Peter Beinart’s abandonment of belief in the Jewish state has caused Congress members to question two-state belief. Why such influence? Because Beinart was part of the liberal Zionist Israel lobby, and his loss of faith threatens the lobby’s power politics not to mention a solemn commitment by the west to a Jewish state.
It would be fair to say that a major earthquake has been happening in the Zionist camp this past week, with Peter Beinart’s essay that he no longer believes in a Jewish state, and J Street and the peace processors are doing all they can to wish the desertion away.
Netanyahu will go forward with annexation once he sorts out the battle over its dimensions within the rightwing Israeli camp. Then he will unleash Sheldon Adelson to bring it to the White House and any thought Jared Kushner will stop it — do you believe Alice in Wonderland? The insights of Daniel Levy of the Middle East Project.
1000 alumni of J Street U fault the parent org’s efforts to stop Israeli expansion as toothless. “Time and again, J Street has organized letters of condemnation, Jewish communal pressure, and congressional measures that fall short of creating material consequences for Israel’s actions.”
Jeremy Ben-Ami has a straightforward explanation of the Balfour Declaration: “The British in the course of fighting World War 1 were looking for the support domestically in the U.K. of the Jewish community and there was a desire to offer and to promise to that community something that they wanted.”
The biggest impediment to annexation by Israel is a threat that the country will lose the support of the Democratic Party and American Jews, J Street says. The Israel lobby group called on Joe Biden to oppose annexation more emphatically than he already has.
Palestinians are players in Israeli politics in a new way, Yael Patir of J Street says. Three-fourths of Israeli Jewish centrist voters supported a possible government that would have had Palestinian political backing, and that is “huge,” she says, seeing a silver lining in the collapse of the effort to remove Netanyahu.
Trump’s decision to assassinate a leading Iranian official in Iraq yesterday has contributed to the split inside the Israel lobby in the United States. Republican Israel supporters celebrate the killing, and see it as destroying the last hope of saving the Iran deal. Many Democratic supporters of Israel are critical of the decision.
Conservative donors have skewed the American Jewish establishment to support the occupation, said many speakers at the J Street conference. The liberal Zionist organization is mounting a power struggle inside the Jewish community. But those efforts do not include sanctions in opposition to the occupation.
“I look back [with] regret at Gaza,” Ben Rhodes confesses at J Street. While another Obama official Tommy Vietor says the Yemen war was “wrong” and a “disaster.” And NY City Councilman Brad Lander says he regrets keeping quiet about Palestinian human rights over 10 years of defending Israel. “I was pushed to find more courage,” he says.