The Central Argument Between the Two Zionist Camps

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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. 
 
 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/09/the-central-argument-between-the-two-zionist-camps/245252/