the crisis of zionism


“The Jews are like rats,” Peter Beinart’s grandmother told him when he was a boy. “We leave the sinking ship.” This grandmother — who was born in Egypt and lived in South Africa but dreamed of joining her brother in Israel — believed that Israel was the last refuge of a hounded people, and she made Beinart, who was born in the United States, believe it, too. But Beinart, a former editor of The New Republic who now runs a blog called Open Zion, has a problem: he finds Israel, morally, a sinking ship. Instead of simply swimming away, he has written “The Crisis of Zionism,” in which he sets out to save the country by labeling many of its leaders racist, denouncing many of its American supporters as ­Holocaust-obsessed enablers and advocating a boycott of people and products from beyond Israel’s 1967 eastern border. While saving Israel, Beinart hopes with evangelical zeal to save America from a handful of Jewish organizations that in his view have not only hijacked American liberalism but also stolen the spine of the president of the United States, who, despite having received 78 percent of the Jewish vote, is powerless to pursue his own agenda.

more from Jonathan Rosen at the NY Times here.