Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Peter Beinart Strikes Again!


I don't know how Peter Beinart does it! He seems to be the only seriously dissenting voice on Israel that gets an audience inside the halls of the North American Jewish establishment. Heck, the Jewish community even paid to make and distribute the video above.

Here are some of the money quotes from Beinart's session at the recent General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America:

I guess the question that comes to my mind… is how you are defining Israeli… The Palestinians of the West Bank have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967. So to my mind that makes them, whether we like it or not, till we have a Palestinian state, Israelis. There is only one state that has sovereignty and dominion over their lives.. They’re not Israeli citizens, but Israel is the state that controls much of their lives. ...

Believe me I want to defeat Israel's delegitimization as much as anyone in this room. I want Israel to remain a Jewish state for my children and grandchildren... At the core of Israel’s legitimacy is the fact that it was founded as a democratic and Jewish state….and delegitimization of Israel will rise in direct proportion to the degree that people believe that Israel is no longer living up to its own founding principles. If Israel can become again a country that offers citizenship to everyone in its borders, irrespective of race, religion, sex annd ethnicity, it will not need PR firms. Because although there will still be hard core anti-Semites and lunatics out there, pro Israel people will be able to go into any room and debate anyone and win. Because democracy is the language of our time, the lingua franca of our time… even in the Arab world. [If the occupation is permanent] and Israel becomes in some fundamental way not a democratic state, you can get 100 PR firms and you will gradually lose that debate and more and more empower those people who believe that the creation of a Jewish state was a mistake to begin with. ...

When I say Israel, I mean all the territory under Israeli domain. Some parts of which I wish were not under Israeli sovereignty. That is Israel. The people there might not be Israeli citizens, but that’s Israel. We have to take ownership of the fact that until a Palestinian state is created, that’s Israel…
Sadly this kind of thing still cannot be said by most people at most Jewish institutions.

You can read a fuller commentary and analysis at Mondoweiss, or just watch the full video above

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