If I’ve tired of discussing Israel, it’s because I can’t seem to write a post I haven’t already written. When I saw Leonard Fein’s excellent article in Dissent explaining what it means to be a liberal Zionist, I was struck by not only the article’s objective truth, but its tragic hopelessless. If you think Israel as a Jewish state is a good thing, even if your ideal Jewish state would be downright communist, you have no place on the left. I’ve said it before, and I appear to be saying it again. Does this make the Dissent crowd Republicans? Conservatives? No, not necessarily. But it’s telling that when do-gooder Nicholas Kristof defines the bad and good Israelis (a nuanced approach), he opposes those who fight for Jews, albeit from the right, and those concerned with the Palestinians, needless to say from the left. It is inconceivable by a mainstream or marginal Western (and I do not include Israel as Western) liberal standard that a good Jewish liberal might be interested in doing good for Jews, or for Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis alike. If you are a Jewish Israeli advocating for gay rights, redistribution of wealth, and less stringent marriage and conversion laws, that is, causes that are not specifically about the Palestinians, you are invisible as far as the left anywhere but Israel is concerned.
Cross posted from What Would Phoebe Do?