Overview of HaaretzQ Conference, Part 3

Categories: Israel, Letters From Leadership, Letters from the Leadership
Tags: , , ,
Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit; photo credit: Erica Gannett

[Click here for Part 2, and there for Part 1.] The final substantive session was a heart-to-heart dialogue between journalists and authors Peter Beinart and Ari Shavit.  The latter’s highly successful 2013 work, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, oddly both excused and indicted Israel for the expulsions of 1948 and the post-June ’67 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Shavit revels in the contradictions of his stance as a liberal who sees the occupation as undermining Israel’s future, and a moderate who blames “the left” for failing to win politically — warning that in another five to ten years, the two-state solution will be lost and with this the “Zionist project” completely undermined.

Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart; photo credit: Chandler West

Beinart emerged from his early professional years as the youthful editor of The New Republic magazine during its Israel-phile era under Martin Peretz into a left-liberal critic of Israel who is nonetheless a Zionist and religiously-committed Jew.  His controversial book, The Crisis of Zionism, came out in 2012 (for my review, click here); he teaches at the CUNY School of Journalism and writes for a number of publications.  Both he and Shavit write for Haaretz.

Shavit’s main point is that the left does not adequately meet the concerns of average middle-of-the-road Israelis, especially their legitimate fears about security.  He referred to “WASPs” — White Ashkenazi Supporters of Peace — as detached from most Israelis.

Beinart conceded that the left is too dismissive of Orthodox feelings toward such Biblical places as Hebron, Bethlehem and Shechem (now Nablus), and that Israel should negotiate for Jews to retain some “access” to them regardless of who is sovereign there.  In response to Shavit’s “WASP” remark, Beinart suggested that the left may discount Jewish suffering in the conflict because Palestinian losses are numerically much worse.  He went on to cite as untrue the Israeli narrative that the Palestinians rejected peace despite Israel offering them “everything”; this is “at best half true.”  The facts, Beinart contended, are on the left’s side that the Palestinians had a point in not rushing to embrace Israeli negotiating positions.

Shavit disputed this, but conceded that Oslo should have stopped settlement expansion.  He later concluded with the observation that Israel’s “surrender to the ultra-Orthodox and ultra-nationalists” constitutes “an embarrassment” for the country.

Ben-Ami and Michaeli

Moderator Aluf Benn (left) with MK Merav Michaeli and Jeremy Ben-Ami

Because of its all-important topic, it seems appropriate to conclude with some penetrating comments from an earlier panel discussion: “Beyond negotiations: Can the peace process be unfrozen to achieve more than ‘conflict management’?”  Labor Member of Knesset Merav Michaeli observed that most Israelis (because they don’t read Haaretz) are ignorant of what’s going on in the West Bank.  Failed attempts at establishing two states makes most Israelis doubt that it’s possible.  Israel needs a prime minister with “the will” to make it happen.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, expressed exasperation with discussions on how the two-state solution is dead or dying, because “there is no other solution.”  He declared that “J Street is about changing the political reality” in this country so that the US government will not feel “constrained” to help.  But he added that the US cannot impose the solution from above.

Although it’s no more than a running outline, I suggest clicking to “HaaretzQ Live,” for an overview of all the conference’s various sessions.

 

About Ralph Seliger

A veteran editor, freelance writer and blogger, I edited the print magazine, "Israel Horizons," from 2003 until 2011; and I've blogged for and edited the Meretz USA and now Partners for Progressive Israel Blog since its inception in 2006 (although I no longer edit the PPI Blog). I've been an active supporter of the Zionist peace camp since 1982. Other print and online platforms where I've been published include: The Forward, The Daily Beast, History News Network, Tikkun, In These Times, Jewish Week, New Jersey Jewish News, Jewish Currents, Huffington Post, and Dissent.
This entry was posted in Israel, Letters From Leadership, Letters from the Leadership and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Overview of HaaretzQ Conference, Part 3

  1. ksqyweljf says:

    oPZXvv txrcwszkrggc, [url=http://qjukcjvibnmu.com/]qjukcjvibnmu[/url], [link=http://biruirifhfdp.com/]biruirifhfdp[/link], http://omadhnphrunn.com/

  2. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  3. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

  4. Only wanna input on few general things, The website pattern is perfect, the articles is really wonderful. “War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military.” by Georges Clemenceau.

  5. I believe this web site contains some real great info for everyone. “It is easy enough to define what the Commonwealth is not. Indeed this is quite a popular pastime.” by Elizabeth II.

  6. You have brought up a very great details, appreciate it for the post.

  7. Nice post. I be taught something more difficult on different blogs everyday. It should at all times be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and apply a bit one thing from their store. I’d desire to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  8. click here says:

    Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my website?

  9. click here says:

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your website is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you¦ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What a great web site.

  10. vip prints says:

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  11. printing says:

    I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site :).

  12. vip print says:

    I really enjoy reading on this internet site, it has good blog posts. “Do what you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” by Anthony Robbins.

  13. Thanks for some other great post. The place else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such info.

  14. club flyer says:

    I got what you intend, thankyou for posting.Woh I am pleased to find this website through google. “Success is dependent on effort.” by Sophocles.

  15. club flyer says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.