Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The dead end of liberal American Zionism


Liberal American Zionism J Street Washington Israel colonialism genocide delusions lobby duplicity imperialism racism ethnic cleansing oppression dehumanization

Jews are going to have to make a painful reappraisal of the project that imposes a ‘Jewish’ state in Palestine

In 2014, we wrote an article titled “The Blind Alley of J Street and Liberal American Zionism.” At the time, Benjamin Netanyahu was in his sixth continuous year as Israel’s prime minister, while US President Barack Obama was well into his second term. And J Street, an emerging organization of Jews aligned with the Democratic administration, had momentum as “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.”

From the outset, ever since its founding in 2007, J Street has implicitly offered itself as a liberal alternative to the hardline American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which was established more than four decades earlier. An avowed purpose of J Street has been to seek a humane resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while maintaining fervent allegiance to Israel as “the Jewish state.”

In the 10 years since our article, J Street—at pains to reconcile the contradictions between its “pro-Israel” bond and the increasing Israeli brutality toward Palestinians—has remained committed to the basic goal (or mirage) of a “Jewish and democratic” state. The war on Gaza since October has heightened those contradictions, thrusting into clearer view Israel’s actual creation-and-expansion story, illuminating the violent repression and expulsion of Palestinian people.

A significant number of American Jews are now willing to challenge the Zionist project while pointing out that it is inherently fated to suppress the human rights of non-Jews in Palestine. Speaking at a protest near Sen. Chuck Schumer’s home in Brooklyn last month, Naomi Klein said: “We don’t need or want the false idol of Zionism. We want freedom from the project that commits genocide in our name.”  (more...)

The dead end of liberal American Zionism

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