The Central Argument Between the Two Zionist Camps

More

Rabbi Eric Yoffie's latest column in The Jersualem Post is worth reading; it captures the essence of what we might call "Two-State Zionism" and the "Domination Zionism" of the right-wing:

I have a friend who is a leader of a rightwing Zionist organization. While working with him to oppose the UN resolution on Palestinian statehood, he asked me why I am so passionate in my commitment to a two-state solution. 
 
My answer: I have fought for Israel my entire life. Perhaps someday I will decide to live there. And when that happens I want to be living among Jews. Not entirely, but primarily. 
 
His response: How can you say that? 
 
My response: Ze'ev Maghen, in his book John Lennon and the Jews, talks about "preferential love." That is what we are talking about here. I care about humankind, but I love my own group a bit more. I am more comfortable with them. I care more about them, just as I care more about my family than other families. Without a two-state solution, Israel will not longer be a state for my group; it will be a bi-national state without a clear Jewish identity. That is not the kind of place where I, or most Israeli Jews, will want to live.
 
His response: Are you saying you don't want too many Arabs in the Jewish state?
 
My response: Yes, that's exactly what I am saying.
 
His response: What do you say to your Arab friends?
 
My response: I tell them that just as I want the Jewish state to be organized around my group, I assume that they want a Palestinian state to be organized around their group. Fine. So be it. In the Middle East, there is little to suggest that other arrangements can work. 
 
His response: You are a bigot. We on the right are perfectly prepared to live with Arabs.
 
My response: In the first place, I don't apologize for my views because I don't apologize for Zionism. Zionism came into being to create a state in which a total Jewish experience would be possible--a place where Judaism belongs to the public domain and Hebrew is the language of everyday. This requires a large Jewish majority. In the second place, I don't believe you. You say you are prepared to live with Arabs, but the conduct of too many rightwing settlers - the people you call your allies - suggests otherwise. Living with Arabs not only means being around Arabs - after all, I recognize that Israel has, and will always have, an Arab minority - but it means living with them on equal terms. And your movement has not fought for the equal rights of Israeli Arabs, as I have; as for West Bank Arabs, nearly everything you have supported over the years indicates that you want them to remain without a state, without rights, and subservient to Jews. 
 
 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, Goldberg also writes the magazine's advice column. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward, and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

His book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. Goldberg rthe recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism. He is also the recipient of 2005's Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

From This Author

Just In