Phoning it in Phriday


Every Friday this blog links to some our favorite reads from the past week.

We’ve got quite the bog entry coming up on Sunday afternoon (hint: it features Ron Swanson), so be sure to check back here for more original content. For now though, it’s time to get ready for the weekend. Here are a few good reads for you to catch up on this weekend.

  • Joseph Levine’s take on Israel’s “right to exist” in the New York Times is recommended, more for the fact of its appearance in the New York Times than anything else. In my estimation, it is a very good argument for why the very idea of a Jewish State is itself problematic, though I disagree on some relatively minor points on how it relates to the phrase “right to exist.” Regardless, everyone is talking about it this week and for good reason, so read it if you want to be part of the conversation.
  • Jerry Haber (Charles Manekin), himself a liberal Zionist, takes Peter Beinart to task over his opposition to the BDS campaign. Taking Beinart to task seems to be all the rage these days. Here is the money quote, though the whole article is worth a read:

I am afraid that this is what many liberal Zionists miss. The real dispute is not between the one-staters and the two-staters, but between those who hold that the collective right of a settler people to self-determination trumps the human and civil rights of the indigenous natives, and those who do not.

There are two facts Mr. Obama would do well to keep in mind. The overwhelming dominance of Israel over the Palestinians means that the conflict is not one that demands reciprocal concessions from two equal parties. In addition, peace has to be made between Palestinians and Israelis, not between Mr. Obama and his critics in the Republican Party, the Israel lobby and Israel’s right-wing parties.

When an Arab attacks a Jew, he’s a terrorist, he’s with the movement, he’s been taught to hate. When a Jew attacks an Arab, he’s just a loner, an oddball, a bad egg. But we’ve seen so many bad eggs at this point that something here has begun to stink – and can no longer be explained away as a phenomenon on the fringes.

  • Finally, let’s end things this week on an optimistic note, with Omar Baddar’s video on how U.S. public discourse has shifted on Palestine/Israel over the past few years

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