Anthony Loewenstein on Occupation and Jewish opinion
During this year's AIPAC conference in
"These voices are laying the predicate for an abandonment," he said. His sentiments were almost apocalyptic: "The stakes in that battle are nothing less than the survival of
The age of Barack Obama has unleashed a global wave of Jewish unease over
Zionist organizations in
A Jewish columnist for The New York Times, Roger Cohen, argued in June that the key word among Palestinians now is "humiliation."
"It's not good for the Palestinians, the Israelis or the Jewish soul," he wrote. The Jewish Week editor chastised him for such views - for "the anger, blame and one-sidedness of his argument" - and wondered "whose heart has grown brutal?"
An upcoming academic conference at York University in Toronto exploring the "one-state, bi-national solution" to the conflict was slammed last week by Gerald M. Steinberg, chair of the Department of Political Science at Bar Ilan University, for fueling "the vicious warfare and mass terror" against Israelis and Palestinians.
The decades-old ability of Zionist groups to manage the public narrative of Israeli victimhood is breaking down. Damning critics has therefore become a key method of control.
But, writes Salon.com's Glenn Greenwald, a leading Jewish-American blogger, "whereas these smear tactics once inspired fear in many people, now they just inspire pity. They no longer work."
He may be overly optimistic, but alternative Jewish voices are rising who are less concerned with being accused of "self-hatred" or treachery. They see it as their duty to damn what is wrong and not simply support Israeli government policies.
A thinking, more enlightened Judaism is emerging, a necessity in the face of apartheid realities. The cause is human rights, not Zionist exclusion.
Obama's recent speech in
Many Jews in the Diaspora have never imagined anything else; it's been an imagined
Defining a humane Judaism in the 21st century means condemning the brutal military occupation in the West Bank and resisting the ongoing siege of
Jewish-American blogger Phil Weiss, who recently returned from the Strip, quoted a young Gazan saying in dismay: "We are being experimented on."
The Palestinian narrative is routinely ignored or dismissed in the
After Obama's speech in
The Anti-Defamation League said it was "disappointed that the President found the need to balance the suffering of the Jewish people in a genocide to the suffering of the Palestinian people resulting from Arab wars."
This was code for "Nakba"-denial, as pernicious as Holocaust revisionism.
But the liberal J Street lobby, still clinging to the delusion of a viable two-state solution and a "democratic, Jewish homeland," praised Obama's "active diplomacy" and claimed that the "overwhelming majority of American Jews" supported an end to the West Bank colonies.
Consistent polls suggest they are right, but the devil is in the detail. Is there real will to back the necessary steps, namely the removal of hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers in the
Co-Author of The Israel Lobby, Stephen Walt, said recently that he couldn't understand why more American Jews didn't realize the cliff
I recently attended the Salute to
These events are actually a sign of desperate projection, not strength. Mainstream Zionism wants to completely shield Jews from the uncomfortable facts of the Israeli occupation and Palestinian self-determination. Jews were a proud people, a clever people and a victimized people. There was no time to indulge in frivolous Arab trivialities.
But facts have an uncomfortable way of seeping back into view. Colonel Itai Virob, an IDF brigade commander in the West Bank, recently told an Israeli court that, "a slap, sometimes a punch to the scruff of the neck or the chest, sometimes a knee jab or strangulation to calm somebody [a Palestinian] down is reasonable."
Where is the Jewish outrage over this?