There are a few things omitted in the article in terms of tactics. Is violence an effective tactic? I believe lengthening war selects for the people most cruel and calculating to be in power. As the influence hopefully shifts to an enlightened new generation, after 15, 20, 25 more years of resistance, what will happen to Palestine’s political order? A new Sun Tzu in Palestine would only validate the deep colonial fear of a vicious indigenous population, much like Bin Laden served in the popular Western imagination. That could create further support for Israel, maybe even excuse a coup attempt.
I disagree on your reading of the overall significance of the article in the Post. The incoherence of the criticism isn’t an accident of ideology. While these professors seem to me as genuinely in grief, US elites will often tolerate a state while rebuking its rulers. The NYT for example has sometimes roused itself to belittle Germany and Egypt. It wasn’t because they were about to undermine their political order, or were concerned with the rights of prisoners or women. The US still holds its nose and supports Netanyahu and Sisi with weapons and diplomatic support, and cameras, which are welcomed by the far-right rulers there. As you noted, the argument is incoherent because its true purpose is not to educate people on Israel but to express an intentionally neutered dissent toward the offending client. It’s certainly a hopeful sign that dissent against Israel is somewhat printable. But the US elites are not on a crash course against Israel. The US needs an obedient client.
And this is not a threat to Zionism either. The Zionist cause has always thrived on antagonism. To honor this mangled interpretation of politics only plays into the hands of those who seek to dominate Palestinian life. Max Nordau, pupil Herzl, welcomed a “sharp trial which the weak cannot stand, but from which the strong emerge stronger or more confident in themselves.” In other words, Nordau perversely welcomed a crucible to make change happen despite the lack of willpower. This is hard to fit into a framework of recruiting Jewish activists who actually willingly be making change happen. What we can expect instead is at best, half-heartedly welcoming the bad press we can only wish Israel were to get from the elite media. Very iffy strategy.
The psychology here is important to stopping the violence. I more or less agree with your labeling of Zionist actors as neurotic. Specifically I would reassign the diagnosis as anxiety. Just look up on Youtube of a video of Jeffrey Goldberg (1) and you’ll see. There is an effect of participating in violence that leads to anxiety, more violence and outbursts, and sometimes depression (2). One proposed treatment of this is narrative therapy, specifically to say how the past makes you feel in the present. It’s not enough to recognize that the past happened. To reckon with the past and resolve the anxiety, the visceral, honest emotion of the present perspective of the past has to be expressed as well. e.g. “I went and killed someone and knowing I did that makes me feel ___”
Until we resolve that issue, the question of “what do we do now?” will be guided by malice and the compulsions you describe. If Palestine stays a technocratic puzzle that can only be solved by obscure research on British colonies, there’s no hope for an enlightened Jewish population. As reported, “much of Israel’s secular Zionist majority feels no need to take the difficult steps required for a durable peace, such as evicting their countrymen from West Bank settlements and acknowledging the moral stain of the suffering Israel has caused to so many Palestinians.” Short of sending in the UN troops against Israel, which the US would instantly block if recommended, a far better strategy is to popularize in sympathetic circles books like Simha Flapan’s Birth of Israel which honestly reckons with the past abuse.
(2) Child Psychiatry & Human Development April 2015, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 180-193 First online: 16 May 2014 The Guiltless Guilty: Trauma-Related Guilt and Psychopathology in Former Ugandan Child Soldiers http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10578-014-0470-6