Liberal Zionists are losing control of US discourse, and they know it

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If you don’t think the movement for Palestinian solidarity is having an effect, check out the three items below from inside the Zionist community. In each case, there is an admission by Israel supporters that pro-Israel voices are losing their sway inside American Jewish life, because of the strength of the Palestinian story. (It is just as Tamara Cofman Wittes, a demiurge of pro-Israel sentiment, stated at Columbia the other night, Israel is losing the Democratic base.)

First, the liberal Zionist group J Street publishes a blog by an Evanston, Illinois, rabbi about a visit to the West Bank in which she sees the one-state reality. J Street states that her views are not necessarily those of J Street, but the damage has been done. Remember that J Street has sought to deny one-state awareness; but now it is inside the family. Rabbi Andrea London at one point states that violence is inevitable when you oppress another people:

To keep the Palestinians quiet, the military has to rely on collective punishment and mass intimidation…

Salwa [Duaibis of Military Court Watch] was able to shed light on the psychological damage that’s been done to Palestinian society; people don’t trust each other because they don’t know who’s an informant, Palestinian children don’t see a future for themselves, and the population feels powerless to change its circumstances.

This is good for a military trying to control a population, but it has devastating effects on the prospects for peace.

People who despair are more likely to commit acts of violence because they see no hope for a better future….

Then she quotes the great Iyad Burnat of Bil’in, that it’s one state.

Iyyad believes that a one-state solution is the only practical resolution to the conflict. He doesn’t see how the populations could practically be separated.

Item two. The Forward is a Zionist publication. It supports the Jewish state. It offers short essays from six Jewish students this week about the climate on campus. And look at who turns up! Three of the students are all but out for Palestine. While one student states that pro-BDS activists–boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel– intimidated her, two others are members of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapters on their campus, and a third states that he sympathizes with the pro-Palestinian movement on campus and “the Jewish community devalues my identity because it’s not parallel to theirs.”

Ben Berman of Clark University is in the anti-Israel lobby:

As I educated myself more about the Zionist project’s ongoing confiscation of Palestinian Arabs’ homes, land and resources, I concluded that even if many early Zionists never intended to commit such structural oppression, Jews today are obligated to stand against injustice — especially when it’s being committed by some of our own.

Rose Asaf of NYU “rejects the conflation of Judaism and Zionism,” and

I believe that Jewish people, myself included, are responsible for robustly opposing the oppression we know far too well. Censuring the Israeli government does not mean you are a bad Jew, nor does it mean you are anti-Israel; it means that you care. I am a critic of Israel but remain a proud Jew.

Third item. David Eisner is a bigwig in a leading Jewish organization’s “National Task Force to Promote Israel’s Security and Legitimacy.” He writes at the Jewish Week that  pro-Israel forces are losing the “narrative war.”
the BDS movement has hijacked the Zionist narrative, and the narrative of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The fact that we are even having an argument about BDS means we have already given our enemies 80 percent of the victory…

Notice the power that Eisner grants to BDS:

according to the [American Jewish Committee’s] annual surveys of the Jewish community, affinity toward Israel has declined slowly but steadily since 2005 when BDS began (though BDS is not necessarily the main cause of this decline)…
He recognizes that the sociology is moving in one direction:
The percentage of “Jews of no religion,” who, as a group, feel less attachment to Israel, has skyrocketed in the past decade, and affinity for Israel, even among the Birthright generation, is substantially lower than among older Jews

Eisner says the pro-Israel community has to shift to a more positive campaign and redeploy smart young Jewish advocates from “responding intensively to the most extreme forms of anti-Israel activity to a much more positive, proactive and strategic approach toward improving sympathy and empathy for Israel.”

But they’re already trying to do that. The breakup of the liberal Zionist consensus in the blue-state establishment has begun. More and more liberal Zionists will come out for BDS as the only alternative to apartheid and bloodshed. The New York Times will begin to publish anti-Zionists. We are fast approaching that moment when an Israeli leader, pressured by American Jewish leaders, announces, “We have heard you,” and tries to pivot to a kinder, gentler Zionism.
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“But they’re already trying to do that.” I think that everyone needs to read the Hasbara manuals to understand how Israel’s propaganda works Israel Projects 2009 Global Language Dictionary: https://www.transcend.org/tms/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sf-israel-projects-2009-global-language-dictionary.pdf Habara Handbook – Promoting Israel on Campus: https://www.sott.net/signs/hasbara.pdf “Communicating the Truth About Israel”: https://jewishphilosophyplace.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/luntz-presentation-9-2014.pdf

Giant leaping kudos to Rabbi London for actually spending some time in the WB, Palestine AND for being open enough to internalize what she witnessed there. I can’t recall any “establishment” Jews doing that. Maybe it has happened, but exceedingly rarely. Q: How can US Jews motivate a Jewish-Israeli body… Read more »

“This is good for a military trying to control a population, but it has devastating effects on the prospects for peace.” “Good” here is a poor word choice. There are short term tactical advantages for the military in driving the occupied to despair and distrust. But the effect on the… Read more »

Thanks for these updates on the progress of facts and justice. Historically, it has always take great efforts by the many to overcome the power of concentrated wealth and its army of shooters and deceivers.

The liberal Jewish establishment is part and parcel of the Clinton Coalition. The young liberals are all for Bernie, which is ironic since you’d expect the Jews to be with the Jewish candidate, but nope. Anyway, their decline in influence must be traced alongside the decline of Clintonism among the… Read more »