Peter Beinart’s illiberal mission: To subvert Jewish & non-Jewish support for Israel

The following post was written by Yisrael Medad, and originally published at the Jerusalem Post and Love of the Land.

Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart once again pursues his goal of subverting Jewish and non-Jewish support for Zionism and the state of Israel. 

His new crusading essay has appeared, “The American Jewish Cocoon“. He is concerned with


“They” are the…

Palestinians that so often consume the American Jewish conversation about Israel.

He notes that…

For the most part, Palestinians do not speak in American synagogues or write in the Jewish press. The organization Birthright, which since 1999 has taken almost 350,000 young Diaspora Jews—mostly Americans—to visit Israel, does not venture to Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank (nor do they come to the Jewish communities, btw – YM)… the organized American Jewish community a closed intellectual space, isolated from the experiences and perspectives of roughly half the people under Israeli control. And the result is that American Jewish leaders, even those who harbor no animosity toward Palestinians, know little about the reality of their lives.

He, but of course, want American Jews to provide a platform for the Arabs of the former League of Nations territory awarded as a Mandate for the purpose of the reconstitution of the Jewish national home. For him, he is bothered that in not doing so, it is…

almost impossible for Jewish campus organizations to invite a Palestinian speaker.

He bemoans the standards that are set, which, to his thinking, are too high.

First, “delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard” is so vague that it could bar virtually any Palestinian (or, for that matter, non-Palestinian) critic of Israeli policy. 

As a result, American Jews, for the most part…

don’t know the degree to which Palestinians are denied those rights in the West Bank. They are unfamiliar with the realities of ordinary Palestinian life because they live inside the cocoon the organized American Jewish community has built for itself.

Not only, then, is the consequence of “this isolation” a “lack of information”, but…

the other is a lack of empathy

…as well as the minimization of 

the human toll of living, for forty-six years, without the basic rights that…Jewish neighbors take for granted….This lack of familiarity with Palestinian life also inclines many in the organized American Jewish world to assume that Palestinian anger toward Israel must be a product solely of Palestinian pathology…By walling themselves off from Palestinians, American Jews fail to understand the very behavior they seek to prevent.

He doesn’t like the trips Congressmen take, conveniently noting that AIPAC does not allow those it hosts to visit Jewish communities as well, although their regional directors have done their duty and seen, to an extent, the Jewish reality in Yesha, but not enough.

Beinart does take into consideration that…

in some ways a truly open conversation with Palestinians may be more discomforting to American Jews like myself who are committed to the two-state solution than to those skeptical of it.


Well, as Beinart admits…

Virtually every Palestinian I’ve ever met considers Zionism to be colonialist, imperialist, and racist.

Nevertheless, for Beinart, this open line to Arabs of the Palestinian Authority area is important for two reasons. The first is that ignorance is “dangerous” and that it can encourage “American Jewish hatred” and he refers to Sheldon Adelson’s remark of “why would I want to invest money with people who want to kill my people?” 

Beinart finishes his text so…

By seeing Palestinians—truly seeing them—we glimpse a faded, yellowing photograph of ourselves. We are reminded of the days when we were a stateless people, living at the mercy of others. And by recognizing the way statelessness threatens Palestinian dignity, we ensure that statehood doesn’t rob us of our own.

I can assure Beinart that the more American Jews get to know the truth – not the liberal-tinted glasses view, nor the propaganda view – they will be even more pro-Yesha, pro-Jewish retention of Judea and Samaria and more anti-Palestinianism.

They will learn of the “Temple Denial” phenomenon. They will become acquainted with the anti-Semitism at the root of Islamist ideology which drives (and, with the Grand Mufti El-Husseini’s pro-Nazism beginning in 1933, drove) their bloodthirsty opposition to Zionism. They will know that the dispute is not territorial nor where a boundary line will be drawn but it is existential. They will come to acknowledge the deeply rooted fanaticism and extremism that guides their anti-Zionism thinking and actions. They will recognize the lies and half-truths that form the basis of Palestinianism, the inventivity model of nationalism.

I publish their words. Many other bloggers and web sites do as well. With Google Translate, even the Arab-language sites are open to us all. There is no shortage of getting to know “the enemy”. In fact, we are commanded to, in a sense, to “know thy enemy” which, in Jewish thought was expressed in the Ethics of the Fathers, 2:14, by Rabbi Elazar who would say: ‘Be diligent in the study of Torah. Know what to answer a heretic’.

But Beinart seeks to turn things around. To weaken Jewish resolve which will lead to endangering Israel’s existence while permitting terrorists to gain sympathy. We cannot allow the history of the 9-decades conflict to dissolve into tears of empathy. 

If I do possess sympathy, I extend it to Beinart whose orientation is a twisted approach, one that subverts truth and lends itself to the further promotion of anti-Zionism, Israel’s delegitimization and its isolation.

He is not liberal in any sense but dogmatic and lacks true love of his people.

Oh, and that cocoon? No beautiful butterfly will appear from his suggestion.

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