We have the following from David Habakkuk as part of the ongoing discussion on the crisis of Zionism among various members of this committee of correspondence. pl
"Clifford Kiracofe,Serious analysts do not believe a so-called "two-state" solution is possible any more. Simply put, the Israeli Zionists by now have stolen too much Palestinian land.There are only two possible options it would seem:1. a one-state solution2. the Israelis expelling Palestinians from Israel and the occupied West Bank. That is to say ethnic cleansing which hardliners call "transfer."I agree. The two-state solution is no longer like a patient in a hospital ward in critical condition -- rather it resembles a brain-dead victim of assault on a life support machine, which the doctors would like to turn off, but is kept going because various reasons -- some honourable, some dishonourable -- the family and friends do not want to recognise the true state of affairs.As you note, this leaves Israel with no good options. And this is all the more so, as the course the country is going down must open up deep underlying divisions within t he Zionist movement -- divisions which I suspect will destroy it.Remarks by Norman Finkelstein in an article entitled 'Israel Crackdown Puts Liberal Jews on the Spot' by Chris Hedges make the point better than I could:“The impact of the Goldstone report is tremendous,” the Middle East scholar Norman Finkelstein said when I reached him in New York. “It marks and catalyzes the breakup of the Diaspora Jewish support for Israel because Goldstone is the classical Diaspora Jew. He is a lawyer and upholder of human rights and a liberal. He has distinguished himself in the field of law and he is also a lover of Zion. He calls himself a Zionist. His mother was an activist in the Zionist movement. His daughter did aliyah. He sits on the board of governors of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has an honorary degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has said over and over again that he is a Zionist. He believes Jews have a right to a state in Palestine. His is a mostly emblematic profile of the classically liberal Jew.”“Liberal has a distinct connotation,” Finkelstein went on. “It means to believe in the rule of law. It means to believe in international institutions. It means to believe in human rights. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are liberal organizations. What the Goldstone phenomenon registers and catalyzes is the fact that it is impossible to reconcile liberal convictions with Israel’s conduct; too much is now known about the history of the conflict and the human rights record and the so-called peace process. It is impossible to be both liberal and defend Israeli policy. That was the conflict that confronted Goldstone. I very much doubt he wanted to condemn Israel.” See
In a recent thread, N.M. Salamon noted the appearance of a new Jewish organisation, JNews, in Britain. Its chairman, Antony Lerman, explains the background as follows:But we are living at a time when the situation in Israel-Palestine is becoming increasingly desperate, and when the fallout from the conflict for Jews has never been more intense. In consequence, opinion among Jews has become increasingly polarised.On one side, we see the hardening of the view that Israel is singled out for grossly unfair treatment, expressed most starkly in the trashing of the Goldstone report and the character
assassination of Goldstone himself -- a proud Jew and a Zionist. The alacrity with which certain Israeli and Jewish circles willingly embraced this disgraceful attack is a sign of just how seriously under threat is the culture of reasoned and civil debate among Jews.On the other side, critical Jewish voices have multiplied, especially since the attack on Gaza in December 2008, which exacerbated divisions within the Jewish community. And there are very clear signs of a deep disquiet among the middle ground of Jewish opinion in the UK as to the path Israel is following. The fact that more than 500 people listened intently and sympathetically to three panellists at a Jewish Book Week event on 7 March, all of whom staked out critical and radical positions on the ‘way forward’ in the Israel-Palestine conflict, demonstrated this very starkly.Despite this shift, the variety of Jewish opinion on the conflict is represented in neither the Jewish nor the general media. The strand of opinion which insists on the paramount need to assess the conflict and seek its resolution on the basis of a fundamental concern for human rights and social justice is, we feel, particularly underrepresented.
In my view, the 'liberal Zionist' position -- very common among British Jews -- depended upon belief that the two-state solution was possible. As I suspect Lerman's remarks indicate, people of intelligence an d good faith are still clinging to what like you I believe to be illusion. But what I also believe is that in the U.K. at least, when they finally face the choice very many will chose liberalism over Zionism. Whether the situation is fundamentally different in the U.S. I cannot judge." DH