Saturday, September 13, 2014

Radio Discussion on Liberal Zionism

.... and here is a radio discussion on Boston's WBUR "Open Source" with Jane Eisner (editor of the Forward), Peter Beinart, Bernard Avishai, and Phil Weiss discussing liberal Zionism, Gaza, and the way forward in Israel/Palestine.

  • Peter Beinart: nicely sets the table with a description of the fundamental tension that exists in Zionism between (a) the state of Israel as a country that has "protection of Jewish life" as its mission statement, and (b) a democracy with complete equality for all.  He notes that since '67 this tension has increased. 
  • Jane Eisner brings the mainstream American Jewish perspective: Israel is under attack, Israel has a right to defend itself, and, yes, what happened to the people in Gaza is sad.
  • Phil Weiss is the activist and emphasizes that Zionism structurally privileges one people over another. 
  • Bernard Avishai focuses on Hebrew culture, and the Hebrew language: "It's the country of Israel, not Ishmael, so, of course Hebrew culture will dominate...." (paraphrase b/c my memory is not perfect)  However, the Israeli democracy must be brought up to code. 

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