratization of Israel are encouraged by the past dismantlement of apartheid South Africa. But Rosenberg will have none of this either. He points out that in that case it was “the South African apartheid regime that was abolished, not the country known as South Africa.” Here he is not clearly thinking his point through. The boycott movement helped destroy an apartheid ideology and its institutionalized manifestation as the government of Republic of South Africa. That, perforce, altered the essential character of the country. There is no difference between that and the present boycott goal of the destruction of the Zionist ideology and its institutionalized manifestation as the government of State of Israel. That also must result in a change in the character of that country.

Finally, Rosenberg points to the demand embodied in UN Resolution 194, and supported by the BDS movement, which calls for the return of   Palestinian refugees evicted in 1948. This really scares him and understandably so. From the Zionist perspective, the demographics of Israel are precarious enough as it is. Allow back a sizable number of non-Jewish refugees and the maintenance of a Jewish majority in Israel becomes impossible. On this note I have a Palestinian friend who asserts that one refugee should be resettled in pre-1967 Israel for every Israeli settler living beyond the Green Line. Would Mr. Rosenberg think this fair?

When it comes to Palestinian refugees, what Rosenberg appears not to take seriously is the long-recognized fact that, when and if the implementation of the Right of Return ever takes place, it will certainly be the result of negotiations aimed at minimizing social disruption.

Part III – Conclusion

None of this analysis of Rosenberg’s position is meant to deny that he does raise a very serious question: can justice be achieved for the long-suffering Palestinians while preserving Israel as an exclusive Jewish state? He wants to answer this question in the affirmative and he thinks a two-state solution will allow him to do so. Unfortunately, that is “not how the real world works” (his phrase again) in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. The truth is that this solution has been taken off the table by the Israelis themselves. We are left with a unitary Zionist state. The answer to the question of whether such a state is compatible with justice for the Palestinians is simply no. Zionism, like apartheid before it, has to go – for the sake of the Palestinians and also for a more promising future for the Jews.

Lawrence Davidson
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41 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    April 3, 2014, 12:13 pm

    MJR and Shavit and other “liberal Zionists” are not likely to give up their fears — roughly, I guess, either fear of another holocaust somewhere outside Israel if Israel does not remain Jewish-dominated or fear that the loss of such an Israel would itself be in-and-of-itself another holocaust.

    These fears make them proof against the ethical demands that normal people recognize — including most normal Jews. These feears also seem to cloud their thinking, preventing them from thinking any thought that would unseat the fears.

    They don’t see this, they cannot, for their fears are like the Teddy Bears that little kids seem to carry with themselves everywhere they go.

    Don’t get me wrong — I love little kids and think they are ever so cute, including their Teddy Bear need. I remember turning around after driving the first hour of a four hour trip to go home to get my 3-year-old son’s special blanket that we’d somehow left at home. Those blankets and Teddy Bears are really important. for mental health. Everyone’s.

    But MJR and Shavit are getting a bit old for dragging their particular dirty, bedraggled Teddy Bear around with them for very much longer.

    I think they will grow old and die clutching that horrible, destructive Teddy Bear, unless, perhaps, their children or grandchildren turn their backs on Israel (or on Zionism, not the same thing) and do so in a way which might teach their elders that the damage done by Zionism-in-practice was far worse than any benefit gained by it. After all, losing your kids due to crimes you approved of (and perhaps participated in) would be a heavy price to pay. Worse than losing a Teddy Bear.

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      April 3, 2014, 1:15 pm

      Mr. Belmont….always well stated comments. Always well appreciated.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      April 3, 2014, 1:47 pm

      MJR and Shavit and other “liberal Zionists” are not likely to give up their fears

      These people are not driven by fears but by wishes. The wish for an ethnocracy, a state based on racial supremacism.

      It saddens me that I can accept your categorization of MJ being lumped with an ethnofascist like Ari Shavit, but this is what he has become.

      But MJ’s bizarre and increasingly ragingly hateful actions speak for themselves. When given a choice, he prefers to put Palestinians in a cage, he sides with the Likudniks. He will pretend that the 2SS is possible forever. He cannot give up the dream of racial supremacism that he clings onto.

    • kalithea
      kalithea
      April 3, 2014, 7:29 pm

      What teddy bear? Nothing warm or fuzzy about it. Zionists are clinging to Chucky!

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        April 4, 2014, 8:32 am

        LOL

    • American
      American
      April 5, 2014, 8:58 am

      ” pabelmont says:

      April 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm
      ”MJR and Shavit and other “liberal Zionists” are not likely to give up their fears — roughly, I guess, either fear of another holocaust somewhere outside Israel if Israel does not remain Jewish-dominated or fear that the loss of such an Israel would itself be in-and-of-itself another holocaust.’>>>>

      If the belief that Israel prevents another holocaust doesnt prove these people are crazy nothing does.
      What would Israel do if some country started a holocaust of Jews again? Threatened to nuke it and thereby nuke all Jews there at the same time?
      And if was some country like Hungary their nukes won’t even reach that far.
      The only possible protection Israel could provide to Jews was if a holocaust was threatened the country threatening it would agree to let the Jews be deported to Israel instead.
      The Zionist would love that–since Jews aren’t exactly lining up to emigrate to Israel.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        April 6, 2014, 2:54 pm

        @american

        The only possible protection Israel could provide to Jews was if a holocaust was threatened the country threatening it would agree to let the Jews be deported to Israel instead.

        Yes that’s exactly the service that Israel has been providing for decades. When countries turn on their Jewish population a place to send them. That is usually enough, most anti-Semities are fine with deportation and don’t turn to genocide when deportation is available. Venezuela being a recent example where mass migration worked to reduce tension.

        As for what Israel could do against Hungry in the 1950s they worked hard to get the Jewish populations out of Arab states that were often hostile to migration. They were successful. Israel is far more powerful today.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 6, 2014, 11:48 pm

        Venezuela being a recent example where mass migration worked to reduce tension.

        Except the Jews of Venezuela and their Sephardic brethren in Israel ended up asking for their right of return to Spain. When the descendants of Sephardi Jews in Venezuela felt the need for a safe haven, they turned to Spain, not Israel for a solution. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4486621,00.html

        After the details of the plan became public, the members of the Israeli Sephardi community began expressing a desire for the new European passports:

        The never-ending pursuit for the European passport does not surprise Zeev Tzahor, Professor of History at Ben-Gurion University and former President of Sapir College. “The Zionist assumption that the establishment of a Jewish state would give them a ‘safe haven’, as stated in the Zionist Congress in Basel, seems very distant today. If there’s a place that’s the least safe for Jews, it’s the Jewish state. Even if not everyone admits it, some Israelis who are aware of the Jewish history, prepare a shelter for themselves, like every generation tends to do, to be on the safe side. That’s the main reason for the attraction of the foreign passport.”

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4486514,00.html

        As if the rabbinate hasn’t caused enough animosity and discontent by their handling of the “Who is a Jew?” question, the reports indicate they have volunteered their expertise to decide the question “Who is Spanish?”

        One Israeli immigration lawyer reported that she had gotten about 1,000 requests for assistance in filing for Spanish citizenship and that her phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the story broke. The same New York Times report noted that even the chairman of an association for Latino immigrants to Israel, said that he planned to apply for Spanish citizenship. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/world/europe/interest-in-israel-as-spain-weighs-citizenship-for-sephardic-jews.html?_r=0

  2. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    April 3, 2014, 12:20 pm

    “Zionism, like apartheid before it, has to go – for the sake of the Palestinians and also for a more promising future for the Jews.”

    Beautifully stated.

  3. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    April 3, 2014, 12:45 pm

    The fact is, even now, there is only one state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and that is Zionist Israel.

    No. There is also Gaza and its 1.7 million Palestinians. They are not part of this alleged de facto single state including Israel and the WB. So, even if you presume the WB is not occupied territory of Palestine, you are still left with TWO states, not one.

    • Donald
      Donald
      April 3, 2014, 1:16 pm

      “There is also Gaza and its 1.7 million Palestinians. They are not part of this alleged de facto single state including Israel and the WB. So, even if you presume the WB is not occupied territory of Palestine, you are still left with TWO states, not one.”

      No, one and a half. Gaza is a prison camp where the inmates are allowed to rule what happens inside the barbed wire.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        April 3, 2014, 4:05 pm

        “No. There is also Gaza and its 1.7 million Palestinians. They are not part of this alleged de facto single state including Israel and the WB.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.583709#

        “The Palestinians issued six main demands in connection to the core issues at the meeting:

        1. A letter of commitment from Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the Israeli prime minister recognizes the 1967 borders and recognizes East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

        2. The release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners, including Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Sa’adat and Fuad Shubaki.

        3. Implementation of the border crossing agreements and an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

        4. The return of the Palestinians who were expelled from the West Bank in 2002 after a siege in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

        5. A freeze on construction in Jewish settlements, including Jerusalem, the reopening of Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem and family reunification for 15,000 Palestinians.

        6. Prohibition of the entry, for the purpose of carrying out arrests and assassinations, of Israeli security forces into areas of the West Bank that are under Palestinian control, and the transfer of Area C to Palestinian control. “

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        April 3, 2014, 10:30 pm

        seafoid:

        [Sibiriak:]“No. There is also Gaza and its 1.7 million Palestinians. They are not part of this alleged de facto single state including Israel and the WB.”

        […]
        3. Implementation of the border crossing agreements and an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

        Exactly. Gaza is a de facto separate polity being blockaded by a foreign state, Israel. Gaza is NOT part of an alleged de facto single state.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        April 4, 2014, 2:54 am

        sibiriak

        The Palestinians do not buy that. Gaza is an integral part of Palestine and is not going to be separated just because the bots fancy it.

        Meanwhile
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.583749#

        “In a tense meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who represented Israel in the meeting, stated that the fourth prisoner release will not go forward until the PA rescinds its request to join the United Nations bodies.
        A senior Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had on Wednesday instructed Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, coordinator of government activities in the territories, to prepare a list of possible punitive measures against the Palestinians in the West Bank. One of the proposals accepted was the suspension of an Israeli permit allowing the Palestinian wireless provider Wataniya, which operates in the West Bank, to bring equipment into the Gaza Strip for the company’s planned mobile communications infrastructure there. ”

        It’s the school bully threatening its gimp again but the gimp is now going to the parents’ council.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        April 4, 2014, 3:03 am

        seafoid :

        Gaza is an integral part of Palestine …

        Exactly. Part of Palestine. It won’t be part of Israel.

        By what political process and legal process could Gaza conceivably become part of Israel?

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        April 3, 2014, 10:23 pm

        Donald:

        No, one and a half. Gaza is a prison camp where the inmates are allowed to rule what happens inside the barbed wire.

        It is a de facto dependent state under blockcade by a foriegn power, Israel.

        The point is: Gaza is NOTpart of the alleged de facto single state comprising Israel and the WB; and if the WB is formally annexed to Israel, in whole or part, Gaza will still remain outside as a separate polity (dependent state or half state or whatever you want to call it).

        There is no “one state solution” without the inclusion of Gaza, and that seems to be on no one’s agenda.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        April 4, 2014, 2:12 am

        “There is no “one state solution” without the inclusion of Gaza, and that seems to be on no one’s agenda.”

        This would be on any honest broker’s agenda. You’re right, nobody includes it as part of the peace process. Since neither Israel nor Abbas mentions it, nor the people in it, who if not the honest broker to pressure both sides? But the honest broker helps to exclude Gaza and all the Palestinians there.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        April 4, 2014, 7:08 am

        “There is no “one state solution” without the inclusion of Gaza . . . neither Israel nor Abbas mentions it,

        Sure they do. Netanyahu has said Abbas can either have peace with Israel or reconciliation with Hamas. The US says it will cut-off funding to any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, unless it has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist. See 22 U.S. Code § 2378b – Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/2378b

        * Next week, a delegation appointed by Abbas is to visit the Gaza Strip in a bid to advance reconciliation talks with Hamas. Abbas will also try to gain Arab support for reconciliation at a special gathering of foreign ministers of Arab League member states in Cairo — PA will stop UN application if prisoners are released, officials say http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.583514
        * Hamas welcomes Abbas’ decision to sign UN treaties https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/10670-hamas-welcomes-abbas-decision-to-sign-un-treaties

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        April 4, 2014, 7:35 pm

        I think the Palestinians have made clear they rrecognise Israel’s right to exist. And apparently Abbas will continue to defend the Green Line as Palestine’s border with Israel, as much as possible.

      • talknic
        talknic
        April 4, 2014, 6:52 am

        @ Sibiriak “It is a de facto dependent state under blockcade by a foriegn power, Israel”

        Impossible. Gaza cannot stop Israeli incursions by land, sea or air. Doesn’t control its borders, not even the buffer zone inside Gaza. Doesn’t have final say in who or what can enter or exit by any crossing. It’s airspace and territorial waters are controlled by Israel. It is far from a de facto ‘independent’ state. It’s under occupation.

        ” … without the inclusion of Gaza, and that seems to be on no one’s agenda”

        You’re mistaken. Israel isn’t illegally claiming what it hasn’t already illegally acquired by war in the Sth West corner http://wp.me/pDB7k-tM#nonannexed-territories

        So called ‘negotiations’ are over what Israel is now illegally claiming of the West Bank/Jerusalem. Read UNSC res 1860 and read Abbas at the UN. The 22% is post Israel’s proclamation and INCLUDES Gaza, forgoing what Israel has already illegally acquired of the Sth Western territory allotted for the Arab state

        ” if the WB is formally annexed to Israel, in whole or part, Gaza will still remain outside as a separate polity (dependent state or half state or whatever you want to call it).”

        Neither Gaza or the West Bank have seceded from Palestine. Neither the West Bank (including Jerusalem http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8) or Gaza have ever been legally separated from what remained of Palestine post Israel’s proclamation of and recognition of its borders http://wp.me/pDB7k-tM

        Either the West bank, incl Jerusalem, or Gaza would have to first secede from what remains of Palestine, which will require a referendum of the respective legitimate citizens of Gaza or the West Bank (incl Jerusalem) incl any citizens in the diaspora, incl refugee camps. Not including Israeli citizens illegally in those respective non-Israeli territories.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        April 4, 2014, 11:14 am

        talknic:

        Impossible

        Absolutely possible. Gaza is under occupation or blockaded. Whatever the terminology—EITHER WAY, it is NOT part of a single de facto state including Israel.

        Neither Gaza or the West Bank have seceded from Palestine.

        Agree. The point stands: IF the WB were to be annexed by Israel, legally or illegally, via referendum or not, Gaza would still remain outside of Israel.

        So, by what conceivable political process could Gaza become part of a single state including Israel? Answer that. And if it does not, there is no 1SS.

      • talknic
        talknic
        April 4, 2014, 11:53 am

        Sibiriak My bad. I read it as “a de facto (in)dependent state”

  4. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    April 3, 2014, 12:47 pm

    liberal zionists ultimate failure is depending on zionism to protect the future state of israel. the only way foward is equality for all people, Jews and non-Jews, one state one vote. MJ Rosenberg and others like him are in a ‘Jewish purgatory’ trying to come to terms with the foeseeable demise of zionism. however on their journey they will be a lot of delusions and confusion. lol!

  5. American
    American
    April 3, 2014, 12:53 pm

    ‘ What does that mean? Well, according to Rosenberg it means “replacing Israel itself with a state” that would be “in theory, hospitable to Jews [but] would no longer be Israel’ >>>>>>>

    There they go again. “Hospitable” to Jews as in ‘equal rights for Jews is not enough for Jews.
    I’m going to keep saying this—–they must either accept being ‘equal’ to all others and accept equal rights, not superior and exceptional rights, or keeping riding to that appointment in Samarra.

    • Chu
      Chu
      April 4, 2014, 11:56 am

      I think it they really want a pure Jewish state they should offer up
      the lands they stole from 1948.

      With that land they can aim for a pure ethnic enclave – problem solved.
      Rosenberg and friends win with a little sacrifice.

  6. eljay
    eljay
    April 3, 2014, 1:04 pm

    >> We are left with a unitary Zionist state. The answer to the question of whether such a state is compatible with justice for the Palestinians is simply no.

    A Zionist state or “Jewish State” is not just incompatible with justice for Palestinians, it’s incompatible with justice.

  7. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    April 3, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Michael Jay Rosenberg is a well-known, sharp-minded critic of the Israeli government.

    If he were sharp-minded, he wouldn’t be a Zionist.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      April 3, 2014, 4:03 pm

      One of the catalysts of the current crisis was Israel’s announcement of permits for 700 new apartments in the settlements. Army Radio report that 15 of them were reserved for MJR’s massive sense of Jewish entitlement.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        April 3, 2014, 5:28 pm

        You are very funny, seafoid. I always enjoy your comments.

  8. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    April 3, 2014, 4:06 pm

    If MJ Rosenberg were alive and active during the US Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, he would make the following points:

    Martin Luther King aimed at the destruction of the South, and the overthrow of the Southern Way of Life.

    MLK refused to recognize Alabama’s right to exist as a white state, or Mississippi’s right to exist as a white state.

    What’s worse, if blacks had the same rights as whites (and we all know that this can’t work in the real world), then blacks could outvote whites. And because we all know that God gave the land to the whites, this would thwart God’s will.

    MLK aimed at the destruction of the South and the overthrow of the unique culture of the southern way of life, etc.

    etc etc etc

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      April 3, 2014, 5:28 pm

      Drawing parallels to past injustices is very useful. This helped me understand that Zionism is unjust, too.

    • biorabbi
      biorabbi
      April 3, 2014, 6:29 pm

      Ned, MJ was alive and active during the US Civil Right movement from my research; he looks younger than he is.

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      April 4, 2014, 8:56 am

      @Nevada

      If you read the abolitionists of the early 19th century many of them assumed that blacks would want to return to Africa once slavery ended. Liberia was going to be the first of several such colonies where american blacks would resettle.

      American blacks from slightly before civil war always argued they were Americans and wanted to live like Americans. They wanted to attend white schools. They had already converted to practice the religion of the white people. They server in the Union/US army, pay taxes and have been loyal to the state. Moreover in those territories where blacks have assumed control of the government (particularly municipalities) they have generally been supportive of their white residents, or at worst have been merely indifferent. There are no documented cases of say a black mayor in America engaging in ethnic cleansing. American blacks had never argued that whites were an illegitimate people with no right to live in Mississippi.

      That analogy completely falls apart when it comes to Palestinians. If Palestinians were willing to become Israeli there would be nothing to fight about.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        April 4, 2014, 2:18 pm

        The great Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln, thought the best thing for blacks freed from slavery, was to return them to Africa. Lincoln, quite sensibly, wanted to issue bonds to buy out the slaveowners (in the way the British government had done).

  9. Little_Shih_Tzu
    Little_Shih_Tzu
    April 3, 2014, 5:23 pm

    How about a cold water dash of reality for Rosenberg? There’s nothing that’s a given or sacred about the existence of any political/juridical entity we call a state. These organizations are the works of man, and as such all are temporal and doomed to decline and decay and obsolescence and termination. Just ask the Roman Empire type, if you can find any around.

    And there’s lots of former Soviet Union types around. Ask them what happened to the state which once counted them as citizens.

    And one day, hard to believe, ther will no longer be a USA.

    There’s nothing special about the continued and perpetual existence of Israel – either as a “Jewish” state or a non-secterial run-of-the mill liberal democratic parliamentary democracy. It will one day too pass from the scene, and the Rosenberg’s of the world ought to reconcile themselves to that fact. BDS may hasten that goal, either by design or chance. I shrug my shoulders and say “so what?” Because as an american citizen, and as a Catholic in recovery, there’s nothing about the state of israel which command either my interest or my respect.

    Rosenberg and his ilk are the King Canutes of our age – they hold up their hands and bid the tide not to come in, but the tide comes in.

  10. James Canning
    James Canning
    April 3, 2014, 7:19 pm

    In fairness to MJ Rosenberg, surely there are few who post on this site, who think an Israel (including West Bank) that became majority non-Jewish, would continue to be “Israel”.

  11. kalithea
    kalithea
    April 3, 2014, 10:46 pm

    What happened to my edited version? Anyway, this is the final version.

    Would Mr. Rosenberg think this fair?

    Rosenberg, like all Zionists, doesn’t operate in what’s fair; he doesn’t believe that the rights of Palestinians and the suffering of Palestinians outweigh the needs of Jews who couldn’t be better off than they are at this time anywhere in the world. No, because he wants to weigh Palestinian rights and their actual suffering against some hypothetical Jewish doomsday when that day is based on the inability to deal in reality and let go of the past. Zionists are selfish, without a doubt and are punishing Palestinians for their own cynicism. They have proven their selfishness in their voracious appetite for Palestinian land, and types like Rosenberg here, who had plenty of time over many years to vigorously rally support for the two-state when it was still viable, failed because it didn’t matter enough to him that his comrades were stealing and stealing land and Palestinians were suffering and trying to resist this crime, while he was writing and talking and talking and writing and like many so-called liberal Zionists making the occupation an occupation i.e. a business.

    So now, that his comrades have gobbled up all this land and made the two-state impossible with their facts on the ground; he’s up in arms because suddenly it’s the eleventh hour and now he’s frantic about piecing together a two-state, now that there’s practically nothing to piece together left and the one state is becoming real! And besides, what does he pretend be done with his extremist, radical comrades on the West Bank, who are close to a million strong, pray tell? Does he imagine they’ll leave the West Bank quietly into the Tel Aviv night? Maybe he imagines that the Zionist military will drag them off that Palestinian land kicking and screaming and all will be well. All he knows is; BDS is out of the question; it’s evil; it’s intent on the destruction of Israel, blah-blah, but-but what’s his solution based on reality and justice? Let me put it this way: he has no solution based in reality; and he doesn’t care about what’s fair; and above all else…he’s in total denial, but guess what? He doesn’t care about being in denial either!

    All he cares about is what Jews need to massage their paranoia; which is obsessive and ridiculous in the context of today’s Jewish success but never mind that Palestinians have suffered for quite enough time while this Zionist obsession lingers forever! Selfish doesn’t even cover it.

    And you know, I suspect that their opposition to BDS isn’t even fear-driven; I suspect it’s POWER-driven, because that’s what bugs them most: now that they’ve acquired all this power, and in Israel at the expense of the rights and suffering of others; they just can’t let go or share even a part of it, even though they know that in letting go they can rescue their reputation; and that if they don’t have the courage to do what is clearly morally right they indeed will summon the serious consequences they fear, and these consequences will be strictly, self-fulfilling.

    How is Rosenberg’s humungous denial different from say Adelson’s unapologetic display of Zionist political influence; don’t both conspire to delay and deny justice?

    BDS will accelerate justice and that’s Rosenberg’s fear; he can’t believe it’s that time already. It’s just too soon for him; regardless of who suffers. No doubt he’d like to wrap himself in the comfort of denial for another decade or two, because he just can’t deal with justice if justice means rights for Palestinians which he no doubt sees as a threat to Jewish power.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      April 4, 2014, 2:34 am

      MJR doesn’t care about fair. Fair is for the Gentiles, the ball-player culture. Life is not a sports game. He rather tell us how wonderful he is and how even more wonderful his children are. Palestinian children? They simply aren’t in his photo album. It’s his way, or the highway (even with his former employer AIPAC), and so far the people like him have their own freebie security force and fence–its not the wall, nor the IDF, it’s the sole superpower, the Gentile military superpower. Hired hands, to do his extended family’s chump jobs.

  12. biorabbi
    biorabbi
    April 4, 2014, 1:24 am

    kalithea, as a zionist, I understand the tactic of BDS. It is simply massive overkill. Finkelstein nailed it with the narrow-minded, cult analogy. BDS will fail precisely because it is too much. There is nothing new about a boycott against Jews or against Israel. If you carefully read the pages of Mondoweiss, all you see are victory after victory in the battle of BDS. You never hear about the growing failures. For in a cult, there are no failures. You are so myopic you apparently recognize no distinction between MJ Rosenberg, Norman Finkelstein and, say Baruch Goldstein. How are you then different from Pam Gellar who makes no distinction between the lovely Islamic Jihad boys in Gaza and M. Abbas? I guess an arab is just an arab and a Jew is always just a Jew. If your mindset and ilk are the personification of BDS, I don’t believe you will move the ball towards the goalpost even a little.

  13. Hostage
    Hostage
    April 4, 2014, 3:21 am

    Finally, Rosenberg points to the demand embodied in UN Resolution 194, and supported by the BDS movement, which calls for the return of Palestinian refugees evicted in 1948.

    Mr. Eban (Israel): I can give an unqualified affirmative answer to the second question as to whether we shall cooperate with the organs of the United Nations with all the means at our disposal in the fulfilment of the part of the resolution concerning refugees. — Response to questions about resolution 194(III), 47th session, Ad Hoc Committee hearings on Israel’s application for membership in the United Nations, page 5 of 29 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/AC.24/SR.47

  14. eGuard
    eGuard
    April 4, 2014, 5:55 am

    Lawrence Davidson: he is also a “liberal Zionist” (quotes in original).

    This is where the conundrum starts: using the words “liberal Zionist”. Useless specification. Take out the word “liberal” and one understands MJ Rosenberg’s position right away. Saves two paragraphs. Removing the adjective “liberal” is the first step into explaining Zionists. (Writing is in quotes is a good start, but not enough). Maybe, in a few years time when it has meaning again, some Zionists can earn it back.

    Writing “liberal Zionist” shows that the author does not understand the topic, or is having an agenda.

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