Beinart’s declaration of support for one democratic state has exposed intolerant attitudes among liberal Zionists. For instance, Palestinian leader Ayman Odeh says he wants to represent all Israelis and be like MLK, but Michael Koplow of IPF says he can’t represent Israeli Jews. Really? Why not? And why should an American be indulging such racism?
Rob Malley says that the young Democrats are pushing an “inflection point” on U.S. policy in Israel/Palestine, questioning pro-Israel policy now that the peace process has “failed.” And Peter Beinart sensed this generational moment, and jumped, his editor says.
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.
What will it take to shift the balance towards liberation for Palestinians? Ali Abunimah, Nada Elia and Phil Weiss discussed this topic in an online event sponsored by Haymarket Books, Electronic Intifada, and Mondoweiss.
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.
Liberal Zionists should be ashamed of arguments against Israeli annexation — calls for a “strong Jewish majority”, or for “separation” from Palestinians — that echo Jim Crow slogans of yesteryear. And yet J Street and Americans for Peace Now and Israel Policy Forum routinely platform speakers who make such appeals.
Peter Beinart’s embrace of the struggle for equal rights for Palestinians in one state puts huge pressure on liberal Zionist organizations to drop the beastly talk about “separation” and demographics and take concrete steps for Palestinian rights. And how long before the Jewish youth group IfNotNow endorses BDS?
Eric Alterman shows real courage in saying that the Bowman-Engel race in NY was liberalism versus Zionism and liberalism won. And that’s a wakeup call to Jews who thought the two belief systems are compatible.
The only variety of Zionism still on offer is the ethno-nationalist creed of Benjamin Netanyahu and the many politicians in Israel who sit to his right in the Knesset. And with annexation, we are about to begin the final phase of the Palestinian people’s long and tortured dispossession.
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.”