Wednesday June 19, 2013
Are Liberal American Zionists 'Delusional'?Dr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
The Israeli government remains committed to the status quo of apartheid.
(CHICAGO) - Shortly after the polls closed in Israel’s Knesset election this past Tuesday, two American Liberal Zionist groups, J Street and Americans for Peace Now (APN), were out with triumphant emails to their peace-oriented members:
Writing for Mondoweiss, the website co-edited by Philip Weiss and Adan Horowitz, Alex Kane bluntly rejects that optimistic conclusion:
In his scathing criticism of the optimism of J Street and APN, Kane sets the stage for what will most certainly be an intense struggle within the American peace camp over the meaning of this Knesset election:
Ha’aretz columnist Ari Shavit joins the optimistic J Street amd APN crowd with his cry of relief that the election results benefit Israel’s identity:
Contrary to many pre-election stories that promised a surprise increase to as many as 15 seats for the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, led by Naftali Bennett, Bayit Yehudi was not the surprise of this week’s election.
The surprise of the election Tuesday was the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party, led not by a “charismatic” figure, but by a “handsome” former television personality turned politician in time to run in this 2013 election, Yair Lapid (shown above).
The most likely result of the election will be for Israeli President Shimon Peres to instruct Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government, one which will place leadership in the months ahead in a coalition led by the right-wing Netanyahu-Liberman parties with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.
Several reports from Israel predict that unless Avigdor Lieberman demands his Foreign Ministry post back (he resigned earlier because of legal problems) that post could go to Yair Lapid.
It is worth noting that Lapid’s parents moved their family to Israel when Lapid was a small child. Lapid learned his English from his American-born parents. He later worked in New York City, improving his American-made accent, a great advantage for an Israel foreign minister.
Does Lapid as a partner with Netanyahu offer hope for a creative approach to peace with Israel’s Palestinian neighbors? Is he truly the hope for peace that J Street and APN claim?
The evidence is not promising. Lapid’s campaign was focused on winning support from those Israeli voters who took to the streets last year to protest against Netanyahu’s poor handling of the economy.
His campaign largely ignored ”the Palestinian issue”, but on the Sunday before the election, Lapid shared his views on “Arabs” in a media interview, leaving no doubt as to his attitude toward Palestinians:
This is the man who is expected to form a new government with Netanyahu. The New York Times confirms that union:
Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational program, The Palestine Center, underscores Alex Kane’s judgment on Liberal Zionism’s overly optimistic reading of the election. Munayyer wrote on his blog:
Alex Kane agrees with Munayyer when he concludes his Mondoweiss rejection of the unrealistic optimism of J Street and Americans for Peace Now:
The start of a second term for Barack Obama is not a time for false optimism about peace that might arise from a new Israeli government. It is rather, a time for the realism of Palestinians like Hanan Ashrawi, writer, scholar and political activist, who brings a Palestinian realistic reminder to the world in an Ha’aretz piece she wrote before the election.
Are Liberal Zionists trapped in a delusion that leads them to protect their “Zionist identity” instead of seeking the justice which Zionism, as a political entity, has conspired to deny Palestinians?
It is a fair question, and it is a realistic question. Certainly, it is the kind of moral question that theologian Reinhold Niebuhr would demand that we examine.
Please visit Jim's Website, Wall Writings
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at email@example.com.
Articles for January 24, 2013 | Articles for January 25, 2013 | Articles for January 26, 2013
|Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Copyright © 2013 Salem-News.com | news tips & press releases: email@example.com.|