The American Jewish community should make Peter Beinart a “pariah” just like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar; because like a Holocaust denier, he has questioned a “fundament of Jewish history,” the fact that 2000 years show Jews can’t be safe unless they have sovereignty and control their own destiny. So says Israeli author Daniel Gordis.
The late civil rights hero John Lewis was a “steadfast” supporter of Israel, lobby groups said in mourning him, even if he did also show concern late in career for Palestinian rights. His likely successor, Nikema Williams, took an Israel-lobby-sponsored trip to Israel two years ago.
The Israel lobby is splitting into two branches. Last week Hadar Suskind of Americans for Peace Now called on the AJC to dissolve over its failure to oppose annexation. Now David Harris of AJC lashed at the liberal Zionists. He railed against “leftwing” “ideologues” in organized Jewish community who play to donors by taking “muscular macho” stands against Israel.
James Klutznick, chair of Americans for Peace Now, criticizes Zionism in context of Netanyahu’s annexation plans: “It would be remiss if I didn’t say this unilateralism wasn’t actually rooted in the history of the Zionist movement. From the very begining we had our Jabotinskys and I think they were pretty singleminded in their purpose of a greater Israel, which included all that territory.” Now American Jews have to “weigh” their relationship to Israel and say firmly, “No to any form of annexation. Not a scintilla of property.”
The American Jewish Committee is indicating that it will do nothing to criticize Israeli annexation. Its ceo, David Harris, won’t even call it annexation, but “extension of Israeli sovereign law.”
It’s been 53 years since Israel won 1967 war, and David Harris of the AJC expresses the mythic views of that war he held at 18, when it happened: that Israel faced a second Holocaust and annihilation, and acted in self-defense. Historians have thoroughly revised these distortions.
Many pro-Israel organizations have condemned the systemic racism in the George Floyd killing while remaining silent on Palestinian treatment. J Street did link the Floyd killing to that of Eyad al-Halaq in Jerusalem, but said the US suffers “deeply entrenched… structural racism,” while Palestinians suffer “deeply entrenched occupation.”
Joe Biden has bent over backwards to tell the Jewish community he can work with Netanyahu and won’t sanction Israel if it annexes West Bank lands. He cannot afford to alienate the largest source of Democratic campaign funding, from pro-Israel Jews, a source Trump is making a play for.
When young Jews marry non-Jews they become more distant from Israel, and in time they will undermine the “backbone” of Israel support, the American Jewish organizations that mount the case for Israel. That’s a “tragedy,” says Steven Bayme of the American Jewish Committee.