Why Safe-Haven Zionism Is Incompatible with Jewish Cosmopolitanism

The social-emotional-intellectual conundrum of reconciling universalist allegiances and Jewish safety leads to a sequence of challenges to safe-haven political Zionism that our intellectual and moral integrity require us to consider. Fear is an appropriate response to danger. But what lack of imagination would permit us as a progressive American Jewish polity to be driven solely by our fears, to limit ourselves to solutions that destroy the agency of non-Jews and the self-determination of a non-Jewish nation, in order to protect ourselves from possible danger?

The Arab Awakening and the Israeli-Palestinian Connection

The stunning failure of the international commentariat to foresee the seismic shifts that are engulfing the Arab world today is reason enough to be guarded about what they are telling us now about the causes and meaning of the uprisings. Until events proved otherwise, many self-appointed experts confidently—sometimes arrogantly—explained that the global movement toward democracy had been spurned by the Arab world simply because liberty and equality were “not part of the Arab makeup.” So it must have come as quite a shock to them that the Arab people turned out to be not so different from the rest of the human race! So while caution is strongly advised, there are certain tentative deductions that I believe we can risk making even now.

No Partner for Peace? Reflections on the Limitations of J Street and the Jewish American Peace Camp During the Campaign for Palestinian Statehood

In its short but meteoric rise to relevance in the American Jewish community, J Street has attempted to expand the Jewish American peace camp by taking nuanced positions and poaching supporters from traditional Jewish organizations like AIPAC. But there is a major discrepancy between J Street’s repeated call for “bold and creative action” in pursuit of a two-state solution and its position paper defending the U.S. veto.

What Is the New Israeliness?

The teenagers and twentysomethings who were barely old enough to light funeral candles after Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in 1995 are now doing what today’s adults were unable to do back then: creating a new Israeli identity capable of living in peace with itself.

Is AIPAC Trying to Undermine Obama? Plus Thoughts on Palestinian Statehood

Tikkun ally and policy analyst M.J. Rosenberg looks at the recent behavior of the right wing pro-Israel lobby AIPAC and detects an agenda of undermining and discrediting Obama, not to mention anyone seeking peace between Israel and Palestine. That demand for “negotiations now” is shown to be a non-starter in the editorial today in Ha’aretz newspaper and in the analysis provided by the moderate King of Jordan. Please read this to understand why, unless Palestinians get more leverage through the UN, no move toward peace is going to happen as long as Netanyahu or his right-wing supporters are still shaping Israeli policy.

Objective Historian or Staunch Ideologue?

Professor Benny Morris — a key member of the group of Israeli scholars known as the “new historians”– devotes almost the entirety of his latest book to shooting down the case for both one state and two states in all their variations.

In the Land of Double Narrative

You hear the double narrative of Israel/Palestine in words like the Nakba, or Catastrophe, which is how Palestinians describe the first war in 1947, the one the Israelis call the War of Independence because it began after the Arabs rejected the UN pronouncement of the State of Israel — and attacked. And in what the Israelis call the Security Wall, designed to stop the suicide bombers from blowing up discos in Tel Aviv and bus stations in Jerusalem — and the Palestinians call the Racist Wall or the Apartheid Wall because it cuts into their land and prevents their moving freely into Israel proper for jobs and family, as they did before the Intifada, a word that conjures up the liberation movement for Palestinians and the existential threat of annihilation for Israelis.

Reflections on Liberal Zionism

America is not an “honest broker” nor is it working on a just solution to the conflict. Our government, largely as a result of pressure from our community, provides blanket support for Israel.

Jewish Anti-Zionism

Jewish opposition to the State of Israel arises partly from the sense that Judaism is a religion of introspection rather than political action.

The New Zionist Imperative Is to Tell Israel the Truth

This is an extremely interesting and terrible time for the issue that I work on, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’d like to think together about some reactions to the flotilla incident and about where we go from here—what are the policy options, the implications for our politics, and, from my perspective, the implications for the American Jewish community.