Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Petering Out of Beinartarism

Prescript:  I selected the title a day before David Gerstman sent out his critique.

In his April 19th response to Daniel Godis in the Jerusalem Post, Peter Beinart writes:

...I also believe in something called Jewish honor. I believe that given the ethical visions we spun during our long night of powerlessness, that honor is at stake in the way we wield power over those Palestinians who live under Jewish control. I believe that when we help Israeli Arabs live as full citizens within Israel and help Palestinians become citizens of their own state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, we are not betraying the bonds of Jewish peoplehood. To the contrary, we are honoring the ethical impulses that give Jewish peoplehood deeper meaning.

If up until now Beinart has played the democracy card, the liberal card, the demographic card*, he now, spluttering about in an ever-deepening vorex he has set spinning for himself, pulls out two more: Jewish honor and Jewish ethics and defines them un-Jewishly and even worse.

But even this aspect was spun out over a hundred years ago by a Jewish-born convertesd-to-Christian female British press baron, Rachel Sassoon Beer, in her opposition to Zionism for the reason that the Jewish people would have to cooperate with the Ottoman Empire which in 1895 was massacring Armenians - in other words because of the Armenian problem, the Jewish problem could not be resolved:-

The anti-Semitic fervor exposed by the Dreyfus Affair strengthened the argument for a Jewish homeland. The Observer was early to note the significance of the movement to create “a Jewish autonomous state in Syria.” Rachel was skeptical of the idea. She not only feared it would “disrupt integration” and whip up allegations of dual loyalty, but also objected because it would require the Jews to strike a deal with the Ottoman Turks. “It is to be hoped, at any case, that the Jews in England are not so anti-Christian as to be bribed by any offers of land in Palestine for their convenience with the extermination that is taking place of the Christian Armenians,” she wrote in an 1896 Sunday Times editorial.

There is a strong echo of a blend of masochistic irrational ethics and honor in that approach in Beinart's thinking: to save the so-called "Palestinians", we Jews must subvert our own needs. That once we have achieved power we must yield it up by distilling it and reducing its effectiveness to be inadequate to the threats facing us.

What organ sacrifices itself for another whose own moral base is almost non-existent?  What national group must prefer the benefit of another and moreover, one that not only intends evil for the Jews but has no real intent to improve the lives of its own future citizemns?

Beinart extends the self-destructive tendency he has chosen for himself to the entire Jewish people in the name of values that will not be applied even to the aggressive nationalism seeking to disidentify Jewish national ethos, history, culture, civilization and to kill as many Jews as possible.

That is ethics?  That is honor?

That is Beinartism.

* And on the demographic threat, I think I already quoted what Emanuele Ottolenghi quoted from Malley and Agha published towit:

Already, by unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza, former prime minister Ariel Sharon transformed the numbers game, effectively removing 1.5 million Palestinians from the Israeli equation. The current or a future government could unilaterally conduct further territorial withdrawals from the West Bank, allowing, as in the case of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s West Bank government, or compelling, as happened in Gaza, large numbers of Palestinians to rule themselves and mitigating the demographic peril. The options, in other words, are not necessarily limited to a two-state solution, an apartheid regime, or the end of the Jewish state.


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