This article reminds me sharply of a conversation is was just having with a close friend, former Apartheid activist, and fellow South African. He lived in exile the US during the 80s and was reminiscing about the meetings, the forums, the talks, the protests, and sheer diversity and hope of the people involved in the US.
Black, White, Indian, Coloured, Jewish, Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaaner and everything inbetween. They all spoke and dreamed of a greater, more inclusive, free, and just future for South Africa. It was a wonderful and inspiring melting pot of ideas and constructive criticism, where everyone was welcome to talk and even argue without fear or favor, because everyone knew that one way or the other, any future they hoped for back home included them having to live together in peace and prosperity.
We see almost none of this in the most influential Jewish circles in the US when it comes to future of Israel/Palestine. As Philip correctly points out, there are no voices welcome other than Jewish voices. Almost as if the entire Arab population of Israel proper doesn’t even exist, let alone the millions and millions of Palestinians living between the river and the sea, that many of them deem Israel too.
The community doesn’t even invite voices from friendly neighboring nations to discuss Israel’s role and future in the greater region as a whole. No one from Jordan, no one from Egypt, no one from Lebanon, no one from Syria, no one from Turkey, no one who is Muslim, no one who is Christian, no one who is secular, let alone atheist.
Instead they wring their hands and act and talk like no matter what future awaits Israel, those other people, other faiths and other neighbors, won’t still be there when the dust settles or when the messiah comes. Like one day, Israel will suddenly be 100% Jewish and miraculously land in the middle of Europe nestled nicely between France, Italy and Germany.
It’s both troubling and sad that, with all the resources, money, influence, and intellectual capacity available this exclusive bubble and echo chamber is the best they can come up with for themselves.