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Liberal Zionism has lost its refuge– a plausible two-state solution

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Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

As we all know, liberal Zionism is in crisis. J Street is locked down for Israel– and losing former staff and supporters. Michael Walzer of Americans for Peace Now acknowledges that Israel has damaged global support by killing so many civilians, but he’s largely supportive of the war, chiefly blaming Hamas for the civilian deaths. Eric Alterman deeply disagrees with leftwing calls for Israel to be prosecuted for war crimes; and his “Third Narrative” initiative had barely a word to say about the war except that Hamas uses human shields and BDS is the real enemy. Peter Beinart and MJ Rosenberg have shown great integrity in their criticisms of Israel, but the liberal gold standard, Amos Oz, says Palestinians are digging tunnels into Israeli nurseries and trying to kidnap Jewish families, and oh, as soon as the settlements are removed, Palestinians in the West Bank will live in “freedom and prosperity”. All the handwringing and killing and crying are mocked by Adam Shatz in a brilliant satire of a liberal Zionist’s interview at +972 (“How would you feel with the Ho Chi Minh trail running beneath your beaches?”). 

Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

At The National, Joseph Dana writes that the Gaza onslaught has deepened the understanding that the two-state solution is a dead letter because Israel’s militant response to Palestinian unity shows that it has no intention of allowing a viable Palestinian state to emerge; and this understanding deprives liberal Zionists of oxygen. For decades, they could say that the solution is obvious. But Israeli political culture has moved on without them.

Dana quotes Dimi Reider saying that Reuven Rivlin, the new Israeli president, is mainstreaming the one-state discourse from the right– “by emphatically legitimising and embracing settler communities and maybe even reaching out to Palestinian ones – making settlement eviction and partition appear a lot less self-evident as a path forward.”

Dana then explains that the end of the plausibility of the two-state solution presents a crisis for an international movement, liberal Zionists, who needed it to be able to sell the idea of Jewish democracy as a desirable liberal outcome:

Despite a well-documented unwillingness to cede territory and reformulate its control over Palestinian life in the occupied territories, Israel invested heavily in a handsome PR campaign designed to show the international community that it was interested in a two-state solution. While international civil society accepted this with varying degrees of scepticism, Israel’s liberal leftists and its supporters around the world, who often call themselves liberal Zionists, accepted this PR strategy wholeheartedly. As Jonathan Freedland recently noted in The New York Review of Books: “For nearly three decades, the hope of an eventual two-state solution provided a kind of comfort zone for liberal Zionists, if not comfort blanket.”
It is this contradiction that doomed the Israeli left and is now difficult to conceal. Zionism as an ideology has always been difficult to reconcile with liberalism. This is all the more profound in wartime, when nationalism seemingly paralyses every sector of Israeli society with a sink or swim mindset.
“The Jewish left has been dwindling for years because the demarcation lines are becoming clearer. It is becoming more and more difficult to be both a Zionist and a leftist, even a Zionist and a liberal. Most people choose Zionism over a left politics. But this is part of a long process,” says [Neve] Gordon.
The latest Gaza conflict, coupled with a new willingness of Israel’s leadership to speak honestly about their long-term ambitions in the Palestinian territories, means that talk of a two-state solution and a viable partner in Israeli society that can help push the government to make painful concessions is out of the window. The message to the international community from Israel’s leaders is unequivocal: the occupation cannot and will not be ended; Hamas will administer Gaza and the Palestinian Authority will administer the West Bank – both under the shadow of Israeli security control. Talk of a two-state solution in any meaningful sense remains illusory; the status quo will be enforced – by military force if necessary – for the foreseeable future.

In a word, liberal Zionists who choose to remain Zionists will be compelled to say, We are for managed conflict over Palestinian freedom in order to preserve a Jewish state. Not a happy spot.

(P.S. I’m aware that the Gaza onslaught has also contributed to a conservative position, These people hate each other so much that one state is impossible. But it is one state right now, and– that’s a longer discussion.)

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

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60 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen on August 14, 2014, 1:42 pm

    We are for managed conflict over Palestinian freedom in order to preserve a Jewish state, no matter the negative consequences for non-Jewish citizens within that state.

  2. gracie fr
    gracie fr on August 14, 2014, 2:03 pm

    Haaretz talked to Israel Prize laureate and renowned scholar Zeev Sternhell about his fears for the collapse of Israeli democracy.

    Of all the phenomena you’ve encountered here, which do you find ugliest?

    “What we’ve seen here in the past few weeks is absolute conformism on the part of most of Israel’s intellectuals. They’ve just followed the herd. By intellectuals I mean professors and journalists. The intellectual bankruptcy of the mass media in this war is total. It’s not easy to go against the herd, you can easily be trampled. But the role of the intellectual and the journalist is not to applaud the government. Democracy crumbles when the intellectuals, the educated classes, toe the line of the thugs or look at them with a smile. People here say, ‘It’s not so terrible, it’s nothing like fascism – we have free elections and parties and a parliament.’ Yet, we reached a crisis in this war, in which, without anyone asking them to do so, all kinds of university bodies are suddenly demanding that the entire academic community roll back its criticism.”

    Do you think it’s due to fear?

    “Fear of the authorities, fear of possible budgetary sanctions and fear of pressure from the street. The personification of shame and disgrace occurred when the dean of the law faculty of Bar-Ilan University threatened sanctions against one of his colleagues because the latter added a couple of sentences to an announcement about exam dates in which he expressed sorrow at the killing and loss of life on both sides. To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already a subversive act, treason. We are arriving at a situation of purely formal democracy, which keeps sinking to ever lower levels.”

    When will we cross the line in which democracy implodes?

    “Democracy rarely falls in a revolution. Not in Italy, not in Germany and not in France with the Vichy regime – which is a crucial thing, because France was a democratic country that fell into the hands of the right wing with the support of the vast majority of the population. It was not the fall of France that generated this ideology. It was the result of a gradual process in which an extreme nationalist ideology took shape, a radical approach that perceives the nation as an organic body. Like a tree on which human individuals are the leaves and the branches – in other words, people exist only thanks to the tree. The nation is a living body.

    “In Israel, the religious factor strengthens the national singularity. It’s not a matter of belief, but of identity; religion bolsters your distinctive identity. It’s essential to understand that without this radical nationalism there is no fascism. I also distinguish between fascism and Nazism, because fascism does not necessarily carry a race doctrine. Let me put it in no uncertain terms: Fascism is a war against enlightenment and against universal values; Nazism was a war against the human race.”

    Do you see a negation of universal values in Israel and a war against enlightenment in recent years?

    “It cries out to heaven. Israel is an extraordinary laboratory in which one sees the gradual erosion of enlightenment values, namely the universal values I mentioned. You see the negation, which always existed on the fringes, slowly impinging, until one day it dominates the center.”
    http://warincontext.org/2014/08/13/fascism-in-israel-the-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-the-mass-media-in-this-war-is-total/

    • ritzl
      ritzl on August 14, 2014, 2:53 pm

      @gracie fr- “Extraordinary laboratory” indeed. A mirror even.

    • lysias
      lysias on August 14, 2014, 3:04 pm

      “Fascism is a war against enlightenment and against universal values; Nazism was a war against the human race.”

      A fair enough distinction. But on which side of this divide does the emerging fascism of Israel fall?

  3. piotr
    piotr on August 14, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Where one-state advocates explained what changes would be necessary in Israel’s legal system, including property rights (or the role of religion and regulation of religion) for allow such state to function?

    Would Jewish settlements in West Bank and Gaza be viewed as owned by the current occupants, or stolen?

    What about the lands controlled by Jewish ethnic organizations, majority of all lands?

    Addressing such questions is no easier than removal of all settlements I have mentioned. In this sense, “one-state” is a punt. In the process of addressing questions that I have mentioned, one or two state solution can be selected, and some interim reforms applied.

    Liberal Zionism is in crisis because it does not stand for anything. Neo-Zionists present a coherent vision of supremacist state, while liberal are reduced to feeble complains, “insufficient care to avoid civilian casualties”, which is the fault of Hamas, of course, but nevertheless GoI could do more, and we should improve the humanitarian conditions, but in a way that could not possibly be credited to Palestinian radicals, because that would be worse than any humanitaian considerations. Basically, this is a mental condition that precludes any kind of consistency or ethics. Everything is about sounding sensitive, sounding reasonable, sounding intellectually superior to “both sides” (but we must choose the Israel’s side), everything ersatz. They are perhaps more in crisis now, not because the perspective of two-state solution is vanishing, but because this self-centered mode of thinking is less appealing when thousands are being killed and maimed.

    • kalithea
      kalithea on August 15, 2014, 10:36 pm

      There is no one-state or two state at this point. There is only justice for the Palestinians and until the grave wrong done to them has been set right, everything else is irrelevant and worse a waste of time that delays justice.

  4. ritzl
    ritzl on August 14, 2014, 2:50 pm

    Only two kinds of people, pro-slaughter and anti-slaughter. There’s not really any middle ground/cover anymore.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976 on August 14, 2014, 3:37 pm

      And perhaps the pro-slaughter crowd are, as ex-Professor Salaita might say, rather awful people. Perhaps just going through a rather awful phase and will grow out of it.

      • ritzl
        ritzl on August 14, 2014, 6:34 pm

        Perhaps, MHughes. But they’ve had an “awful” lot of evidence and time to do that and haven’t. This has been going on for generations in Israel.

  5. lysias
    lysias on August 14, 2014, 3:13 pm

    Interesting to be reminded of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. When I got to the Defense Language Institute (aka Army Language School) on the hill of the Presidio in Monterey, California in March 1969, the dirt path up and down the hill that one used to go between the school up the hill and the main base down the hill was nicknamed the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” (and it was then, in March, very muddy, after the rainy season). I doubt if it’s called that now. (The complex of new dormitories at Princeton to which I was assigned in my freshman year of 1968 was aptly nicknamed “Stonehenge”. When I revisited the campus a few years later, I learned that that nickname had disappeared.)

  6. Mooser
    Mooser on August 14, 2014, 3:37 pm

    It just occured to me; as the US slackens its own commitment to the gains in civil rights, and states seek to reverses those civil rights legally, we will see a lot more liberal Zionist two-state solution people among Americans willing to accept the one-state solution.

  7. Mooser
    Mooser on August 14, 2014, 3:50 pm

    It just occured to me; as the US slackens its own commitment to the gains in civil rights, and states seek to reverses those civil rights legally, we will see a lot more liberal Zionist two-state solution people among Americans willing to accept the one-state solution.

    Can I ask a general question? Any ‘one-state” solution assumes some outside agency powerful enough to impose this on the Zionists in Israel, right? Or assumes the entire collapse of Zionist authority in Palestine? I hope “one-State” doesn’t mean leaving the Palestinians to the tender mercies of Israelis? I mean, I’m sure I missed something, but I never got that part straight.

    • jenin
      jenin on August 14, 2014, 4:09 pm

      my personal belief is that it will happen much like South Africa–boycotts and other forms of external pressure will force a gradual shift in Israeli society. Eventually, Israelis themselves will come to terms with the fact that they must either grant Palestinians in the occupied territories and Gaza full citizenship, and that it can no longer distinguish Jewish from non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Ultimately, I think the pressure will have to come from the US (probably in the form of loss of financial support from the US). This presents a problem due to the money in politics in the US, of course, and the fact that even if the entire American public does not want to support Israel any longer, the politicians are still acting on the wishes of the Israel lobby, which they must do in order to win elections. So I guess I cannot say exactly what I believe will happen, but I do think it will be some form of one state solution but probably not for several decades and probably not until things get worse first. My father (who is Palestinian) is of the opinion that nothing will really change until Palestinians in all three areas (Israel, OT, Gaza) so outnumber Jews due to the higher rate at which they procreate that Israel will have no choice but to grant them equal rights/citizenship or risk being a minority trying to control a vastly larger number of people at some point in the future, maybe 100 years from now

      • lysias
        lysias on August 14, 2014, 5:05 pm

        A U.S. economic collapse, which looks distinctly possible, even in the short term, could spell an end to Israel’s financial support from the U.S.

      • jenin
        jenin on August 14, 2014, 5:18 pm

        lysias, unfortunately I think any economic collapse in the US will only affect the bottom 95%…. the top 5% will probably maintain their wealth and become even wealthier. And they are the ones who support Israel. So I fear even an economic collapse would not have the silver lining of ending US support of Israel. hope I’m wrong about that

      • Bandolero
        Bandolero on August 14, 2014, 6:18 pm

        I think the economic collapase – or, what I find more likely what will happen, the relative economic decline – of the U.S. will have a huge effect on liberating Palestine.

        Even if the Israel lobby manages to stay in charge of the U.S. – what I wouldn’t take as a given – the power of the U.S. to coerce independent nations like BRICS to accept Israeli behaviour and abondon Palestine will decline.

        Today, the Israel lobby in the US manages to push global sanctions against anyone who supports Palestinian resistance and resists worldwide wars for Israel projects. In a couple of years that trend may resverse. Countries like BRICS may pile up sanctions on the U.S. and EU then for their support of a brutal Israeli apartheid regime.

        Add that to other factors, like the public discovery that disastrous US-led wars of aggression worldwide were fought for narrow interests of Zionist settlers, and the costs may easily become so huge for the U.S. elite in a couple of years, that they abandon the zionist apartheid state. In the end, most of the rich men in the U.S. love their money even more than they love Israel.

      • jenin
        jenin on August 14, 2014, 6:43 pm

        Bandolero, you make some good points. hope you are right (not regarding the economic collapse, but the fact that if such a collapse happens it will help liberate the Palestinians

      • ritzl
        ritzl on August 14, 2014, 8:34 pm

        @Jenin- A lot of this goes to whether the 95% will [be able to] reclaim representative government or not, propelled by economic and war/peace/OPK issues, separately or collectively. I think justice in Palestine/Israel is inextricably mixed into that broader epiphany/effort/outcome progression.

        The sad experience of the Occupy movement wrt to Palestine (i.e. don’t bring it up for “fear” of alienating Jews) may actually serve to make that inclusion more likely given the time activists have had to reflect on the grossly exclusive selectivity [silliness?] of that notion, compounded by the now ubiquitous and indelible images of this latest massacre. The linkage is already happening in Ferguson.

        Shorter version: We may be coming to a time where votes actually matter more than money.

        FWIW.

      • piotr
        piotr on August 14, 2014, 10:18 pm

        There is another potential effect of the relative decline of USA. More and more it seems that USA deploys economic sanction via the banking system, most recently, fining Paribas 9 billion dollars. The French may swallow that, but the number of grumbling parties is growing. Now we have a group of countries and entities to “isolate”: Hamas (very small fry), Hezbollah (this is more iffy), Iran, and now Russia. And Argentina plus the creditors who agreed with Argentina and who are now forbidden by US judge to collect payments per agreement.

        European financial elites somehow got enticed to follow the suit, even while paying enormous fines, but Russia and Argentina are not without friends, so BRICS can actually do something. Brazil can show solidarity with Argentina (and gain regional stature), and China, with Russia (China may have its own reason to gain more independence). India can gain too by getting cheaper oil and gas. BRICS bank is already agreed upon, but setting a payment system that would allow to totally by-pass Federal reserve is complicated and can be postponed indefinitely if there is no common will. However, the situation when US government and individual US courts can ruin foreign banks and entire countries, while USA itself has declining economic clout, is not sustainable.

        This can have effect on “resistance axis” which is quite starved of funds right now, and a lot of domino effect, changing the geo-political situation of Israel from the current bliss to something much less comfortable. In the utter absence of external threat Israel can be self-centered and as crazy as the majority of population wishes to be. Liberals kwetch that this is not sustainable, but as they are proven wrong for decades, they seem to be idiots.

        But the support of unsustainable situation requires larger and larger distortions. The most recent tool is fomenting civil wars in Arab countries, frankly expressing the hope that they will last forever. But while it can take a decade, wars like that are usually won by someone, eventually, and the chances that winners will look kindly to “periodic grass mowing” and other favorite pastimes of our most precious ally are small.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on August 15, 2014, 4:23 am

        Russia is already showing Australia and the EU that sanctions can work in other directions than those the US wants. The new Russian ban on importing agricultural products from those countries has already hit the producers, and China, Turkey, and South American countries are all stepping into the gap to supply Russia.

        And in a grand “nose to spite the face move”, the Ukrainians are talking of blocking Russian gas exports through Ukraine. They will lose their own gas supply, and their new BFF, the EU, will love them even more when the North Wind doth blow.

    • Inanna
      Inanna on August 15, 2014, 3:29 am

      I think it will be more like South Africa Mooser. There will be a lot of whites who see the writing on the wall and leave for other places. There’s large expat communities of South African whites in Australia, England, Canada etc. That’s what many Jews will do – the ones who have second passports, or the education and language skills to be approved for emigration to other countries. Combine that with more Palestinian demographic threats, political changes in the Middle East and the waning of US power (and in absence of another sponsor for Israel) zionism will crumble just as any other colonial outpost has crumbled.

      The way I see it, zionists know they stole the land and they know deep down in their hearts it’s not really theirs. They do want it for themselves but they want it exclusively, they are not willing to share it. I think they talk big but as the odds become more stacked against them, they’ll leave. You can’t sustain the world’s or the region’s enmity forever.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on August 15, 2014, 3:59 am

        That’s what I fear. It’s bad enough having South Africans here, but they don’t whine and at least their children seem prepared to accept mainstream Australian values.

        I can’t imagine Israelis being anything but a pain in the neck for a couple of generations at least.

        (There are still tensions and clashes between Serbian and Croatian immigrants. )

      • Pippilin
        Pippilin on August 15, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Ditto– and the US will finally become Greater Israel.

      • irishmoses
        irishmoses on August 16, 2014, 4:39 pm

        Hilarious!

    • irishmoses
      irishmoses on August 16, 2014, 5:18 pm

      Mooser, Mooser,

      The one-state solution is staring you in the face. The single state of Greater Israel has been a reality since 1967. Words and concepts like “occupation”, “negotiated settlement”, and “two-state solution” are just smoke screens designed to hide that obvious reality from all the hand-wringing liberal Jews, liberal Zionists, and liberal hangers-on who still fantasize about some fair and just outcome.

      It ain’t gonna happen because it wasn’t designed to happen. The only real issues from the beginning were: 1) how many Israeli Jews could be transferred to settlements in the territories without triggering a major international and/or US backlash, and (2) How much pressure could be put on the hapless Palestinian Arab inhabitants aimed at forcing them to leave (self-transfer) without also triggering a harmful international/US backlash. The answers are (1): Move in as many settlers as you want as fast as you want, and (2): Apply as much pressure as you want (land seizures, torture, theft of resources, checkpoints, settler violence, periodic “lawn mowings” of those Gazan “dead enders”, etc.). The sky is the limit.

      Palestinians are kind of like Tibetans or Chechens: dispossessed peoples with few rights or protections who survive within the constraints of Greater China, Greater Russia, or Greater Israel.

      It’s all over but the shouting.

  8. ckg
    ckg on August 14, 2014, 6:23 pm

    It’s difficult to get excited about the one state vs. two states debate while Tel Aviv debates extermination vs. expulsion.

    • just
      just on August 14, 2014, 6:24 pm

      Great comment, ckg!!!

      I feel much the same. ;(

    • ritzl
      ritzl on August 14, 2014, 6:39 pm

      That depends on what the world is willing to put up with, ckg. I don’t think it would put up with expulsion or extermination. But you’re right implicity, that is a huge open question.

    • piotr
      piotr on August 14, 2014, 10:19 pm

      megaditto.

    • can of worms
      can of worms on August 15, 2014, 1:48 am

      Insofar as the discourse has always been about extermination and expulsion, is has always been, as you say, “difficult to get excited” about the one state debate. But that is what is at the heart of the matter.

      If there were one single law for everyone — if there weren’t a “Jewish State” with its capital in Jerusalem — there would be no special reason for international donations and free gifts that shelter the economy and allow surplus value to be invested in the production of a powerful military industry complex that oppresses an entire population and destabilizes the region. As long as people “don’t get excited” about the one state solution the statquo of exclusion & expulsion remains.

    • kalithea
      kalithea on August 15, 2014, 10:06 pm

      I have to say that both are delusional. What needs to happen is for International Law to be forced on Zionism.

  9. Kay24
    Kay24 on August 14, 2014, 6:40 pm

    Josh Ruebner event at 7pm ET/4pm west coast live broadcast

    Thursday August 14 at 7pm
    Great Hall of The Cooper Union, New York City
    Facebook Event
    Stop Israel’s Ongoing War Crimes Against the People of Gaza

    Watch Live

    http://www.worldcantwait.net

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on August 14, 2014, 6:57 pm

      Speakers include:

      Susan Abdelghafar & Monica Murillo, Students for Justice in Palestine, John Jay College
      Refaat Alareer, editor of Gaza Writes Back
      Richard Falk, UN Special Raporteur on Human Rights (by link)
      Alan Goodman, writer, Revolution/revcom.us
      Jonathan Kuttab, human rights lawyer
      Jen Marlowe, filmmaker, One Family in Gaza
      Ilan Pappe, historian/activist/author The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
      Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son
      Fida Qishta, Film maker, Where Should the Birds Fly?
      Josh Ruebner, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, author Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

      • just
        just on August 14, 2014, 7:02 pm

        many thanks kay24!

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on August 14, 2014, 7:55 pm

        You are very welcome! :))

  10. W.Jones
    W.Jones on August 14, 2014, 9:37 pm

    All the handwringing and killing and crying are mocked by Adam Shatz in a brilliant satire of a liberal Zionist’s interview at +972 (“How would you feel with the Ho Chi Minh trail running beneath your beaches?”).
    This is very close to the way they talk, it’s a realistic interview. I doubt he would directly mention Ho Chi Minh, and think he would more likely mention a Taliban trail. But who knows.

    • piotr
      piotr on August 14, 2014, 10:21 pm

      The similarity to “real people” was so strong that it is more a pedantic collection of actual slogans, positions etc. than satire. Adam clearly did not improve on the real life, but perhaps he kept it less rambling.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on August 14, 2014, 10:41 pm

        Piotr,
        You made a good point. And since you are Polish, I would like to ask: How was the Israeli immigration from Poland achieved after WWII? Did the Polish government arrange for it and provide the trains? Or did the Israeli immigrants all decide that they had a better and more nationally inspiring opportunity in Palestine than in postwar Poland and then each person used all means possible to reach their destination?

      • piotr
        piotr on August 15, 2014, 1:01 pm

        Frankly, I was not born yet. But there was not much to arrange, I think that they were allowed to leave the country (passports?), buy a ticket and take a train to Vienna. I am a descendant of people who moved in the opposite direction, but devastated Poland with ongoing (low intensity) civil war was not an obvious choice where to stay. The largest group of Jews who were present in Poland around 1946 were those who were forcibly sent by Stalin to Central Asia (and some to Siberia), I think they temporarily stayed in refugee camps.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on August 15, 2014, 10:40 pm

        Piotr,
        I would like to discuss this with you more, and the thread is closing, so I wish to invite you to the Friendfeed exchange.
        https://friendfeed.com/mondoweiss-on-friendfeed

        Are you saying that it was without coordination that the Israeli immigrants from Poland’s postwar population chose to emigrate? That simply they passed the word to each other that it was possible to emigrate to Palestine, that it was more desirable for nationalist or political reasons as a destination than other destinations? Or was their immigration rather coordinated by Stalin, the Polish government, or by nationalist pro-Israeli organizations?

      • can of worms
        can of worms on August 16, 2014, 1:45 am

        “did the Israeli immigrants all decide that they had a better and more nationally inspiring opportunity in Palestine?”

        There were rehabilitation programs set up for survivors, for example in France and Sweden. Zionists sent Shlichim (basically hasbara ambassadors) who came as counselors and presided over Zionist youth movements. As the orphaned teens slowly rehabilitated and were nurtured back into a modicum of physical and psychological health, they also got a good daily dose of hasbara about how great it would be, and what a duty it was, to make aliya together as a youth group, pick oranges together, marry, ride white horses, get a college education, and fulfill their dreams. So they went together as organized groups under the auspices of the various Zionist youth movements– and indeed some later felt brainwashed, purposely deceived by false promises, and exploited as cheap manual agricultural laborers. They obviously became ardent Zionists, but many of them also admitted anger as they had given up their chances of going to the university and fulfilling their professional dreams in the cosmopolitan European cities…

  11. W.Jones
    W.Jones on August 14, 2014, 9:43 pm

    Marx said Existence determines Consciousness. To some extent, Liberal nationalists are liberal passengers on the ride, whose road was laid down by nationalist colonialism, unfortunately.

    P.E.P.s and liberal nationalists are similar. They will often make liberal-tinged excuses for the state’s policies as much as possible. I suppose to some extent that is true of American society too- liberal party bureaucrats will make liberal excuses for their party’s policies even when they aren’t liberal. When that happens, those fake “liberals” are really passengers along for the ride, and the real, unstated laws of the political system are really what are in the driver’s seat.

    If the real, underlying rules of the Israeli system lead to the rule of one religious community over the others, then that is where that system and its liberal apologists will end up.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on August 14, 2014, 10:46 pm

      I do see why this situation leads to the ruination of the Israeli left. Since it is a situation where one religious community rules two others that make up a demographic majority, the situation is inherently illiberal. The drive toward conquest and control is inherently illiberal, while “liberal camps” look to peace. It is very hard to be promoting peace where one is a strong member of a society driven to war. Likewise, a liberal mentality, including promoting social benefits and social equality is also one that tends to find nationalist intolerance anathema. Thus, liberalism and nationalist intolerance and strife are in an ideological and emotional conflict. With the growth of strong nationalism and militancy, it is not a surprise then, unfortunately, that liberalism would diminish.

  12. wondering jew
    wondering jew on August 14, 2014, 10:16 pm

    plausible- as in probable. Short term probability clearly favors the status quo. Longer term probability still favors a two state solution over a one state solution. When Fatah and/or Hamas come out in favor of Israeli annexation of the West Bank and/or Gaza, then the probabilites will shift. Until then a two state solution is more probable than a one state solution (long range).

    plausible- as in credible. Backing Israel despite its status quo treatment of the West Bank (and Gaza), based upon the mere long range probability of a two state solution is not sufficient to be near credibility. It is too distant to be credible and the fact that it is less distant than a one state solution does not suffice to make it near enough to be credible.

    • kalithea
      kalithea on August 15, 2014, 9:54 pm

      Do you honestly expect anyone to take you seriously after a convoluted comment like that?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 16, 2014, 12:32 pm

        kalithea, I always get a vision of a guy standing in a corner muttering, with his hands working in his pockets, when Yonah or DaBakr does one of those.
        Standing in a corner, muttering, hands working away, and looking daggers at everybody.

  13. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak on August 14, 2014, 11:36 pm

    At The National, Joseph Dana writes that the Gaza onslaught has deepened the understanding that the two-state solution is a dead letter because Israel’s militant response to Palestinian unity shows that it has no intention of allowing a viable Palestinian state to emerge…

    If Israeli intentions are the deciding factor, then a one-state solution is even less plausible than a 2 -state solution.

    • kalithea
      kalithea on August 15, 2014, 9:50 pm

      No surprise to me. The final solution for Palestinians has always been an unwritten, carefully disguised, but understood part of the Zionism agenda.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on August 16, 2014, 12:33 pm

        The basic principle of Zionism as applied to Palestinians is that they just have no right to be there except by grace and favour, which can be granted only to the point where the security of the true heirs is not threatened. It’s their misfortune, not shared with any other human beings, that they are so much in the wrong place: which calls for some humanity and discretion though in the end the basic principle, like all basic principles, simply has to be honoured. But a small, decorative remnant, with a museum of their very own, would be quite acceptable.

  14. Boomer
    Boomer on August 15, 2014, 10:36 am

    As you have often noted, the “two state solution” has looked implausible for a long time. Not impossible, if Israel wanted it, but implausible, because Israel does not.

    Now it seems that some in Israel, including some who are not so liberal, may be ready to turn Gaza over to the UN. Presumably (though this is less clear), something similar might be done with the small remaining enclaves of natives on the “West Bank.”

    Perhaps this idea will become the new “refuge” for liberal Zionists.
    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/put-gaza-u-n-mandate

  15. Larrysturn
    Larrysturn on August 15, 2014, 10:42 am

    It’s easy in the waning days of war to look at the horizon and quote all the voices that supported the State of Israel and underline the enormous distance between the pulled apart positions of the governments and the ultimate requirement of two secure and free states for two peoples. So, it’s tough to make sense of the senseless during war. Well, now there’s a cease fire and both sides have needs. If the cease fire can be translated into a long term truce then it’s possible to remake the nature of this ‘eternal conflict,’ and give Abbas the opportunity to oversee the rebuilding of Gaza and the formation of a meaningful Unity government that can bring opportunities back to the people of Gaza and in turn create a new opportunity for the PA to rise and gradually negotiate an agreement with Israel to make Israel, the West Bank and Gaza truly into a land of promise for all its inhabitants.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 15, 2014, 11:13 am

      “So, it’s tough to make sense of the senseless during war.”

      A “war” Larrystern? A “war”, already? Larrysterngang, when a regime (Israel) attacks territory it already occupies, that is not a “war”? Did Israel “declare war”
      Naturally, you think a country attacking territory it already occupies militarily is a “war”, you are a Zionist.
      So cut the “war” bullshit, m’okay?

  16. RobertB
    RobertB on August 15, 2014, 10:56 am

    64 Palestinians Kidnapped In Jerusalem, West Bank

    August 14, 2014 by Saed Bannoura

    “Israeli soldiers kidnapped, late at night and on Thursday at dawn, at least 64 Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, and in occupied East Jerusalem, and moved them to a number of interrogation facilities.

    The Jerusalem office of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) has reported that dozens of soldiers and police officers invaded Palestinian homes, in occupied Jerusalem, and violently searched them before kidnapping 64 Palestinians.

    It added that, on Tuesday at night and Wednesday at dawn, the army kidnapped 52 Palestinians in a massive invasion into dozens of communities in the occupied city.

    All kidnapped Palestinians in the city have been moved to an interrogation facility in Ramla.”

    http://www.imemc.org/article/68848

  17. James Canning
    James Canning on August 15, 2014, 1:52 pm

    I think chances for an independent Palestine increase, if Israel’s global standing takes heavy hits. Due to it insane illegal colonization programme in the West Bank.

  18. kalithea
    kalithea on August 15, 2014, 9:34 pm

    First, I again remind everyone that there is not and has never been a so-called Liberal Zionist and we are witnessing all kinds of proof emerging to validate my assertion.

    After finally reading Slater’s article today, and especially his Conclusion; I have come to my own following conclusion: If Jews spent less time trying to save Israel and more time fighting for Palestinian rights and justice; the Palestinians would be free of the scourge of Zionism; would be enjoying rights on their land today and the refugees would be returning to their land.

    Aside from the monumental deception that Zionism hides behind; it can also count on the monumental hypocrisy of Jews trying to save Israel from itself wasting time by writing endless ethical tomes on the subjet and then wasting even more time gazing at the Jewish navel from the ethical perspective.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 16, 2014, 12:37 pm

      Thanks, kalithea. What I can’t figure out is where they get the funny idea that Jewish institutions are in any way set up to be influenced or confronted by Jews.
      But it’ll be a while, given this outsize sense of entitlement we seemed to have acquired, before Jews figure out that Zionism is just as much of a fraud on them as it is a terror to everyone else.

  19. pedro
    pedro on August 16, 2014, 11:11 am

    Unfortunately, the only thing that would deter the Israeli state would be that it were charged with crimes against humanity at The Hague and that won’t be happening.

  20. eGuard
    eGuard on August 16, 2014, 5:59 pm

    Phil Weiss: As we all know, liberal Zionism is in crisis Sure. But really: oh please.

    PW: Peter Beinart and MJ Rosenberg have shown great integrity in their criticisms of Israel. Integrity? Impressive. But hey, Phil: they did say not a single word against Israel bombing civilians, killing children. NOT A WORD. And now you applaud their “integrity” (correct btw in a sense: they never ever cared about Palestinians. Predictable, they first start smears of “anti-semitism”).

    PW/MW. My point against these “Liberal Zionists” is that you do not have to applaud them. Just describing their relative positive words does it for a journalistic site.

    Years ago you applauded J-Street. I know & remember. Better do not befriend those ‘liberals’. Better — best even — describe & analyze their stuff. Best do not applaud them They have not saved a single child yet. They have not saved a single child yet.

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