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Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism if they really want to build an Arab-Jewish political partnership

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“It’s a very black morning, and the Israeli left has received a serious blow.” Yael Patir, a leader of the liberal Zionist group J Street, was frank today about the huge defeat the Israeli left suffered last night.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, was just as direct. The left suffered a “radical defeat.” The liberal Zionist camp of “Jewish democratic values we all believe in… that camp received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct in Israel.” There is an opposition to Netanyahu, but it’s not left, and it’s not proud and strong, he lamented.

Much of the disappointment of liberal Zionists today concerns their Palestinian partners. The Arab vote in Israel was low yesterday. Patir said that activists and the young told the Labor/Meretz Jewish leadership to work with Palestinian voters– “reach out across the Jewish-Arab divide” — to build a coalition. But the leadership did not heed the call. “It was not well received by the leadership of the camp or it wasn’t taken on as a mission.”

While pollster Dahlia Scheindlin said on the same call that the low turnout is a reflection in part of Palestinian fear. The (racist) nation state law that passed last year was a “real, real turbulent turning point for them, and a point of fear.” And now that Netanyahu has a stronger coalition than ever, “We have every reason to think that the law will be implemented in literal ways.”

That is scary. Especially if you’re Palestinian. And guess what: There were no Palestinians in the J Street discussion.

I share the romance of a Jewish-Palestinian political bloc in Israel and Palestine. It is a great dream, and worthy of lifelong struggle. But Israeli Jews will not be able to effect such an alliance without dropping Zionism as an ideology.

Palestinians are rightly fearful of the nation-state law. As they are of countless other discriminatory laws. And today’s news compels us to be clearsighted about the fact that This is how Zionism has worked out. However idealistic Zionism’s proponents were, however committed they were to Jewish liberation from Europe, and however cognizant they are of the history of ethnic cleansing in the land and prepared to take some responsibility: those people have lost resoundingly. Israel is a rightwing nation formed by Jewish nationalism.

The intolerance we see in the nation state law and the Judaization of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount talk and the annexation plans: that intolerance is inherent in Israeli Zionism as it has defined itself in very concrete ways in our time. And polling shows that it’s only getting worse, given the hard right views among younger Israelis.

Today everyone on the Israeli Jewish left is saying that Jews and Palestinians must build an alliance to take on the right wing forces. Jeremy Ben-Ami is right to champion a left revival as a response to Israel’s crisis, and Patir is right to say the left must offer a vision (rather than Avi Gabbay’s prevarications that cost Labor, deservedly).

The revival and vision are impossible so long as one adheres to the Zionist part of liberal Zionism. Palestinians don’t like Zionism for good reason. They know Zionism well; they have had 100 years of exposure to the ideology. Liberal Zionists should do some generous listening, and rid themselves of the Zionism.

If you tell me that even leftwing Jewish Israelis won’t accept the loss of the Zionist ideology, I say that is the struggle. And the burden is on American Jews– who enjoy minority rights and separation of church and state– to lead Israelis to a larger understanding. When Patir mentioned the pressure from the “younger generation”, she could be talking about IfNotNow in the United States. And believe me, IfNotNow is not championing Zionism. IfNotNow is championing human rights and equality and dignity.

Today is a crossroads for a lot of idealistic people who have tried to make liberal Zionism a meaningful term in the Israeli political scene. It’s not. It’s an oxymoron. Zionism is obnoxious to Palestinians. Privileged liberals who believe they can resolve the Jewish-Arab political divide should demonstrate their sincerity by respecting the hopes and desires of their oppressed partners.

Thanks to Scott Roth and Adam Horowitz.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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41 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay on April 10, 2019, 3:10 pm

    If y.f. and jon s are any indication (and I believe they are), I don’t expect “liberal Zionists” to stop being “kinder, gentler” supremacists any time soon.

    Sure, y.f. is prepared graciously to share Jerusalem with non-Jews and jon s wants “peace”, but like all Zionists neither one of them has any interesting in:
    – rejecting Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism;
    – embracing justice, accountability and equality in and for I-P.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on April 11, 2019, 8:45 am

      @eljay, et al

      Meanwhile:

      Martin F. McMahon & Associates PLLC
      1717 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
      +1 202- 862-4343
      [email protected]

      PRESS RELEASE – April 11/19

      For more information contact: Martin McMahon & Associates PLLC

      “Court says Adelson and others must answer war crimes charges”

      WASHINGTON – “The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has sent a landmark case seeking justice for Palestinians back to the U.S. District Court for trial. The April 5 mandate to the trial court concluded a year-long appeal before the Circuit Court.

      “In an order filed on April 5, the Circuit Court revived the case of Al Tamimi, et. al. v. Adelson, et. al. which seeks $1 billion in damages from the list of wealthy defendants for enabling war crimes, including genocide, extra-territorial killings and ethnic cleansing—to rid the occupied territories of its rightful inhabitants.

      “’This is a huge victory for the little people of Palestine who have been subjected to decades of war crimes—genocide and denationalization—all enabled by the defendants in this case,’ said Martin F. McMahon, who filed the case on behalf of dozens of plaintiffs.[1] ‘Now the court will hear the true extent of their actions against the Palestinians whose land has been stolen from them to create settlements in the OPT.’

      “As a result of the Circuit Court order sending the case back to the trial court, displaced Palestinians and their families–for the very first time–will have a chance to prove to a US federal Court that they have been abused, victimized and displaced by Israeli settlers.
      The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals order implements a unanimous February 19, 2019, decision rendered by the Court to revive the landmark lawsuit brought on behalf of dozens of Palestinians whose families have been victimized by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the occupied territories.

      “About the case
      “The case charges that wealthy and powerful defendants are guilty of ‘aiding and abetting genocide and other war crimes’ by ‘funnel[ing] millions of dollars through defendant tax-exempt entities and banks to Israeli villages called ‘settlements.’ Armed with this financial assistance, the settlement leaders hired full-time security coordinators who trained a militia of Israeli settlers to kill Palestinians and confiscate their property.’ The defendant construction and support firms confiscated property belonging to the plaintiff Palestinians and developed housing for settlers and built shopping malls, temples, museums, restaurants, etc.

      “The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in 2016. The defendants, assisted by some of America’s top legal talent, successfully stopped the case by having it dismissed in late 2017.

      “But this February, a unanimous D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals re-instated the case and sent it back to the lower court for trial. In its ruling, the D.C. Circuit stated that: ‘From what we can tell…the court could rule in the plaintiffs’ favor on at least Counts I, II and III…’

      “As detailed in the Amended Complaint, Count I is a claim for Civil conspiracy to expel all non-Jews from the occupied territories; Count II is a claim for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in violation of the Law of Nations; Count III is a claim for aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes by defendants; and Count IV is a claim for aggravated trespass.

      “‘This ruling provides an unprecedented opportunity in the U.S. for the Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression and ethnic cleansing to fairly prove their claims in a court of law,’ the McMahon, said. ‘More importantly, we can now hold accountable Americans who have knowingly financed ethnic cleansing and collected U.S. tax breaks in doing it. The facts and the law are clear and are on our side.’

      “The named plaintiff is Bassim Al-Tamimi, whose sister and brother in law were murdered by IDF soldiers and settlers; he’s been arrested 12 times and repeatedly tortured. The remaining plaintiffs have endured similar atrocities.

      “The individual defendants include Sheldon Adelson, Norman Braman, Lawrence Ellison, Daniel Gilbert, John Hagee, Lev Leviev, Irving Moskowitz and Haim Saban. The tax-exempt entities include American Friends of Ariel, American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva, American Friends of Har Homa, American Friends of Ulpana Ofra, Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, Efrat Development Foundation, Falic Family Foundation, Friends of Israel Defense Forces, Gush Etzion Foundation, Honenu National Legal Defense Organization, Karnei Shomron Foundation, The Hebron Fund and The Jewish National Fund. The banks include Bank Leumi Le-Israel and Bank Hapoalim. The construction and support firms include G4S, RE/MAX, Africa Israel Investments, Veolia Environmental Services, Volvo, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Solutions and Orbital ATK. The former United States deputy national security advisor is Elliott Abrams.”

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw on April 12, 2019, 5:54 pm

        Misterioso, Here is another summary of the case. In the two paragraphes at bottom it was claimed the US Government had formally taken no position on the question of the “disputed” territory and……
        If it becomes clear at a later stage that resolving any of the plaintiffs claims requires a sovereignty determination those claims can be dismissed based on the political question.
        If the US Government position on the sovereignty of these occupied territories is ‘they take no position’ then those claims can be dismissed, does not sound good

        Al-Tamimi v. Adelson, No. 17-5207 (D.C. Cir. 2019)
        Annotate this Case
        Justia Opinion Summary
        Plaintiffs, Palestinians who mostly reside in the disputed West Bank territory, sued pro-Israeli American citizens and entities, including a former U.S. deputy national security advisor, claiming that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to expel all non-Jews from the territory by providing financial and construction assistance to “settlements” and that the defendants knew their conduct would result in the mass killings of Palestinians. The claims cited the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. 1350; American-citizen plaintiffs also brought claims under the Torture Victim Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 102-256. The district court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that the complaint raised nonjusticiable political questions. The D.C. Circuit reversed after holding that the court correctly treated the issue as jurisdictional. The court first identified two relevant questions: Who has sovereignty over the disputed territory Are Israeli settlers committing genocide? The court then applied the Supreme Court’s “Baker” factors, concluded that the only political question concerned who has sovereignty, and held that the question is extricable because a court could rule in the plaintiffs’ favor without addressing who has sovereignty if it concluded that Israeli settlers are committing genocide. If it becomes clear at a later stage that resolving any of the claims requires a sovereignty determination, those claims can be dismissed.

        Ultimately, we believe that the court would create an inter branch conflict by deciding who has sovereignty over the
        disputed territory By answering the question—regardless of the answer—the court would directly contradict the Executive, which has formally decided to take no position on the question. https://cases.justia.com/federal/appellate-courts/cadc/17-5207/17-5207-2019-02-19.pdf?ts=1550590227
        If it becomes clear at a later stage that resolving any of the plaintiffs claims requires a sovereignty determination those claims can be dismissed based on the political question doctrine As it stands now, however, none of their claims can be dismissed on this basis
        .

  2. wondering jew
    wondering jew on April 10, 2019, 3:13 pm

    I am not familiar with what a partnership between Arab (Palestinian) Israelis and Jewish Israelis is supposed to look like, but leaving that goal aside, the means towards that goal of Liberal Zionists dropping the Zionism from their designation is not quite clear.
    If it means disavowing the history of Zionism, I do not think that is a good idea or a workable idea. The disregard for history that JVP showed in their antiZionism statement is really not a good beginning point.
    If it means policies of the present and the future- then we can talk. Here are some questions for Liberal Zionists to determine if they are willing to drop the Zionists from their self description.
    Immigration: Should there be a Jewish Law of return and zero Arab right of return. In other words, what would you view as a viable Israeli position in terms of resolving the harm done by the nakba.
    Demography: Do you view the Arab population of Israel or the Palestinian population of the West Bank as merely a demographic threat or can you conceive a future when an Arab majority country is not a problem.
    (I would be willing to tinker with the immigration laws so that for every Jewish immigrant a nonJewish Palestinian immigrant would be allowed, but I would still worry about a one state situation where a Palestinian majority would now be the predominant population and how the state would evolve as a result of that, how the IDF would be forced to evolve or disband as a result of that, I think that is a bit difficult to imagine.)
    Reaction to the nation-state law: Israel is a nation of all its citizens and self determination is a right of all its citizens. the implications regarding the above stated problems of one state and an Arab majority might be obstacles, but most on the left even Zionists saw the problems aroused by the nation state law.
    Just a few thoughts.
    (Flag and national anthem are more decorative issues in comparison to one state and the promise/threat of an Arab majority.)

    • amigo
      amigo on April 10, 2019, 5:06 pm

      “but I would still worry about a one state situation where a Palestinian majority would now be the predominant population and how the state would evolve as a result of that, “wandering Jew “aka Yonah Fredman

      Spoken like a true Zionist supremacist who just can,t envision his beloved Yisrael (where he chooses not to live) being a true democracy.

      No siree , not if it means Israelis Jews would have to settle for being treated equally with their non Jewish fellow citizens.

      Must be torturous for you living in the USA and being treated equally with those , circa 98 % non Jewish Americans.

      Yonah, you cant have your chicken on rye sandwich , and eat it.Seems to me you are in a bit of a pickle.

    • eljay
      eljay on April 10, 2019, 5:40 pm

      || wondering jew @ April 10, 2019, 3:13 pm ||

      In summary: Israel must remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

      Imagine that.

    • Brewer
      Brewer on April 10, 2019, 5:40 pm

      “I think that is a bit difficult to imagine.”
      Yes. The hallmark of the separatist – the inability to imagine an integrated society.
      This stems from the (possibly repressed) knowledge of the gross injustices visited on their victims and projecting their own perverse moral scheme with its concepts of vengeance and cruelty on others. Inside themselves they know that they have never given an inch and cannot imagine anyone else doing so.
      Similar logic causes the rapist to murder his victim.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on April 11, 2019, 5:53 am

        Brewer- “Imagine an integrated society” – Well, let’s do more than imagine, let’s look at previous experiences and describe the results. Here are three possible models: 1. The United States, 2. Algeria and 3. South Africa. I would say that the experiences are 1. The United States- integration worked. 2. Algeria- A total failure- the NonArabs left Algeria and 3. South Africa- mixed failure, yes South Africa is more equitable for blacks after Mandela, but certainly no panacea for the black population and for the whites, there has been the inconvenience of power sharing, which is just an inconvenience and also the inconvenience of living with armed guards, with an explosion of violence, which is more than just an inconvenience, but a revolutionary and negative change of lifestyle.
        Which future do you see for the integrated Israel/Palestine and why do you think it would fit into one of these three models rather than the other models?
        There are other countries that “integrated”. For example: Lebanon. Do you consider that a success story? How is it to be a Copt in Egypt? Is that a success story? Obviously Iraq’s transition to integration was not smooth, maybe its problem was the imposition of a new regime through a US invasion, but obviously not a success story.
        So before you condemn my inability to imagine an integrated society, you should do a little work beyond imagination and describe these precedents and their success versus failure and then even more work and describe why Israel/Palestine would succeed. It is great to imagine, but it is better to plan and to predict based upon previous experience.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew on April 10, 2019, 6:45 pm

      Listen, friends, create your beautiful future in your minds and sell it to Bibi. No sale, huh? You think me being on your side will change the equation? of course not.
      I’m just describing the situation. one more yossi gurvitz would make two yossi gurvitzes, then where would you be? exactly where you are now.
      it still has not been explained what this new coalition that Phil Weiss is describing is supposed to achieve and what kind of numbers are needed. it is a half drawn idea and if you think it’s useful to turn it into a real idea, then flesh it out.

      • annie
        annie on April 10, 2019, 7:45 pm

        I’m just describing the situation

        right, and so was brewer:

        “I think that is a bit difficult to imagine.”
        Yes. The hallmark of the separatist – the inability to imagine an integrated society.

        the difference being (one of many) we don’t have to imagine what a culture of nationalist separatists looks like. we can already see it all too well

      • amigo
        amigo on April 10, 2019, 8:19 pm

        “Listen, friends, create your beautiful future in your minds ” WJ

        Hmmm, your the one taking the ugly vile zionist past and trying to make it beautiful .

        It isn,t and none of your half drawn ideas or justifications for it will make it such, no matter who is on your side .

      • Brewer
        Brewer on April 10, 2019, 11:37 pm

        “it is a half drawn idea ”
        What absolute nonsense. Precedents abound in all civilized societies.
        Zionism is a retrograde, colonialist ideology that belongs in the dustbin of History along with slavery. Race and culturally based identities belong in the realm of arts and entertainment, not politics.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on April 11, 2019, 6:01 am

        It is mighty fine to condemn my views, but in fact Phil Weiss is addressing Liberal Zionists and asking them/us to drop the Zionism, so it is people like me who are being addressed. And your condemnation of Zionism is not going to make the dropping of Zionism an easier or more common experience. And that’s why I asked what precisely is this move by Liberal Zionists who undergo a Zionism amputation, what is this move supposed to accomplish and how many do you need to accomplish this goal. I already know that before this point in time this web site and its comments section has nothing to offer Zionists (other than disdain), but what precisely is Phil Weiss as a result of this post in his proposal of a new movement, what is he offering the Zionists once they turn themselves into former Zionists. and how precisely does he envision this amputation?

      • eljay
        eljay on April 11, 2019, 7:24 am

        || wondering jew: Listen, friends … You think me being on your side will change the equation? of course not. … ||

        Just you? Maybe not. You and every “liberal Zionist” like you? Maybe, but we’ll never know because none of you has the moral fibre to reject your preferred brand of evil and embrace and advocate justice, accountability and equality in I-P.

        || … I’m just describing the situation. … ||

        Is this what you recommend people should do the next time Jews are in trouble? Stand back, ignore pleas for help and just “describe the situation”?

        If ‘yes’, why do you hate Jews so much?
        If ‘no’, why are you such a hateful and immoral hypocrite?*
        _______________
        (*Rhetorical question. I know it’s because you’re a Zionist.)

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on April 11, 2019, 9:56 am

        @wondering jew

        “Israel’s” overriding weakness is that it is utterly and increasingly dependent on the United States financially, militarily and in the geopolitical arena. History is replete with relationships of this nature and their ultimate collapse. The illegitimate, racist and undeniably fascistic Zionist enterprise in historic Palestine will inevitably suffer the same fate. Smart Jews understand this.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on April 12, 2019, 1:21 pm

        “It is mighty fine to condemn my views, but in fact Phil Weiss is addressing Liberal Zionists and asking them/us to drop the Zionism, so it is people like me who are being addressed. “

        “People like” you? “Yonah” he could be addressing you personally!
        Certainly, you are the very model of a modern Liberal Zionist.

      • eljay
        eljay on April 12, 2019, 3:40 pm

        || wondering jew: It is mighty fine to condemn my views, but in fact Phil Weiss is addressing Liberal Zionists and asking them/us to drop the Zionism, so it is people like me who are being addressed. … ||

        The fact that…
        – you are being asked to stop hypocritically supporting your preferred brand of evil and, instead, to start consistently advocating justice, accountability and equality; and,
        – you reply with an unwavering commitment to your preferred brand of evil and a hearty, hypocritical “f*ck you” to justice, accountability and equality in I-P,
        …is exactly why your views are being condemned.

        It’s incredibly sad if you’re unable to comprehend this.
        It’s disgraceful if you are but simply don’t care (which seems to be the case).

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on April 12, 2019, 5:39 pm

        eljay- There are Jews whom I trust who think quite sincerely that an Arab majority country in what is now Israel would end up in a disaster to the Jewish population of what is now called Israel. If I had to give this fear flesh and bones i’d say it would end up kicking out about 3/4 of the Jews from what is now called Israel. I can’t ask Jewish people to endorse that sort of future and your idealism is not something I can sell to the Jewish people. Your justice, doesn’t measure up to the damage that would be done to the Jewish people.

        ben gurion bequeathed this generation of Jews a mixed blessing and I have to call it a blessing because i love jerusalem and the only jerusalem i have known has been the post occupation jerusalem. but the burden of having left a population of refugees festering in Gaza for 70 plus years is really too much of a burden, personally, for me. and i suspect that can’t go on forever. but my generation considers it their duty to pass on to the next generation the jewish sovereignty, the land that supports a jewish army, because some of us will not accept the disarmament situation that prevailed up until now. and i’m not a gung ho army type guy and maybe that’s why i live in brooklyn and not hebron or jerusalem. but i cannot deny my generation its belief in the unacceptability of disarmament. and weapons are an evil, but a necessary one and the extent of the evil, the extent of the damage to the society that existed before 48 was very deep and i do not cover up for that. so with the need for an army, came an army of cruelty. and that is the way armies naturally behave in a cruel fashion, but that’s really nothing to boast about. so i envy americans who view the army as something irrelevant or antithetical to their americanness, and from the safety of the lone superpower in the world they can denounce super-powerness and contemplate the lessening of american power, while the Jewish post Holocaust pro Jewish army impulse is of the opposite direction.

      • eljay
        eljay on April 13, 2019, 8:26 am

        || wondering jew @ April 12, 2019, 5:39 pm ||

        In summary: Israel must remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        Imagine that.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer on April 13, 2019, 1:07 pm

        @eljay

        wj’s position is easy to understand coming from someone who thinks it’s a-ok to trample on other people and their rights. While expressing disapproval he spends enormous volumes of verbal garbage in attempts to rationalize and justify it’s continuance. The brief moments spent on disapproval are only for show. yf is a supremacist and supports supremacism

      • Mooser
        Mooser on April 13, 2019, 1:26 pm

        “There are Jews whom I trust who think quite sincerely that an Arab majority country in what is now Israel would end up in a disaster to the Jewish population of what is now called Israel.” “WJ”

        That’s very smart, “Yonah”, what kind of fool would trust a Jew who said anything else?

        “while the Jewish post Holocaust pro Jewish army impulse is of the opposite direction”

        Ah, that must be what the incredibly high Jewish out-marriage rate is all about.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on April 13, 2019, 6:53 pm

        “but the burden of having left a population of refugees festering in Gaza for 70 plus years is really too much of a burden, personally, for me. and i suspect that can’t go on forever. but my generation considers it their duty to pass on to the next generation the jewish sovereignty,”

        Gee, I hope the “next generation” of Israeli Jews realizes the value of the “jewish sovereignty” and knows how to care for their inheritance.

    • Peter in SF
      Peter in SF on April 11, 2019, 3:26 am

      Demography: Do you view the Arab population of Israel or the Palestinian population of the West Bank as merely a demographic threat or can you conceive a future when an Arab majority country is not a problem.
      Immigration: Should there be a Jewish Law of return and zero Arab right of return. In other words, what would you view as a viable Israeli position in terms of resolving the harm done by the nakba.

      In 2013, when Jeremy Ben-Ami was on a local radio program, I asked him this:

      Hundreds of thousands of people fled the fighting during Israel’s war of independence. When the shooting stopped, those whose homes had been within Israel’s present-day boundaries were allowed to return to their homes if they were Jewish, but were barred from returning to their homes if they were not Jewish. How can J Street support this double standard and also claim to support “justice, equality, treating your neighbor as you wish to be treated yourself”?

      And his answer was this:

      I don’t believe that five million descendants of refugees should be given the right of return back into the state of Israel, because then there will no longer be a national home of the Jewish people. There should be a national home of the Palestinian people and a national home of the Jewish people.

      So wondering, I think that tells you how Jeremy Ben-Ami would answer your questions.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on April 11, 2019, 10:15 am

      @wondering jew, et al

      Even Thomas Friedman is reading the writing on the wall:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/netanyahu-trump-israel-election.html

      New York Times, April 10/19

      “Bibi Trump and Donald Netanyahu”
      “They both see the world’s problems as opportunities to cement their hold on power.”
      By Thomas Friedman.

      EXCERPT:
      “There are two countries that I’ve been professionally, emotionally and intellectually involved with my entire journalism career — the United States and Israel. I’ve never been more worried about both, because President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are essentially the same person, and they pose the same threat to their respective nations.

      “They are both men utterly without shame, backed by parties utterly without spine, protected by big media outlets utterly without integrity. They are both funded by a Las Vegas casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson. They are both making support for Israel a ‘Republican’’ cause — no longer a bipartisan one. And they each could shoot an innocent man in broad daylight in the middle of Fifth Avenue and their supporters would say the victim had it coming.

      “As a result, they are each free to cross red lines that their predecessors never dared to. Which is why I believe that four more years of Netanyahu, which is almost certain after Israel’s election on Tuesday, and six more years of Trump, which is a real possibility, will hasten the emergence of an America and an Israel where respect for civility, democracy, an independent judiciary and independent media are no longer examples for others to follow.

      “Instead, both countries will be cautionary tales of how precious are the norms and institutions that bind a democracy, and how easily they can be undermined by leaders who will tell any lie, smear any competitor and wink at any extremist to stay in power.”

  3. Mooser
    Mooser on April 10, 2019, 5:07 pm

    “And the burden is on American Jews– who enjoy minority rights and separation of church and state– to lead Israelis to a larger understanding.”

    If I had a Parker pen, I know what I’d write.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on April 13, 2019, 1:31 pm

      “– to lead Israelis to a larger understanding.”

      And maybe even make them think?

  4. Keith
    Keith on April 10, 2019, 7:25 pm

    PHIL- “However idealistic Zionism’s proponents were….”

    Zionism is a throwback to the Jewish tribalism of Classical Judaism, hardly “idealistic.” What has happened and is happening is the logical trajectory of Jewish separatism based upon Jewish peoplehood. This logical outcome has the massive support of American Jewish fat-cats, American Jewish “liberals” of modest means of no significance. The anomaly is in the US where Jewish Zionist kinship tends to be more psychological than physical due to US multiculturalism. Neoliberalism virtually guarantees a rightward drift until the entire system more-or-less collapses.

  5. DaBakr
    DaBakr on April 11, 2019, 1:19 am

    and this is where PW will find himself bitterly dissappointed in the coming decade as even the jewish ‘youth’ he believes will hold a different view will not abandon zionism completely in order to identify as liberal. they are not buying the ‘cant-be-a-liberal-and-be-a-zionist’ garbage spewed by by Sarsour and ruining the co-opted womens march. maybe in numbers that are a slightly larger fraction of far left anti-israel types then already exists now but this also will be offset by other forces.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on April 11, 2019, 10:33 am

      @DaBakr

      You live in a fantasy world. Like all fascistic ideologies, Zionism (70 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole) is doomed. Utterly dependent on U.S. largesse and political support, “Israel” is en route to history’s garbage can. In the long run, current events will only speed up its demise. Smart Jews know this, especially ever increasing numbers of Jewish youth, more and more of whom are disgusted with, ashamed of and running away from Zionism.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on April 12, 2019, 2:02 am

        @m

        its hard to take your comment seriously when israel has experienced its largest growth in its history. its interaction with the world in economic, strategic., humanitarian(in aid) and military affairs is growing as well. there are problems but nothing even remotely pointing to our demise. i wonder if the ‘fantasy’ comment is really just projection. and the largess of the US is a small fraction of israels gdp. the relationship is deep, mutually beneficial and rooted in a shared value system which a majority of americans agree with though i understand you do not share this view at all.

  6. JWalters
    JWalters on April 11, 2019, 5:07 am

    “Liberal Zionists should do some generous listening, and rid themselves of the Zionism.”

    Thank you Phil, for another great article. Rid themselves of the FANTASY Zionism, crammed into their hearts and minds as children. Riding on the fear, also crammed in.

    Shortly before America’s Civil War began there was an incident that suddenly revealed how truly far apart the sides were, in a way that surprised most. A northern senator gave an inflammatory speech on the Senate floor about slavery. A southern senator responded by beating him severely with a heavy cane. The editorials about the incident in the southern and northern papers showed clearly a deep divide. And less chance of fruitful discussion.

    Many thought Israel’s last Gaza slaughter would have turned the tide against their actions and their policies behind those actions. Now it is clear that the plan all along has been to take all the land by hook or by crook. Jimmy Carter said that and was banned.

    Sprinkling the “settlements” throughout the territory is phase 1 of a strategy in the Chinese game of Go (which the Israelis have studied). Phase 2 is linking the disconnected outposts, and suddenly gaining control of the whole territory. Ben Gurion described a goal of continuing acquisition of territory. Every expansive military operation, from the initial military invasion to the annexing of the Golan Heights, is on a straight line plan of taking territory by force.

    The public relations story is always that Israel was the victim, and was defending itself in some way, perhaps pre-emptively (i.e. starting a fight defensively).

    I suspect a lot of people in the biz are now thinking about how they’re going to jump this ship before it runs totally aground.

  7. hophmi
    hophmi on April 11, 2019, 10:07 am

    Palestinians should drop their nationalist aspirations.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on April 11, 2019, 10:46 am

      @hophmi

      “Palestinians should drop their nationalist aspirations.”

      It will never happen. Unlike you and your ilk of foreign origin, Palestinian Arabs are the indigenous inhabitants of the lands between the River and the Sea. Over the centuries, they and their ancestors have known many invaders and occupiers. The brutal Zionist occupation will prove to be one of the shortest.

      • genesto
        genesto on April 11, 2019, 4:29 pm

        How about, Jews should drop THEIR nationalist aspirations?

    • eljay
      eljay on April 11, 2019, 10:53 am

      || hophmi: Palestinians should drop their nationalist aspirations. ||

      And Zionists should drop their supremacism and dismantle their supremacist “Jewish State” project. One secular and democratic state of and for all people living in and up to n-generations removed from geographic Palestine.

      I agree with you.

      But you’re a Zionist so, naturally, you don’t mean it.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on April 11, 2019, 7:34 pm

      @hophead

      The criminal Israelis should stop being barbaric criminals and give up theirs

  8. NorthCascadian
    NorthCascadian on April 11, 2019, 11:09 am

    If only Jews would start dropping their “religion” things might look up. Viva Gilad Atzmon, viva Mordechai Vanunu, viva Benedict Spinoza and all of the ex-jews who have walked away from this nightmare.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on April 11, 2019, 6:03 pm

      “If only Jews would start dropping their “religion” things might look up”

      It’s the other way round. If you are anti-Zionist or even critical, the (organised) religion drops you. That way, the Zionists can claim an almost 100% support.
      And evoke the world’s sympathy for the dwindling numbers.

  9. genesto
    genesto on April 11, 2019, 1:45 pm

    Zionism is slowly rotting away. And the billions of dollars spent by Israel in corrupting our government towards supporting this evil will, in the end, not be enough to avoid its inevitable demise.

    Though I’m not religious, there are quotes from the Bible that are forever ingrained in my psyche. Here’s one of my favorites, from Psalm 34:21, “Remember, evil will eventually destroy itself”. I only hope I live to see the day when this happens to the scourge called Zionism!

  10. Pdxmuscle@comcast.net
    [email protected] on April 11, 2019, 3:38 pm

    YES! A political alliance on egalitarianism and without Zionism would be welcomed. Don’t like the “As a Jew” posts but I’ll have to answer this with As a Palestinian and deal with a bit of hypocrisy myself.

    • RoHa
      RoHa on April 11, 2019, 8:41 pm

      Nothing wrong with “As a Palestinian”, as long as the subject of the following clause is the Palestinian.
      E.g.
      “As a Palestinian, I contend that …”
      “As a Palestinian, Pdxmuscle contends that …”

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