Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Beinart Is Right While Being Wrong

Peter Beinart, writing in The Atlantic, actually has an interesting and even insightful observation on AIPAC:

AIPAC is conducting a remarkable experiment. It’s doubling down on bipartisanship and ideological diversity even as tectonic shifts in American politics and culture make that harder and harder. It’s doing so even though it could alienate its rising base on the right...It’s fascinating to watch, and it’s likely to fail. It won’t fail because younger liberals can’t find things to admire in Israel. They can. It will fail because the thing about Israel that young liberals admire least is its half-century long policy of denying Palestinians in the West Bank basic rights like free movement, due process, and citizenship in the country in which they live—and entrenching that denial by building settlements where Jews enjoy rights that their Palestinian neighbors are denied. 

Earlier in the piece, Beinart notes something which goes with what I'd like to mention in responding to his point:

younger American Jews are less likely to bifurcate their views in this way. They are less likely to have personally experienced anti-Semitism. They are less likely to know relatives who survived the Holocaust. And they are less likely to have witnessed events like the 1967 and 1973 wars, when Israel’s existence appeared to be in peril. To the contrary, they have come of age seeing both American Jews, and the Jewish state, as privileged and powerful.

His reasoning about the 'weakness' inherent in the younger Jewish generation is factually correct.

But what he ignores is that the activity of J Street, IfNotNow (see their reaction), Jewish Voices for Peace and OpenHillel, among other groups, is pushed by...Peter Beinart.

He encourages them, leads them, instructs them and provides platforms for their views and in doing so basically hides or belittles or minimizes all those historical truths, truths (and others) which continue to exist.  They may be events of  80, 70, 60 and 50 years ago - the rise of Hitlarian anti-Semitism and the failure of the democracies to counter it, the rampant terrorism of the Yishuv's Arab population as well as its support for Nazism, the Holocaust, the White Paper policy both prior to the world war and immediately after, the resistance to Mandate British oppression, the birth of Israel, the 19 years of Arab terror of the fedayeen and Fatah, and, the ideological and practical aspects of Jewish national identity.

His is a major contribution to the younger generation's inability as well as unwillingness to understand, comprehend and be willing to assume that for the most part, Israel is not only a country to be defended, with the faults that are, but must be defended for their own good.

Like others in the past century and a half - first, the Reform movement, then the Bundists, then the Brit Shalom intellectuals on to the American Council for Judaism and then Breira - who have tried to distance themselves from Zionism and Israel, they have failed but in doing so have caused so much damage and laid foundations for future weakness and unnecessary embarrassment. Not to mention being wrong on facts and figures on specific issues of security, demography and democracy.

As right as he is, he is so wrong.



Here is one example of Beinart-spawned Jewish youth - Raphael Magarik, Phd Candidate in English and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley - writing in Haaretz:

Now, Farrakhan is a vicious anti-Semite (among their other sins, Jews, he said last week, encourage "degenerate behavior in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men.”)...we should remember: currying favor with despicable men is the foundation of American Jewish institutions and life.

Don’t believe me?

Well, think about Birthright...Or for that matter, take AIPAC, which regularly hosts the anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and crazily conspiratorial Pastor John Hagee, simply because Hagee leads a massive bloc of Christian Zionists.

Or take The New Republic, once the unofficial home of liberal Jewish intellectualism....

Every professional Jew I knew has horror stories about their local Farrakhan: an older man with deep pockets and an even deeper reservoir of hatred...


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