Friday, May 28, 2010

Peter Beinert takes phony Jewish-American Zionist "liberalism" to the next level of deceit

Liberal Zionists Against the Israel Lobby?
(Wake Up America) -- By Stephen Sniegoski --

...Peter Beinart has been very much an establishment pro-Zionist, pro-war liberal, who edited the pro-Zionist “New Republic” from 1999 to 2006. Quoting from Wikipedia:

“For the December 13, 2004 edition of The New Republic, Beinart wrote an article titled ‘A Fighting Faith: An Argument for a New Liberalism,’ in which he argued that liberals should draw upon the anti-totalitarianism liberalism of the early cold war to develop a distinctive strategy against jihadist terrorism. New York Times columnist [neocon] David Brooks called ‘A Fighting Faith’ ‘the most discussed essay of the postelection period.’

“Beinart spent 2005 as a guest scholar at the [liberal] Brookings Institution , where he turned his essay into a book, ‘The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again’ (HarperCollins, 2006).”

So after being a war liberal, supporting the policy of the neoconservatives, Beinart is seemingly making something of a change with his essay, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment.”

But this change, as will be pointed out, is more superficial than real.

Beinart’s major concern is that most young Jews do not identify with Zionism, and that liberal Jews especially reject Zionism. “Among American Jews today,” he writes, “there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal.”

Beinart wants a new type of Zionism that will attract youthful liberals. He writes that “there is a different Zionist calling, which has never been more desperately relevant. It has its roots in Israel’s Independence Proclamation, which promised that the Jewish state ‘will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew prophets,’ and in the December 1948 letter from Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and others to The New York Times, protesting right-wing Zionist leader Menachem Begin’s visit to the United States after his party’s militias massacred Arab civilians in the village of Deir Yassin. It is a call to recognize that in a world in which Jewish fortunes have radically changed, the best way to memorialize the history of Jewish suffering is through the ethical use of Jewish power.”

It is apparent that Beinart’s position on Zionism is quite similar to his earlier position on the “war on terror.” Then he wanted to draw liberals over to the “war on terror” and not leave it under the control of the neocon right. Now he wants to draw liberals over to the support of Zionism, which is currently controlled by the right. Note that in both cases he has wanted to maintain the underlying policies and just make them fit better into the liberal worldview.

To what degree does Beinart really want to liberalize the fundamentals of Zionism? As he revealed in a debate with the more hard–line Zionist Jeffrey Goldberg (, he is fundamentally concerned about a strategy to protect Israel, not fairness for the Palestinians. Beinart declared: “I’m not asking Israel to be Utopian. I’m not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state. What I am asking is that Israel not do things that foreclose the possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, because if it is does that it will become–and I’m quoting Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak here–an ‘apartheid state.’”

Note that Beinart is far from being devoted to basic liberal principles. He does not even want Arab Israelis to be equal citizens—a fundamental principle of modern democracy. Beinart, in short, acknowledges that he puts the preservation of the Jewish nature of the Israeli state above basic liberal principles. And Beinart only is asking “that Israel not do things that foreclose the possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.” He does not say Israel must abide by UN resolution 242 and turn over control of the West Bank to the Palestinians so as to enable them to have a viable state.

Beinart, in short, does not seem to be concerned about the effects of Israel’s actions on the Palestinians but rather on the image of Israel. If widely perceived as a “apartheid state,” Israel would become an isolated, pariah nation like the former white-ruled South Africa. So although Beinart wants to make Israel attractive to liberals, what he seems most concerned about is not liberal principles but the optimal way of protecting Israel. Israel has to maintain at least the semblance of liberalism in order to both attract Jewish liberals and maintain legitimacy in the world...MORE...LINK

1 comment:

Chu said...

Thanks for posting this. While everyone wishes to wait for the liberals to 'come around' and see Zionism for what it is, Sniegoski clearly sees Beinart for his weak positions.
Many blogs are saying this is 'big' news, so it's good to have a post from reality.

Sniegoski: "It would seem to be an unstated assumption that the solution of the Israel/Palestine issue must revolve around the opinion of American Jews. But why must this be the case? This issue is not one that only involves Jews—such as a question pertaining to the Jewish religion—but rather an issue that has a major impact on all Americans, as well as other peoples of the world. Gentiles who make up the overwhelming majority of the American population should not be too fearful to speak frankly on the subject. Are pro-Zionist Jews really so powerful that they can destroy the careers of all gentiles who dare to differ with them on this subject? Undoubtedly, they can destroy the careers of some, but there are many gentiles participating in the blackout of truth regarding Israel and the Israel lobby who would not suffer serious hardship. And, of course, if large numbers of gentiles dared to speak out they could not all be harmed. Moreover, if the Israel lobby’s power became publicly discussed, it would by that very fact be weakened. Obviously, the power of the Israel lobby—which extends far beyond a political lobby—cannot be limited if it cannot be discussed truthfully."