The Crisis of Zionism

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

In his new book, The Crisis of Zionism, Peter Beinart, says the deepening Israeli occupation of the West Bank threatens Israeli democracy. And in the US, the failure of American Jewish organizations to address it threatens Zionism itself. Peter Beinart is a senior political writer for The Daily Beast and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.

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Peter Beinart

Comments [86]

Impossible to reason with psychotic ideologues.

Which is fine. I just wish we didn't have to pay for it.

Apr. 04 2012 03:19 PM

meat ~

valiant try!

Apr. 04 2012 03:17 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AFA pretentious Hudson Heights

> Who has PERFECTED repression and systemic humiliation.
>Whose odious crimes against humanity have created more terrorists than any other country on the planet??

al qada, islamic jihad, muslim brotherhood, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saddam Husseins Iraq, PLO, PFLP, OPEC.

FBI: Most Wanted Terrorists

Next Question.

Apr. 04 2012 02:19 PM

Inquir3r from The Cloud:

Is that a trick question?

Was it one of the Jewish groups like the Irgun, the Lehi or the Haganah under the supposition of fighting for independence?

On no, they just used car bombs and blew up hotels when they killed civilians...

Apr. 04 2012 10:38 AM

Inquir3r from The Cloud ~

The more accurate question might be:

Who has PERFECTED repression and systemic humiliation.


Whose odious crimes against humanity have created more terrorists than any other country on the planet??

Apr. 04 2012 09:55 AM
DTorres from Manhattan

Why Peter Beinart is driving the 'pro-Israel' establishment crazy

Apr. 04 2012 12:37 AM

Where does Peter Beinart and his children live?

Apr. 04 2012 12:22 AM
afgan irakson from brooklyn

the dream of democratic jewish state was dreamed up and, remarkably, implemented by OLD JEWS. it was a conscientious cultural policy of Israel to breed the NEW JEW. Natanyahu roughly fits the profile of NEW JEW (ironically that NEW JEW sounds a lot like a certain stereotype of an Arab) Any wounder that NEW JEW Israel doesn't exactly follow OLD JEW Zionist blueprint.

Apr. 04 2012 12:20 AM
Inquir3r from The Cloud


>Did Zionists invent humus??

Who invented hijacking passenger planes and flying them into buildings?

Apr. 03 2012 06:24 PM
Jeff Z from Manhattan

To Gary from Queens:

You may be correct that in some similar circumstances, victorious parties in wars have been entitled to keep the land and annex it as part of their own. The U.S. clearly did that with its war with Mexico and we are certainly not returning Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. But again, that really doesn't answer the question as to what Israel's actual alternatives are in the context of certain realities. This is not the American southwest of the 1840's and for each historical instance of a victorious nations keeping the land it won in a war, there are plenty where land was returned. Complaining that the U.N. did not allow Israel to do this or do that is largely irrelevant. The U.N. also was instrumental in creating a global political environment that allowed there to be an Israel in the first place. But regardless, the fact remains that the Palestinian refugees are where they are. They are not going anywhere. So, in the end, there remains a handful of finite choices: continue to occupy an area in which one group of people have rights as citizens and another does not, include them as part of Israel with the Palestinians as Israelis, push them into Jordan by miltary force, kill them all, or have two separate sovereign nations each responsible for their own citizens. Are there any other choices I am missing? Some may be content with the first option. I continue to say that time and history are not on Israel's side. Assuming there is no desire to make them Israeli citizens, or to go to war with Jordan, or to engage in a genocide, we are again left with the inevitable solution - two sovereign states with borders that are acceptable although very distasteful to both parties.

Apr. 03 2012 04:36 PM

Awwww! What happened to Zionism schmionisim???

I thought that one was pretty good!!

Apr. 03 2012 04:17 PM

...'cause I LOVE humus!!

If I gotta give up humus, I'm gunna be REALLY pissed!!!

Apr. 03 2012 04:13 PM

Wha...wha...whoa, fellas!

I got a legit inquiry!!

Did Zionists invent humus??

Apr. 03 2012 04:10 PM

meatwnyc -


Apr. 03 2012 04:00 PM

Nice interview .

Apr. 03 2012 02:01 PM
gary from queens

Jeff Z from Manhattan:

The answer to the question----what is the alternative----has existed for other nations. But Israel was DENIED that alternative.

Other nations with refugees were able to settle those refugees in other nations compatible with the refugee's ethnic background. Muslim arabs should have been allowed to settle and become citizens of the surrounding nations. But they refused, and the UN has also worked against israel by keeping them as permanent refugees on land which Israel obtained from winning a defensive war, and have been granted control of that "disputed" land.

Apr. 03 2012 01:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


The US gives Israel about $3-$4 billion in military arms mostly built by US workers in US factories. The US gives the Arabs and Muslim countries some $18 billion in aid, and sells Israel's enemies, the Arabs and other Muslim countries, some $7 billion or more in arms as well.

If the US stops aiding one side, it has to stop aiding the other side, or else it means that it is taking sides. If the US wants to genuinely become neutral, as it was in the 1950s, it has to stop aiding and selling arms to BOTH sides.

I hope this helps.

Apr. 03 2012 01:52 PM

Jew/Muslim, potato/potato - all they disagree on is the number of prophets. What amazes me is the way Jews portray Arabs as one entity and not an amalgam of tribes, who have about as much cohesive unity as a house of cards. The only thing Arabs nations agree on is they don't like the Palestinians, and they have that in common with the Israelis too. With all the stuff the Palestinians put up with from the Israelis, don't you think they'd have moved by now if it wasn't much, much worse for them in places like Jordan? The Arab nations might not like the Israelis but at least they respect them, which is more than they do the conquered Palestinians. You don't know what "second class" means til you've lived in a Arab autocracy. It would be like the Pre-War British expecting the Irish to move to Italy et al and just "fit in" because they were Catholics.

I respect what the writer is saying, but I think it's a lost cause. So what really bothers me is that my tax dollars are financing all this nonsense. Speaking as a "self-hating Jew" (I may as well preempt the lame accusation) if Jews want the right to do what they want in Israel, don't do it with US taxpayers money, especially, as has been pointed out, Jewish people are extremely successful and more than able to finance some far off dream of a homeland *they choose* not to live in because the reality is a little too real for them. The strategic importance is a myth, since the US have the Gulf States who are far more important, as was proved by their lack of reaction to the suppression of democracy movements in those countries. We don't pay reparations to the African Americans or Native Americans, so why are we still paying for an injured party who the US didn't even injure?????? In a time of austerity isn't it about time the Israelis started paying for themselves? I mean, Netanyahu has managed to con a host of Southern Evangelicals into financing Likud with Apocalyptic love-ins, so the potential is endless.

Apr. 03 2012 01:20 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon from Brooklyn who asked:

"Ok - JG, so are we, as "Americans" all living on Native American Soil?"

YES! I have understood that since 1956, when as a ten year old watching a serial TV show, "Chochise," about the great Apache chief of the Chiricaua. However, the United States, invented in 1776 as a confederation of 13 English colonies hugging the east coast of the continent, and which quickly spread all the way to the middle of the Pacific, to incorporate Hawaii, is indeed the native soil of some 100 or more small nations that were squelched. That is a fait accompli. And as far as i know, there are no hundreds of millions of "indians" in exile in Europe or Asia being persecuted and requiring a return to their homeland.

After WWI, there was all of 650,000 Arabs living in that tiny backwater of the deceased Ottoman empire, while many millions of Jews in Europe, Russia, and the Muslim countries were still in many cases stateless and treaed as second class citizens. Even in the US, Jews faced more petty discriiminations, in the form of quotas for medical, universities, and being barred from certain hotels and other groups. It was 9 million shiftless Jews vs. 650,000 assorted Arabic speaking people subsisting on a land that had never been an indendent country EXCEPT under ancient Jewish rule. Using all the legal means at their disposal, including the decisions by the Allies and the League of Nations, the JEws got the right to return and resettle the land the Europeans called "Palestine." And they built their state and extended benificence to the impoverished locals in the form of health clinics, jobs, and purchasing worthless lands at exorbitant prices. The Jews did not rob anyone or commit genocide. They were trying to peacefully return and rebuild their forlorn homeland.

Apr. 03 2012 01:18 PM
Jeff Z from Manhattan

To jgarbuz. I sympathize with your feelings on the matter. I do. There are no "good" solutions. But it is disingenuous to compare Puerto Rico with the West Bank. The U.S. is not required to have tanks routinely move into Puerto Rico. The U.S. is not required to have armed checkpoints in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are not routinely killing Americans and vice versa. And if that were the case in Puerto Rico, the U.S. would have to seriously consider leaving. Occupation against a people's will is what is unsustainable. Ask the British. And again, I still do not hear the alternatives, other than status quo I suppose. But if you wish to lay out nightmare scenarios. What happpens when the Palestinians no longer cry out for independence and do so violently, but "one man, one vote" and do so non-violently? They could accomplish democratically what they could not accomplish miltarily. The status quo is simply not sustainable indefinitely, and this is not Puerto Rico, and I think you know that.

Apr. 03 2012 12:43 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Ok - JG, so are we, as "Americans" all living on Native American Soil?

Apr. 03 2012 12:42 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon again

Unfortunately, many or most Jews FORGOT that they are a tribe, not just a "religion." In exile from our native soil amongst the other nations, we became a "religion" to disguise our national heritage. What is this "Jewish religion" all about anyway? Is it about getting to heaven? What is the goal of this religion. What was Abraham about? Going to CANAAN to get a LAND and become a NATION. What was Passover all about? It was to leave the discrimination in Egypt and go home to Canaan! What was Hannuaka all about? It was the temporary liberation of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from the Seleucids by a band of Jewish guerrillas called the Maccabees. Over half the Jewish holidays are NATIONALISTIC and involve returning to the native homeland! Are you a Jew by any chance?

Apr. 03 2012 12:40 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To meatnyc

To me the issue is simple.I don't care how many Arabs or Muslims lived on Jewish soil, it remains Jewish soil nonetheless. If Ireland had lost 99% of the Irish in the potato famine in 1847, and the only people left alive were Jews, would Ireland then become Jewish soil??? WOuld the IRish in America have the right to return and liberate their soil from Jewish occupation, especially if the Jews were not allowing Irish people to come back? To me, Israel west of the JOrdan is Jewish soil, and yes many Arabs live on it and I did not say they should be killed or chased out, but giving them another Arab state is no solution for peace.It will just be another armed enemy of the Jewish state, right at its throat.

Apr. 03 2012 12:33 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Jeff Z

What is the alternative if the Puerto Ricans don't want to become the 51st state, nor want to become an independent country? DOes it mean genocide of the Puerto Rican people? Of course not. The Arabs in "Palestine" never had a country or a nationality in all of history. Never had a king, never had a queen, lived under Byzantines, Turks, EGyptians and others, and life went on. So now they live in the shadow of Jewish rule. SO what? If they want a state, they have to first recongize the Jewish state and forget about "right of return" or getting half of Jerusalem for their own. But they refuse. They don't want to recognize the Jewish state, and actually don't really want a state, unless it can be used to destroy the Jewish state. Otherwise, the Arabs have 21 state, and 56 Muslims states altogether. They don't need another state, unless it is a springboard to destroy the only Jewish one! The decision is up to them, not up to ISrael. Israel is Jewish soil, and Jerusalem is its united JEWISH capital, as it wsa under King David, Solomon and even Herod much later on. It bever was Arab soil.

Apr. 03 2012 12:27 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Jg - I don't think being "Jewish" is considered just a nationality. If it were, we would not be having this conversation.

Apr. 03 2012 12:26 PM


There were more Muslims on the said land at the turn of the century (1900) then there were Jews, so hows about reading some "non-revisionist" history...

Question: why does Israel continue to build homes, schools, hospitals, etc in the occupied territory of the West Bank? Is its goal the protection of it's own state, or the slow destruction of the remnants of the Palestinian state.

Obviously there are those on the Palestinian side who want the destruction of Israel, but it's becoming just as obvious that there are plenty in Israel who desire the same fate for Palestine. What's also obvious is an attempt to portray the entire Palestinian state movement as terrorists and extremists whose only end goal is to destroy Israel. Why would this be done? Perhaps because it plays into the status quo of continued occupation and expansion of settlement territory that "cannot" [or will not] be given up if a two state solution one day emerges.

Apr. 03 2012 12:25 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Zach

Trust me, there are plenty of Arabs in the "Palestinian" territories happy to help the IDF, but are being killed all the time for doing so. If the government of Puerto Rico were killing Puerto Ricans for helping the US military, there would probably be many fewer volunteers.

Apr. 03 2012 12:20 PM
Jeff Z from Manhattan

What I find amazing but sadly consistent of critics of views such as put forth by Peter Beinart is that I never hear them explain the alternative. What is the alternative? Indefinite occupation? Genocide? There is a reality that just won't just go away because there are those who wish to ignore the reality. There are millions of people that live in that area that identify themselves as Palestinian. They are neither Israeli nor a citizen of their own country. That is simply not a sustainable situation indefinitely, nor should it be. As many prior nations have discovered, occupation, by its very nature, eventually requires that the occupier either leave or become more and more brutal to maintain the occupation. Democracies cannot and should not behave this way, and as a Jew, I find that there is something deeply un-Jewish about doing so. How we treat these people matters. It matters to who we are as a people and what the dream of Israel is. And again, what is the alternative? What is the alternative to a two state solution based loosely, although perhaps not precisely, on the 1967 borders?

Apr. 03 2012 12:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Sheldon wrote:

"JG, I understand why Jews, regardless of where they reside on earth, including this country, should not be complacent on the possibility that ONE DAY, the jackboots may, or WILL come. That does not make Israel's mission to exist as an ostentatiously "Jewish" State any clearer.."

For the same reason the Irish wanted their own state and fought for to get in in 1924. To me Jewish, Irish, Polish, Russian, GErman, Italian are nationalities. There was JUDEAN KINGS in history, and just not mythology like King Arthur. To me, Jews are not adherents of a religion. Jews are born into a TRIBE, like the Apaches, and have a TRIBAL homeland with a tribal religion and tribal laws and a tribal language, Hebrew. While the point of Christianity is to get into heaven by faith, and the point of Islam is to get into Paradise, the point of "Judaism" is to return to Jerusalem and to our homeland. Judaism hardly speaks of getting to heaven or paradies, just getting back to the tribal homeland. Without a Jewish state, "judaism" is as pointless as Christianity if there is no heaven.

Apr. 03 2012 12:17 PM
Zach from UWS

Ok, well now you're just making things up jgarbuz. There is no provision for Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza to join the IDF, just as there is no way for me to join "Mahal" because I am not Jewish ( This is not due to the protestations of Abbas, but the obsessive need for Israel to keep its "Jewish character" as Mr. Beinart put it. I see you have no answers to my subsequent two questions; I will take that as an admission that Puerto Rico and Palestine are not even close to analogous.

Apr. 03 2012 12:17 PM
gary from queens

bernie from bklyn:

You should try reading some history. Jews had an unbroken connection to those lands for for 3 millenia. Muslims were encouraged to immigrate to those lands only since the turn of the century, and only to neutralize jewish influence.

A million Jews lost their land when they were forced to leave muslim countries. it's still occurring. And your silence is deafening.

Sheldon from Brooklyn:

EVERY nation, except the US, had formed from a common race or religion. Not just israel!

Beinart: Bebe cannot accept sovereignty of Hamas, hezbollah and Fatah as long as their own perceived existance is not to create their own state, but rather the destruction of the jewish state.

Apr. 03 2012 12:12 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Zach from UWS

"Jgarbuz, your analogy between Puerto Rico and Palestine is rather spurious. Puerto Ricans serve in the US military (disproportionately); are Palestinians from the West Bank able to serve in the IDF? "

First of all, Israel has 26% non-Jewish citizens, most of them Arabic speakers, e.g, Arabs, Bedouins, Druze, and others. Druze certainly serve with GREAT distinction in the IDF. Many Bedouins serve in the IDF as well, mostly as trackers, snipers and border guards. As for the Arabs living in the liberated territories, they are now under the authority of the Palestinian Authority and if the Palestinian Authority wishes to allow Arabs living under their rule to also be able to serve in the IDF, I have no objections. They would probably assassinate any Arab working "for the Jews" or for the "occupation" as they call it. So ask the president of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas, on his willingness to let his people serve in the IDF, if he is willing to allow it. You can also ask Haniyah of the Hamas group ruling in Gaza if he is willing.I don't know what the governor of Puerto Rico allows his people to do. If he allows them to volunteer for the US army, that's okay by me. It is a way of getting work and benefits. I'm sure the IDF would not object to having significant West bank and Gaza Arabs working for the IDF. You ask Abbas and Haniya if they will approve it.

Apr. 03 2012 12:03 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyln

JG, I understand why Jews, regardless of where they reside on earth, including this country, should not be complacent on the possibility that ONE DAY, the jackboots may, or WILL come. That does not make Israel's mission to exist as an ostentatiously "Jewish" State any clearer..

Apr. 03 2012 12:02 PM


Puerto Rico can vote in the Presidential election...they just have to become a state first. If they don't want that, they can vote for independence. But PR has so far walked the line in between, they don't want to commit but they don't want to break up either.

Apr. 03 2012 11:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

First, on the economic incentives for Jews to live in settlements in the West Bank, a few years ago I heard that something like 80% of them lived there for economic rather than ideological/religious reasons, & that a fund was being set up to raise money to help that group move into Israel itself. What happened to that? Did it fall victim to the economic collapse?

Second, please make the distinction clear between products made in the settlements & those made in the rest of the occupied territories. There are fair trade products like Canaan Fair Trade, including olive oil, whose sale supports a Palestinian economy so more people living there can support themselves & have a basis for independence.

Apr. 03 2012 11:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

to Mark Brown

God Bless Winston Churchill for supporting a Jewish state in 1920, but unfortunately also gave the Arabs a state in eastern Palestine, eastof the Jordan river now called "Jordan." He later stood up against the Nazis when everyone else was trying to pacify them. He was not popular and considered a war monger for opposing both the Bolsheviks and the Nazis in his career. And not popular with the Arabs for supporting a Jewish state.

Apr. 03 2012 11:52 AM
Zach from UWS

Jgarbuz, your analogy between Puerto Rico and Palestine is rather spurious. Puerto Ricans serve in the US military (disproportionately); are Palestinians from the West Bank able to serve in the IDF? Puerto Ricans who move to the mainland--and they can do this at will--have full status as US citizens. Do Palestinians from Gaza have this same right? In November Puerto Rico will hold a referendum on whether or not it will begin the process of becoming our 51st state. Will a similar referendum be held in the West Bank and Gaza? These two situations ARE NOT the same thing.

Apr. 03 2012 11:51 AM


I think you're right that I'd be name called an anti-Semite by many of the commenters here since I don't follow the mantra that everything Israel does is 100% right all the time and we must support them no matter what they do.

While I'd surely come across here as pro-Palestinian [and therefore anti-Semitic in the eyes of many commenters here], I really just consider myself pro-American. I don't understand why we take a one-sided stance on the issue, (ok, really I do - it's the nut-job Evangelicals who think that the Jewish kingdom has to be formed again so Jesus can come and we can get on with Armageddon and Judgement)...but I find it insulting the way the US President is supposed to bow down and pay homage to the Israeli leader. Obama says settlements in occupied territory has to stop, and they piss on that. And the BS that this is all the same as America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is just that, BS. We haven't building condos and schools and hospitals for our own citizens to go "settle" in.

There you go...anti-Semitic, lol.

Apr. 03 2012 11:48 AM

Sorry, did your guest just say that Obama is Muslim?

Apr. 03 2012 11:47 AM

A question for Mr. Beinart: He supports SodaStream leaving its plant 2 miles east of Jerusalem for one in the Negev. SodaStream currently employs about 100 Palestinian employees in this plant who would lose their jobs. They are unionized workers with full benefits. This plant is on land which will probably go to Israel in a land swap when peace is made, so the plant closure is largely for symbolic reasons. What would Mr. Beinart say to the hundreds of Palestinians who will suffer when the SodaStream plant closes as he advocates?

Apr. 03 2012 11:46 AM

I meant to write - there is no Zionism but Zionism with a crisis and Peter Beinart is its prophet.

Apr. 03 2012 11:45 AM
mark brown from

Very interesting.

I've suggested the FOLLOWING for YEARS and years.

a) endorse the 1947 UN mandate on palestine, and REQUIRE all arab states to FINALLY accept it.

b) make jerusalem international, yes, it will hurt, but will be administered by Israel, and NOT jordan. Jordan's record during the 18 years they administered the land was not very good.

c) admit that SIR Winston (Churchill) totally SCREWED up the mideast in the 1920's when he was the High commissioner of palestine and gave away HALF of the mid-east mandate to made up states like syria and Trans-jordan...

Look here:

Apr. 03 2012 11:44 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

"Jews have lived in American for 350 years. What part of AMerica is independent Jewish soil? The fact that Arabs lived on Jewish soil for hundreds of years, so what? Does that give them the right to have another Arab state on Jewish soil?"

BZZZZZZZ! Wrong! The host in fact was making the point that there in an inherent irony that someone who has been living there and family has been living there for hundreds of years but is not the right religion or ethnic background cannot be a citizen. THAT was what she said. In America if you are Jewish you can become an American citizen. She wasn't speaking of a 2 state solution at that moment, she was making a point concerning citizenship.

Your strawman arguement blows apart in a gentle breeze.

Apr. 03 2012 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Dboy,#

I've been against US aid since 1985 when I lived in Israel. I believe US aid to Israel has corrupted the country and made it soft and dependent. I will happily give up any and all US aid in exchange for Judah and Samaria. Israel could survive well without US aid, but will not survive if another enemy Arabs state is created on liberated Jewish land next door.

And if something happens to Jews in America, they can forget about having a place go run to, because Israel will have no room for American Jewish refugees! And this is not theory. THere are already as many Muslims as Jews in America, and that percentage will grow rapidly, and Jews here too will find themselves on a sliding slope to nowhere.

Apr. 03 2012 11:43 AM
Peter from North Carolina

Boycotts punish the innocent, but if you want to boycott Israel, how about boycotting Palestinians for firing 12,000 rockets and using terrorism instead of negotiations.

Apr. 03 2012 11:41 AM
Theresa from Brooklyn

Dude, comparing Palestinians to Jews resident in Germany does not really help your case.

Apr. 03 2012 11:41 AM
PV from nj

Is that an answer to my question? or an autobiographical rant? If so, it doesn't reflect too well
on your ability to read and understand English my friend

Apr. 03 2012 11:41 AM

is this just

Apr. 03 2012 11:40 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

This is what happens when you, no matter - how "well meaning," set up a state based on a race or an ethnic group - you will always have some level of chauvinism, as you will always have to "socially engineer" that racial/ethnic group to remain a majority in that State.

Apr. 03 2012 11:40 AM

It is hard to listen to this fool re-imaging Jewish history into his own twisted version. After nearly 2 centuries of war the Poles and Germans swapped populations around Gdansk, and so did the Greeks and the Turks. This is what needs to happen with Israel and the Muslims.

Apr. 03 2012 11:39 AM

I see - there is Zionism without a crisis and Peter Beinart is its prophet.

Apr. 03 2012 11:39 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Olmert, like Beinart, spoke at the J Street Conference last week.
It is understandadble that Beinart would consider Olmert (indicted for corruption) a better Prime Minister.

Apr. 03 2012 11:39 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I was born a Jew on German soil in a refugee camp in 1946. DOes that make me a German? Would most ethnic Germans call me a German? When I lived in ISrael, and became unemployed, I toyed with the idea of working in Germany. I went to the German embassy in Tel Aviv to inquire having been born on German soil if I had any rigths in Germany. The representative informed me that I was a "Polish refugee" born on German soil, but that gives me no rights, other than to apply for a visa, and possibly a work visa.

So being born someplace means nothing, unless the constitution of that country says otherwise.

Apr. 03 2012 11:39 AM

How 'bout this:

Israel maintains it's obstinate behavior, continues to build, steal and murder and, the USA stops paying the tab.

Let's see what happens, then.

Apr. 03 2012 11:39 AM

(Could this discussion please focus on what Beinart is actually saying, given the sufficiently controversial content within its sensibly left-ish diplomatic tone. He mentions "the character of Israel as a Jewish state," for instance, by definition exclusionary.)

Apr. 03 2012 11:37 AM
Peter from North Carolina

There is nothing "impossible" about a two state solution. I can't believe the guest host just said that. Most of the settlements are on a very small part of the West Bank. Land swaps have long been established as the way to deal with the about 5% or less of the West Bank which Israelis live in.

Apr. 03 2012 11:37 AM


Learn to say "Judea". The area was Judea for 3,000 years and some people call it "West Bank" for only 60.

Unless, you mean "New Jersey" - it is on the west bank of Hudson.

Apr. 03 2012 11:37 AM
bernie from bklyn

@garyfromqueens- it was a rhetorical question. israel should not exist. the jewish people can live without the existence of israel. the colonial dividing lines of the 43 muslim nations are a mess too but their creation wasn't forced down the throat of the rest of the world like the creation of israel.
should the world powers dissolve the nation of turkey and call it armenia and give armenians complete control of the government and protect them militarily for eternity?

Apr. 03 2012 11:37 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Wow! The host is also a liberal "Jew" who does not live in Israel but says silly things. Jews LIVED in GErmany for 1700 years! What part of Germany is Jewish soil? Jews lived in Medina for 500 years. What part of Saudi Arabia is Jewish soil. Jews have lived in American for 350 years. What part of AMerica is independent Jewish soil? The fact that Arabs lived on Jewish soil for hundreds of years, so what? Does that give them the right to have another Arab state on Jewish soil? Do Jews have the right to an independent state in America? Do the Sioux have a state? Do the Seminoles have a state?

Just because a group of people have lived on someonie else's territory for many centuries does not ipso facto give them the right to independent nationhood.

Apr. 03 2012 11:35 AM

the speaker just acknowledged racism within israel.

Apr. 03 2012 11:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bernie

Not funny at all. First of all, how do you know what the majority of so-called "Palestinians" living in Judah, Samaria and Gaza actually want? Did you take a referendum? Have they ever had a democratic voice. I lived in Beersheba and worked outside of Sderot back in the 1980s. I am convinced that if given a true democratic choice, the majority of Palestinians, like the majority of Puerto Ricans, would not want total independence nor necessarily become part of the Jewish state. As with Puerto Rico, many have worked in Israel, getting good wages, and health benefits and Israeli social security, etc. I lived there. I visited Puerto Rico, but I would not claim to know what Puerto Ricans want. You don't know what most Palestinians want. They may want to destroy the Jewish state, and take over, but that's not going to happen. So many "Palestinians" would be satisfied with the status quo, to get benefits but not officially be part of the country.

Apr. 03 2012 11:31 AM

"Israeli society in general – and Ashkenazi Jews in particular – have been described as holding discriminatory attitudes towards Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent, known as Mizrahi Jews, Sephardic Jews, and Oriental Jews"[134] - wikipedia article on Racism in Israel.

You guys cant even get along with yourselves, lol.

Apr. 03 2012 11:30 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

It's funny how the Jewish right, always try to re-write history by trying to strip Zionism of all of its "socialist" and "leftist" past.

Apr. 03 2012 11:28 AM
gary from queens

bernie from bklyn: "why does israel exist again?"

1. Why do 43 Muslim nations exit??

2. Jews were almost eradicated through centuries-worth of systematic and unsystematic genocide, with the aid of clueless bystanders like one who would ask such a question at this late stage in history.

Apr. 03 2012 11:28 AM

1. I don't expect much from this interview - Brian is not there.

2. Thanks to Martin Chuzzlewit for posting some RELEVANT information about this topic

3. I pledge not to respond to dumb comments from boys and girls.

Apr. 03 2012 11:28 AM

Murray from Brooklyn ~

Thank you.

Apr. 03 2012 11:27 AM
bernie from bklyn

@jgarbuz- wow, comparing palestine to puerto rico is pretty funny! are you kidding me?
ok, here's one difference- the puerto rican people don't want independence! i'm puerto rican. i don't want independence or statehood. i am the majority.
the palestinian people want independence and freedom and don't have anything remotely close to it.

Apr. 03 2012 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


Do you have a homeland to America from? Were you expelled from your homeland? I was born a refugee in Germany after the Holcaust after my parent's families were murdered on both sides and they barely escaped> WE were waiting to go to Palestine, but it was at war and Truman graciously allowed us to come to America, God bless him. That's why I am in America. Why am I not in Israel right now? Because (a) Arabs occupy half my homeland and constantly make war; and (2) Liberal Jews like the one who is going to be on run most of the institutions there as well, and wanted ISrael to be a SOCIALIST state rather than a Jewish one. That is why I am again in AMerica and not in Israel. Israel is occupied by Arabs and Jewish left-wingers who don't know why they are there either. THey were kicked out of Europe and the Muslims states ,and the US did not let them in, so they came to be the rulers of Israel. Thankfully, Netanyahu and a few other TRUE Jewish nationalists finally came to power, but they are under attack by the Jewish Left and of course the Arabs, naturally. Anyone who is against a Jewish state, be they bolshevik Jews or Muslim Arabs, are basically on the same side of the struggle.

So why are you in America? Came for the money?

Apr. 03 2012 11:26 AM
John A. from west bank of Manhattan

The fact that there are 8 comments here (of substance) without even having a segment (yet) just proves that the situation is very wrong. Its interesting that many persons of Jewish heritage are pro religious separation when it comes to the US, not so it seems with Israel. Those that scrutinize Zionism, you have my thanks.

Apr. 03 2012 11:21 AM

Remember the WNYC posting policy, which asks that you remain civil and refrain from personal attacks. Also, that you react to the conversation on the air, which has yet to begin. You can make your argument without attacking each other personally. Thanks,
-BL Producer-

Apr. 03 2012 11:20 AM

meatwnyc ~

The nuts are in a constant state of hysteria, incapable of dialogue.

Clearly demonstrated, here...BEFORE THE DISCUSSION EVEN BEGINS - 6:46 am!! They get up early to spew their ideology.

meatwnyc - you're an anti semite, too, aren't you??

Apr. 03 2012 11:19 AM
PV from nj

As a recent immigrant Im trying to get some clarity, because Im truly confused based on the general narrative I've picked up on here in the US. If I say Im against the occupation and believe that the Palestinians should have the RIGHT as human beings to have sovereignty over their land, air and sea. Freedom of movement and self - determination. Is that anti-semetic? I would love to have this clarified by someone who knows please. Thanks

Apr. 03 2012 11:18 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


If Israel is an apartheid state so is the US for not giving Puerto Rico independence nor allowing Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico to vote for Congress or for President. No one has explained the difference between Puerto Rico and present day "Palestine." Both rule themselves. Both cannot vote in the election of the occupying country. Neither can have their own army or independent foreign policies. Neither can have foreign bases. But otherwise, Palestine and Puerto Rico are almost the same. Imagine if the Puerto Ricans said they want independence however do not recognize the right of the United States to exist, or at the very least all white and black people must go back to Europe and Africa.

Apr. 03 2012 11:14 AM
bernie from bklyn

why does israel exist again?

Apr. 03 2012 11:14 AM
Gary from queens


YOU, and Thomas Friedman and Beinart etal can AFFORD to be dovish on this issue, and philosophically share the dream of a palestinian state.

But what you can't get into your skull is:

1. That "dream" is solely YOURS. The dream of Muslims in palestine is the eradication of Sovereign Israel, and any non-muslim state in that region.

2. You can afford to be all kumbayah because you haven't lived under constant seige for 60 years. You haven't lost a child in a school bus bombing. Or had your infant stabbed while in his crib. But israelis have, and that's why they've become cautious about a palestinian state and american sponsored peace plans.

Apr. 03 2012 11:10 AM

Wow! So many predictable long winded "responds" already and the on-air conversation hasn't even been started yet! Makes you wonder if people are capable of a "conversation" on this topic or just a series of pompous monologues.

Apr. 03 2012 11:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Yes, Dboy and John,

Once again you will have the edification of hearing some liberal Jew, who never lived in Israel and knows NOTHING of the actual history of modern Zionsm and particularly the pre-state period from 1882 to 1947, who will once again put the onus of this deadlock in the so-called "peace process" on his fellow Jews who will be labelled the obstinate party.

He will ignore the fact that a Palestinian state has existed in eastern Palestine since 1923, albeit renamed as "Jordan" thanks to the WHite Paper of 1922 which dashed zionist hopes for a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan river. He will ignore the desperate offer by the Royal Peel Commission of 1937 which would have radically reduced the Jewish claim to only 10% of Palestine, but yet the Arabs refused to even meet the commission and hear of ANY proposal for a Jewish state on even one square inch of "historic Islamic Arab Palestine." And of course he will ignore the fact that no Muslim country TODAY accepts Israel as being JEWISH SOIL the way Ireland is Irish soil, Poland Polish soil, or Saudia Arabia as ARab soil. But he WILL put the onus on Israel as the party who is holding up the peace process by not "creating" a Palestinian state for the Arabs living in Judah, Samaria and Gaza. As if the Jews, not having had enough to create their own state, have to also create an enemy Arab state on liberated Jewish soil as well! Jeez! Like the US trying to create democratic Muslim states for them all over the ME,and going broke trying to do so!

Apr. 03 2012 11:10 AM
Murray from Brooklyn

How does Mr. Beinart respond to being labeled as a "self-hating Jew," anti-Semetic, or willing to sell out his faith for profit? The comments in this section reflect this vitriolic and personal criticism of Mr. Beinart.

As a proud Jew, I have admiration for Mr. Beinart and Gershom Gorenberg, just as a proud American, I have admiration for Niall Ferguson, Andrew Bacevich, and Thomas Friedman. Criticism can be a means of progress. I have traveled regularly to Israel for over thirty years. I have observed the rise of extremism and, at this stage of my life, it upsets me deeply. I once dreamed of retiring in Israel. I do not recognize that country anymore.

Apr. 03 2012 10:29 AM
gary from queens

is an anti israeli website. I'm tired of reading the PLO lies. And if you want to talk about fair, tell us how fair it was for Palestinians to have wanted Israel destroyed before "occupation"? Since it's birth, they're been at war with israel. Why should they get any land now, especially since polls of muslims in palestine want israel eradicated.

"Incitement" is the cause of murder of innocent civilians. Not "occupation"!

Apr. 03 2012 10:23 AM
john from office

How did I know that this subject will generate alot of comments?? Dboy get on your horse!

Apr. 03 2012 10:13 AM

is this just ?

Apr. 03 2012 10:09 AM

Just a reminder of the WNYC comments policy, which asks that you be civil, breif, and on topic to the conversation taking place on the air. This conversation will take place on the air at 11:25am today.
-BL Producer-

Apr. 03 2012 08:54 AM
gary from queens

WHAT "occupation"?!
Gaza is run by Hamas, and 95 percent of the West Bank is patrolled by PLO.

Apr. 03 2012 08:47 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

As Sol Stern writes in COMMENTARY- the crisis isn’t in Zionism, but in Beinart’s own confused mind.

“What is wrong with Beinart’s book is contained within its title, The Crisis of Zionism. Zionism itself is not in crisis. The liberal Zionism Beinart espouses is, because Beinart and others like him have decided to condition their belief in a Jewish national homeland on its pursuit of policies that make them feel good.

Beinart imagines Stephen Wise showing up at a meeting in the Oval Office with the president and representatives of today’s Jewish establishment. Wise “would find only one person who espoused the liberal Zionism that he championed in his own time,” Beinart says. “And it would be the black man with the Muslim name: Barack Hussein Obama.”

LOL, YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP..….but Beinart did.
And he's laughing all the way to the bank.

Full Stern review:

Apr. 03 2012 08:13 AM
Michael Wong from Brooklyn

Why do certain supporters of Israel regularly accuse critics of anti-semitism? Is it to shut down debate or even mild criticism of Israeli government policy? While I consider myself a supporter of Israel, such tactics are disreputable and I don't agree with being so rigid and inflexible behing Likud.

Apr. 03 2012 06:50 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

An Author of Beinart’s Blog For This Book on Daily Beast Publicly Resigns Monday: Feeding The Hatred For Israel Is Beinart’s Only Real Accomplishment -

"Dear Peter,

Unfortunately, I must resign from my role as regular columnist for Zion Square, now Open Zion.

When you contacted me several months ago about writing a weekly post for the Daily Beast summarizing developments in ultra-Orthodox media, I was enthusiastic. Politically, you and I have much in common, as we both lie firmly on Israel's left.
But Open Zion quickly staked out its territory in the troubling location where left-wing Zionism drifts into post-Zionism which drifts into anti-Zionism.
Open Zion has emerged as a.....venue for unbalanced accusations against Israel, Zionism, and settlers. I wanted serious discussion.....instead, I got morally confused debates over whether Israel is or is not an apartheid state.....too much self-righteous moralizing about Zionism's culpability for the evil of the occupation.....cavalier posturing about Jews boycotting other Jews.
In my academic life, I am fascinated by the study of that kind of journalism. But I do not want to be involved in producing it."

Yoel Finkelman’s full letter here:

Apr. 03 2012 06:46 AM

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