What bothers me about this analysis is that Solomon writes "Liberal Zionism is an anachronism. But non-Zionism preserves its best elements: the refusal to privilege ethnic concerns over universal ones". This is simply not true.
Liberal Zionists did have an ideal to reject ethnic privilege/racism, but it was incompatible with their desire to make Palestine Jewish. To realise their goal, they had to ethnically cleanse Palestinians in 1948. Liberal Zionists were in practice always racists, while in their fantasy, they rejected racism.
And nowadays liberal Zionists want the two-state solution, not as a real solution ending racism, but as an instrument to preserve the "achievements" of pre-1967 Israel, i.e. they reject the Palestinian right of return, and they want to preserve Israels racist laws like the Law of Return and other laws privileging Jews.
I agree with Philip that progressives should embrace former liberal Zionists.
But I don't agree with Solomon who writes: "The distance between non-Zionism and Liberal Zionism might seem small indeed". If you reject Zionist racism instead of embracing it, how can the distance be small? Or is Solomon a non-Zionist who wants to preserve the "achievements" of pre-1967 Israel, a crypto-Zionist?
Your comments are very justified. I have a few answers:
1) Psychologically, (moral) self-image and public image (the image held up for others) are very much connected and perhaps even inseparable. People try to justify their actions, both towards themselves, and towards others
2) There is a difference between left-wing and right-wing zionists. L. I think the left wing is more concerned about (moral) self-image/public image (and more hypocrite)
3) I'm certain Zionists have a conscience, just as much as all other people have a conscience; in this respect I don't think we should compare zionists with criminals, but with normal people
3b) I don't think Zionists are more concerned with heir morality then other people (as you suggest in your second comment). Their behavior is normal human behavior.
4) I studied "Plan Dalet", the plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. This plan uses self-defense as a hypocritical excuse for ethnic cleansing. Note that the plan was a) for INTERNAL use and knowledge ONLY, i.e. to convince the military plotters, the military commanders and their subordinates of the justness of their cleansing acts, i.e. Zionists wanted to convince Zionists, i.e. themselves and b) the Zionists already justify their criminal acts BEFORE they commit them
5) Zionists have many hypocritical believes (i.e. "not based on facts"), but very often believe that they are based on facts even though they can easily know better. I don't believe most Zionists are cynics who knowingly decieve others, I believe most Zionists have convinced themselves of the morality of Zionism and really believe in it. This is what I notice in discussions with Zionists
Impressive and informative story!
I myself have worked on this too and have some ideas (described in an article about the Nakba: https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/hls.2010.0105)
One aspect that is not mentioned, but that I believe plays a role is the moral tension in Zionism, especially among the left wing. Zionism wanted to turn an Arab country into a Jewish one, which inevitably is gravely immoral or leads to gravely immoral acts. The need to see themselves as moral produced (and produces) a tension in Zionism that has to be resolved. This can be done in different ways, e.g. making up excuses like "self defense", "intractible, very complicated, conflict", "Arabs are terrorist, want to drive us into the sea" etcetera. This makes Zionists very hypocritical. Another way to decrease the moral tension is to cultivate a self-image as the eternal victim. This corresponds to the 5 methods of self-traumatisation indicated in this article.
This moral tension occurs in the Zionist elite and among the general populace, and it drives both to cherish their hypocritical believes, and to cherish their victim-trauma's, because otherwise their self-image would be one of immorality and selfishness, and all people intuitively avoid that and want to see themselves as moral. Hence the tenacity of Zionist hypocrisy and self-traumatisation.