Even now, 25 years after the assassination, the majority of the Israeli center and left cannot divest itself of the Oslo Accords and of the chimera of a two-states solution. They are, after all, sacred. They are what Oseh Shalom Bimromaiv planned. Any attempts to deviate from it is denying scripture. And so the devotees of Oslo and Rabin become the equivalent of monks, dead to the world and singing the sacred hymns. The divine plan has long lost any connection to reality, but anyone challenging it quickly becomes anathema.
For Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Zionism was a “vogue” movement filled with promise. She could have used the occasion of accepting an Israeli prize in Tel Aviv in 2018 to talk about the massacre of Palestinians taking place in Gaza. She didn’t.
A landmark event in the politics of Palestine has just taken place: Congressional star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York withdrew from a scheduled memorial to Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who was slain in 1995 by a rightwing extremist, after critics pointed out Rabin’s human rights record. Americans for Peace Now is sponsoring the Oct. event, with host Mandy Patinkin saying, “We would have peace today had he been with us all this time, I am absolutely certain of that.”
Once the hope of liberal Zionists, Benny Gantz is now siding with settlers against Netanyahu for political advantage. Angered by the move, dedicated Zionist Michael Koplow urges U.S. Jewish community to open discourse to include a one-state outcome.
Rabbi Sharon Brous implies that Republicans are influenced by autocrats in trying to divide the Democratic Party by getting American Jews and Muslims to argue about Israel. “What is happening right now is straight out of the autocrats’ playbook. We turn communities against each other, so that there’s no time to look together at what our shared values are and our shared interests are and work toward a better future together. “
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.