Peter describes at length Bibi Netanyahu’s 1993 book making the case against statehood for Palestinians. It’s a disgusting expression of a classical Jewish paranoia in which any threat to Israel is tantamount to Nazism -- which, by the way, Leon Wieseltier masterfully dissected in 2002. The trouble is that Peter repeatedly passes off lines from the book as Netanyahu’s current viewpoint, which it isn’t. (He now accepts Palestinian statehood.) Now, Netanyahu is a slippery character, and one could make the case that he lacks the true desire to follow through on his new stance, and I wouldn’t dispute that. But to make this case is at least to acknowledge that Israeli politics have changed since 1993 such that Netanyahu’s old rejectionism is no longer tenable. That acknowledgement would complicate, and reduce the urgency of, Peter’s clarion call.
But also largely agrees:
The funny thing is that Peter and I probably agree almost entirely on the objective state of reality. Liberal Zionism is being squeezed on both ends by opponents who seek to define it out of existence. Conservatives wish to define Zionism as a conservative idea, so that any sympathizer of Israel must support the Republican Party. Left-wing critics of Israel, likewise, have found their most potent rhetorical tool to be describing any supporter of the U.S.-Israel alliance, from Likudniks to Meretz Party doves, as neoconservatives, so as to brand support for Israel as right-wing and unacceptable. Peter and I both find this pincer campaign threatening at an elemental level. He focuses more of his ire on the right-wing half, I direct more against the left.
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