Mar 18, 2012

Zion Square's Moral Compass

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

The Daily Beast is a very popular news, information, and opinion blog that covers all matters of breaking news, sex, celebrities, economics, and politics. The "keeper of the Beast" is Newsweek magazine.

On Middle East matters, the Beast has been a beast to Israel casting her as an occupier and neighborhood bully. I think the Beast prefers the image of anti-Zionist rather than anti-Israel leaving the nuances to the readers. The Beast employs opinion makers like Andrew Sullivan who never misses an opportunity to bash Israel; Peter Beinart who claims to care about Israel’s survival and worries about the Jewish people; and the late, great writer Christopher Hitchens who, until he discovered his Jewish roots, really was the sharpest of Israel’s critics amongst the intelligentsia.

The Beast has launched a new blog, ZionSquareA New Conversation About Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish Future. The editor is Peter Beinart, professor, columnist, author, and news commentator. Why? Aren't there enough sites and blogs addressing the subject? Beast is not sponsoring a forum on Islamist extremism, and its impact on the future of Muslim life; not on the Arab Spring (or Winter) as it unfolds and its impact on governments around the world and efforts to replace them with fundamentalist rule. Beast has no forum on The Vatican and the impact on the Church and the Catholic religion of rejected and anachronistic religious doctrines, unsupervised staff whose financial and sexual crimes are covered up as a matter of policy, or the impact on its future of a foreign policy that neither speaks for nor protects Christians in harms way in countries where they are being killed and preyed upon by Muslims and other anti-Christians.
“Why Zion Square?” writes Beinart, “Because every day, official Jewish discourse about Israel grows more disconnected from reality, and that disconnect endangers Palestinian dignity, American security and the Jewish future.”
Jews are disconnected from reality? Check out the 300 rockets fired into the country in the past days. There’s nothing more real than running for your life with three minutes notice from screaming sirens on Shabbat fired by people sworn to your death. How do you want us to talk about this relationship that endangers Palestinian dignity?

Israel’s reality check is daily from the President of Iran: “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of Islamic nation’s fury.” And from Hamas leaders: “Our plan for this stage is to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, and to establish a state on it. Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy.” Beinart’s reality is from behind a desk at City University of New York where he hasn’t seen a rocket’s red glare through the night in 200 years.

According to Beinart, Jews and Israel are overly concerned with the survival of the Jewish people.
“But because the Jewish establishment still depicts Jews as victims, this celebration of power comes without the burden of responsibility. Again and again, Jewish power is described merely as a vehicle for Jewish survival. As if Jewish history means that Jews—unlike other human beings—can use power only to survive and not to destroy. “
Does Beinart really believe Israel has used its power only to survive without holding out a hand of charity, goodwill and peace to the Palestinians and other nations?
“Zion Square’s mission is to launch a conversation not just about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not just about the specter of war with Iran, not just about the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jews, not just about Jewish theology and culture, but about the struggle to confront the ethical responsibilities of a world in which Jewish fortunes have radically changed.”
Which nation other than the United States has realized its ethical responsibilities and acted with more kindness and generosity? What other national army at war for more than six decades with enemies sworn to its country’s annihilation has acted as ethically and morally as Israel? I remember listening to National Public Radio in the U.S., as a Palestinian (I believe) woman complained that Israeli soldiers do not rape Palestinian women—what occupying army doesn’t rape the women she ranted? We are not pretty enough or human enough for them to rape us!

Beinart might really believe that this blog will elevate the discourse on peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but I doubt the keepers of the Beast and editors at Newsweek want to achieve anything more than add fuel to the disinvestment, boycott, and de-legitimization movements against Israel. In my opinion, they view ZionSquare, run by a Jew who self-proclaims his fidelity to Israel, as a means to sanitize and accomplish their ends.

Thanks for the moral compass, Peter, but I don’t think many of the rest of us Jews have lost our way on survival or any other issue you and your co-columnists write about.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a business consultant and writer on public on social policy.



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2 comments:

  1. Ah, but see http://zionsquare.com/.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dr. Goldmeier, the young woman complaining that Israeli soldiers don't rape Palestinians was a Jewish grad student at Hebrew U. Her thesis was the LACK of rape by Israeli soldiers just proved that they were discriminating against 'Palestinians'. You can't make this up, of course. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124674#.T2XzOHglapE

    ReplyDelete

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