The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee published a position paper on Aug. 15, 1967 in reaction to the Six-Day War, in which they wrote of the “Zionists … illegal takeover of Palestine” and that “the United Nations partition plan … was not legal under the Charter of the United Nations and was never approved by any African, Asian or Middle-Eastern country.” In fact, already in the June-July 1967 issue of the SNCC newsletter, one can find a semblance of the current theme of intersectionality in the explanation of the editors that African-Americans must know and understand what “our brothers are doing in their homelands” in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Furthermore, the SNCC asserted in August that “Israel is and always has been the tool and foot-hold for American and British exploitation.” In addition to referring to a conspiracy theory about the Rothschilds, the statement ends:
“America has worked with and used powerful organized Zionist movement to take over another people’s home and to replace these people with a partner who has well served America’s purpose … to exploit and control the nations of Africa, the Middle East and Africa.”
By 1973, as a result of Maxime Rodinson’s treatise that originally appeared in French in 1967 (having been written in 1966) titled “Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?”, the portrayal of Zionism and Israel as illegitimate and representing the worst example of what the New Left opposed was well entrenched. The foundations for today’s thought framework were being constructed already then.
Thus, in 2018, one could read at the OpenDemocracy website, in total falsification, that: “The first European Jews landed on the shores of Palestine and established early settlements in the 19th century. In 1948, Zionist forces systematically took over land. … The foundations of Israel are rooted in a colonial project that has modernized its face but continues to subject Palestinians … .” And slowly, but surely, this framework of the conflict settled into the minds of academics and then into university teaching staff and then into the minds of the students.
But what was required was a specific Jewish twist to this process, an obversion of the simple truth. This was provided by the neo-Marxist progressive camp that was developing.
Its eventual formulation was provided by journalist Peter Beinart, writing in The New York Times on Oct. 23 that “Jews in the United States, and even Israel, were beginning to see Palestinian liberation as a form of Jewish liberation as well.” An earlier version of this catchphrase was that of sociologist Na’ama Carlin, dual Israeli-Australian citizen, who penned “No liberation until Palestinian liberation” in Eureka Street on April 16, 2018. In July of that year, marchers of IfNotNow carried a banner, seen in New York magazine, which read “The Jewish Future Demands Palestinian Freedom.” The fates of the two peoples were being intertwined, although there was no value equivalency—historical, cultural, literary, religious or legal in any way.
As it happened, Beinart, who has become the Moses leading Jewish youth out of Zionism, has now adopted the position that “A Jewish state … is not the essence of Zionism. The essence of Zionism is a Jewish home in the land of Israel … that can provide refuge and rejuvenation … not a Jewish state but a Jewish society, a Jewish home.” We witness a reborn Ahad Ha-Amism, that “The main point … is not how much we do but how we do it” as he wrote in 1891.
For Beinart, the goal is “equality,” which he must know is just another instrument of Palestinianism that would do away with a Jewish state. He even shrugged off Arab violence, writing:
“Yes, there are Palestinians who have committed acts of terrorism. But so have the members of many oppressed groups. History shows that when people gain their freedom, violence declines.”
I am resigned to the fact that Beinart would simply shrink off the observation that since 2005, Gaza has been unoccupied and “liberated,” and yet the violence has only increased. Israel does not oppress them but defends itself from their intent to oppress—and worse. The explanation for that, which eludes him and his followers, is that their goal is not that of Beinart’s. Violence is not a means but the essence of their goal: the elimination of the Zionist project and the eradication of the Jews, and not just those living in Israel.
These past few weeks have seen Jews, even those called rabbis, identifying with Hamas. They blocked the White House, sat in at the U.S. Capitol and the Grand Plaza Station, and milled about at the Statue of Liberty. They are not many, but their influence, it would appear, has spread across dozens of campuses and has emboldened Arab/Islamic students, as well as Christian anti-Semites, to bully, threaten, verbally and physically abuse Jewish students and others who support Israel. Their hate finds comfort in the Beinart/IfNotNow/JVP actions and words.
For decades, all hoped that the Arabs who self-identified as Palestinians would learn the norms of democracy and even liberalism from their close proximity, both in Israel and in the administered territories, to Israel’s vibrant society. It did not happen as expected. Yet the ideology of mutual interdependence still pulses through their brain cells. Even the Oct. 7 pogrom/massacre was brushed off by Beinart as being the result of Israeli brutality.
The vast majority of Gazans (as well as those living of Judea and Samaria) applaud the shedding of Jewish blood, handing out sweets for the cameras. Thousands of families are supported by “pay-for-slay” terror stipends doled out by Palestinian leadership.
(As an aside, I find it mind-bogglingly ironic that the current U.S. administration is threatening to withhold a supply of assault rifles from Israel, fearing that they may go to “extremist settlers,” yet have not truly pressured the Palestinian Authority to halt funds going directly to anti-Jewish terror, not to mention legislating American gun-control laws).
Jews supporting the eliminationist ideology, knowingly or not, are not only irrational but, in the long run, self-destructive. Theirs is a harmful obverse ingredient for Jewish survival.