Thursday, September 16, 2010

“Peace Talks:” Ongoing Masquerade, Another Photo Opportunity? A Miracle?



At New Left Project, there’s a timely and important interview with Gideon Levy, prominent Israeli journalist and member of the Ha’aretz editorial board. His most recent book is The Punishment of Gaza (Verso, 2010):

“For decades Gideon Levy has used the platform provided by the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz to shine a light on the brutal realities of Israel’s occupation. His journalism, along with that of his colleague Amira Hass, has been an invaluable resource not only for Israeli readers but, through the Ha’aretz website, for international audiences seeking an informed and humane Israeli perspective on the conflict. It would be difficult to overstate how isolated Levy is within his own society, an isolation that increased over the past decade as Israeli public opinion stampeded to the right. He has described elsewhere how Ha’aretz keeps a thick folder of subscription cancellations from readers outraged by his articles. Despite this hostility, his critique of Israeli policies has become more, not less, radical over time.”

From the interview:

Would you accept the label ‘anti-Zionist’ to characterise your views?

It depends what is ‘Zionism.’ Because Zionism is a very fluid concept – who can define what is Zionism? If Zionism means the right of the Jews to have a state, I am a Zionist. If Zionism means occupation, I’m an anti-Zionist. So I never know how to answer this question. If Zionism means to have a Jewish state at the expense of being a democratic state, then I am anti-Zionist, because I truly believe those two definitions are contradictory – ‘Jewish’ and ‘democratic’. For me, Israel should be a democratic state.

So would it be right to say that you support a state for Jews, but not a ‘Jewish state’ in the sense of a state that artificially maintains a Jewish majority?

Absolutely. It should be a state for Jews that will be a just state, a democratic state, and if there will be a Palestinian majority, there will be a Palestinian majority. The idea is that Jews have to have their place, but it can’t be exclusively theirs, because this land is not exclusively theirs.

The entire interview is here.
Cross-posted at ReligiousLeftLaw.com

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