Opinion

Watch: Ali Abunimah, Nada Elia, and Phil Weiss discuss ‘The End of Zionism’

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Zionism — the assertion that Jews have a right to violently establish and maintain an ethno-religious state in the homeland and at the expense of the Palestinian people — was, at least in the United States, a mainstream belief with support across the political spectrum.

In recent years, that consensus has crumbled. Palestinians have led the global BDS movement that highlights how Zionism violates the rights of all Palestinians, and younger generations of Americans, including Jews, are turning away from an ideology that is more and more openly aligned with the most reactionary, right-wing and white supremacist forces. Similar changes are happening all over the world. Though Zionism is on the retreat ideologically, Israel retains immense power and impunity.

What will it take to change this apparent stalemate, and shift the balance towards liberation for Palestinians? Ali Abunimah, Nada Elia and Phil Weiss discussed this topic yesterday in an online event sponsored by Haymarket Books, Electronic Intifada, and Mondoweiss.

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The discussion centered on Abunimah’s view that we have entered a period when delegitimization of the Jewish state is expanding. The Electronic Intifada editor said that the Black-led movement against racism globally is hastening that process. Nada Elia observed that just as Palestinians have given the world the words “hummus,” “sumud” and “intifada,” they have led the discussion of anti-Zionism; and today on the left it is important to embrace Palestinian human rights, a position that was daring a few years ago.

Our own Phil Weiss observed that the Peter Beinart defection is causing a panic among liberal Zionists, who must dismiss him or pound him. Zionism is having a “discursive collapse,” even if occupation and discrimination are stronger than ever in the supposed Jewish homeland.

Read and watch Ali Abunimah’s Hampshire College speech referenced in the discussion.

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Thanks for this BRILLIANT discussion and analysis of the current situation and its historical context. Ali makes a central point in noting that western democracies, rather than treating Israel’s bigotry and repression as deplorable, have modeled themselves on Israel. The key to understanding this, it seems to me, lies in Phil’s point about Zionist “donors” wanting a more forceful response to critics of Israel. But which is more important, money or morality? Nada raises the many potential tipping points… Read more »

Nada asked, “What should Palestinians be doing to help Gaza?” Both Ali and Phillip seemed puzzled then said what they personally should be doing for Gaza. What Palestinians should be doing was like an oxymoron of sorts. I’d like to ask how they could take some of the power from Israel politically. Restrain Israel, complicate the permission to do pretty much what it wants, when it wants and how it wants. Vitaly Churkin, Gorbechev’s man… Read more »

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-forms-secret-list-of-hundreds-of-officials-who-may-stand-trial-at-icc-1.8997620?utm_source=smartfocus&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-brief&utm_content=5019027 “Israel Drafts Secret List of Hundreds of Officials Who May Stand Trial at International Court”, Noa Landau, Haaretz, July 16/20 “Ahead of the ICC’s decision on whether to investigate suspected war crimes in the territories, a list of 200 to 300 officials was compiled, including P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu & Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz.” EXCERPT: “Israel is drawing up a secret list of military & intelligence officials who might be subject to arrest abroad… Read more »

(cont’d) “Given the time frame, experts in international law believe that officials and decision-makers involved in incidents beginning with the war in Gaza that summer would be the first to face the court’s scrutiny. “They include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; former defense ministers Moshe Ya’alon, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett; former Israel Defense Forces chiefs of staff Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, and current Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi; and the former and current heads of… Read more »