Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fresh discussion of one-state/two state, Iran, BDS and the meaning of democracy

From The Daily Beast 8/27/2012
How Bill Kristol and JVP Are Both "Israel-Agnostic"

by Peter Beinart Aug 27, 2012 10:30 AM EDT
Here we go again. The Republican Jewish Coalition and Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel are demanding that the Obama campaign renounce the endorsement of a California rabbi named Lynn Gottlieb because she supports boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against all of Israel and serves on the rabbinical council of Jewish Voices for Peace. (She’s also attended a dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and visited Tehran). Last year, Brandeis refused to admit a Jewish Voices for Peace chapter into Hillel. In 2010, the Anti-Defamation Leaguelisted JVP as one of the top ten “anti-Israel” groups in America.
To continue reading: 

Some interesting comments on the article:
Alan Levin
I applaud Peter Beinert's long journey to some of the more sensible position that he's taken towards Israel's occupation and oppression of Palestinians from where he was a numberof years ago. Here, sadly, he is being clever and equating JVP's principled and sensible positions with a hard line right-wing ideologue. He could do better. If he continues to follow his heart and use his intelligence he'll soon be on the JVP board.

Alice Rothchild
There are serious problems with all of these arguments.  The first lies in the US where one's credibility as a Jew no longer is based on living a life consistent with Jewish teachings and a sense of moral values and justice, but rather that one supports the policies of the Israeli government without question. Thus we see the highpitched hysteria of the Billy Kristols of the world and a serious policy of muzzling dissent within the Jewish community. Then we have the State of Israel which has descended into a state of increasing militarism, racism, and oppression towards its indigenous Palestinian population and the Palestinians who live under occupation. This tragic history is proof enough that a country cannot be a liberal democracy and preference one group of people over another while treating every threat as a post Holocaust existential trauma. While most Jews wring their hands over Palestinian aggression, there are many of us that welcome the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions as a nonviolent, creative, and historically powerful tactic to bring Israel and its supportersto their senses and to focus work on building human rights for all in the region, moving beyond our usual frightened tribal posture.

America First
Thank you for another well written article. However, I don't even think you need to go this deep to analyze the absurdity of the zionist supremacists in the US. A country cannot bedefined as jewish and democratic at the same time. Just like it cannot be defined as christian and democratic. Israel has become an apartheid state. Nothing the propaganda machine does will change that reality.
The only relevant question for Americans is how can we save the US destroying itself by being the protecter of this apartheid regime?

Pure sophistry by Mr.Beinart.
Even Norman Finklestein recognizes that the BDS program and supporters of the BDS program are notagnostic in their antipathy to the Israeli state.  Mr. Finklestein clearly condemned the movement and their supporters for their dishonesty in arguing that BDS was agnostic in its support of an one or two state solution.  He recognized that the BDS movement supports an one state solution in which the state of Israel will be destroyed. Not only are some of its founders on record for calling for an one state solution, but also the movement's support for the return of 6 million refugees to Israel leadsto the destruction of the Jewish state. The fact that BDS argues that itis agnostic with respect to state arrangements, and does not support either a one or two state solution, is, as Finklestein stated, a deception hiding the real agenda of the BDS movement to bring about the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel and the formation of a new Palestinian Arab state in its place.
Likewise JVP and Lynn Gottlieb who support the BDS program cannot claim to be ambivalent about the continuation of Israel's existence when BDS' aims are the replacement of the Jewish state with a Palestinian Arab state. To suggest that the Republican Jewish Coalition or the Emergency Committee are "Israel-agnostic" is the product of a tortured logic which the writer ought to know is untrue.  The RJC and the Emergency committee are very supportive of the continual existence of the Israeli state as the nation state of the Jewish people.  To suggest otherwise is pure sophistry on Mr.Beinart's behalf. Using the same deceptivearguments of the BDS movement in supporting JVP and Lynn Gottlieb, Beinart displays his own intellectual shortcomings. I wonder if it was acoalition of Jewish Democrats calling on President Obama, would Beinart have suggested that the Jewish Democrats were Israel-agnostic using the same type of logic applied in this article?

Is the lobby that controls the foreign affairs agenda of the US congress an ‘Israel lobby’ or an ‘Israeli lobby’? The former is a pressure group controlled by American evangelical Christians whilst the latter is ostensibly controlled by the government of Israel.We do know from where the funding originates, but who actually controls the moneymen and is that a sufficiently legitimate reason to say that this lobby should actually be designated a foreign agent within the US and subject to rigorous supervision in order to prevent it from suborning the constitution and the lives of millions to the interests of a foreign state? These questionsare neither anti-American nor anti-European, anti-Republican nor anti-Democrat,anti-Jewish nor anti-Christian, anti-white nor anti-black, anti-Semitic nor anti-Muslim.They are pro-democracy, pro-civil and human rights and pro-religion. The warning is against either overt or covert manipulation of the democratic process that effectively gang-rapes the provisions of the American constitutionand the Bill of Rights, for which so many gave their lives so that we could enjoy freedom from the manipulation of power that we, unfortunately, see in government again today.

Bill Kristol is plain wrong. Funded and armed by an Israel-lobby-controlled US congress, the Netanyahu government feel invincible - able to attack the 75 millionIranian people, to bomb and kill as they see fit whilst the UN and the international community must stay silent as the hours and days tick by towards the start of an Israeli manufactured nuclear war that could contaminate the ME region, including the Gulf, for years. It would almost certainly cut Gulf oil supplies to Europe for a period of weeks or months, the consequence of which would be a doubling or trebling of the price of petrol and all transport costs throughout the EU. Eventually, the US would reopen any blockage in the Strait of Hormuz caused by the war, but not before immense damage would have been caused to European economies. The answer must be for the European parliament to warn Messrs Netanyahu, Barak & Lieberman that if they instigate an unlawful attack against Iran, then all bilateral trade between the EU and Israel will be immediately discontinued. In these potentially dangerous circumstances, it is necessary to use extraordinary economic force to prevent violent force that would affect all of us.