Last month, protestors in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement who disrupted a Students Supporting Israel event at UCLA shouted the following clarifying words: “We don’t want two states. We want 48!” They were affirming that the BDS movement wishes to turn the clock back in the Middle East to 1948, before there was a State of Israel, and thereby to undo history. They were saying they oppose the existence of any Jewish state in any part of Palestine.
Member Writings and Interviews
In their response to my recent piece, “The Loneliness of the Liberal Zionist,” Harry Reis and Yoav Schaefer have argued that Israel bears responsibility for the decline (if not death) of liberal Zionism as a viable future path for the Jewish state. Because of five decades of occupation, unremitting settlement expansion beyond the Green Line, the siege of Gaza and the “rightward jolt of the Israeli political landscape,” liberal Zionism has been rendered little more than a utopian dream among Jewish intellectuals in the American diaspora. My piece, they argue, fails to take this into account, that I am either being disingenuous or I am oblivious to the failure of liberal Zionism in Israel’s hyper-nationalistic political arena today.
Today, thanks to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, launched in 2005, campuses around the world are treated every year to Israeli Apartheid Week. The plan, orchestrated by an array of student and non-student organizations, and aided by academic departments that host breathtakingly dishonest anti-Israel speakers, is to depict Israel as just like apartheid-era South Africa.
On June 5th, the Argentinean Soccer Association cancelled a soccer game between the Israeli and Argentinean national team scheduled for Saturday June 9th. The cancellation came after a series of threats that came not only from anonymous calls but also from none other than Jibril Rajoub, the president of the Palestinian Soccer Association and a member of Fatah, the party ruling the Palestinian Authority.
To be a “liberal Zionist” in the United States is to lead a lonely existence. It often means having few friends, aside from other liberal Zionists. It means you support the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historic homeland while simultaneously supporting progressive causes in your American homeland. It means wanting to have a place on the left, alongside Black, Latinx, and LGBT activists, because it means you react with horror at the Trump administration’s racist, misogynistic, and homophobic agenda. But it also means a denial of your right to have a place on the left, because the left – including prominent activists like Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Shaun King – consider Zionism to be a white supremacist ideology that has decimated the “native” Palestinian population of the middle east through brutal colonial practices. And it means lowering your head in confusion and shame when the Trump administration offers unquestioned support for Israel while simultaneously enabling – even cultivating – the anti-Semitism of the Alt-Right. It means being homeless in America’s increasingly binary political landscape.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan stands to lose more than any other party from the establishment of a State of Palestine. While the potential dangers and complications for Israel of such a state could be significant, Jordan would face threats to both its social stability and its foundational idea: that it governs the Arab population on both banks of its eponymous river. In addition to the substantial political and security difficulties such a state would create for Jordan, it could also jeopardize its continued viability by shifting the locus of political leadership for a majority of Jordanians away from Amman and towards Ramallah.
About 4.2 million anti-Semitic messages were posted on Twitter between late January 2017 and January 2018, according to a May 2018 report from the Anti-Defamation League.
A few American college campuses appear to have become hostile environments for pro-Israel students. On these campuses “progressive” student organizations which demand equal rights for all minorities exclude Jewish groups because they enjoy “Jewish privilege” and support Israel.