Peter Beinart’s Book Explains Why Democrats Gave ‘Thundering Ovations’ At Bibi’s Speech To U.S. Joint Session Of Congress
The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman created a bit of controversy this December when he wrote:
I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.
Well, now some of the logistics of our Representatives’ enraptured response to Bibi’s speech are beginning to surface. The Democratic Party apparently had a conductor to signal these moments: Democratic National Committee head, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
From Scott McConnell’s review of Peter Beinart’s new book, The Crisis of Zionism (emphasis is mine):
A year later, when Obama stated that the 1967 borders should be the starting point for renewed two-state negotiations—an American position for more than a generation—Netanyahu delivered what Beinart describes as “one of the most extraordinary humiliations of a president by a foreign leader in American history.” Fresh from speaking at AIPAC’s annual conference, Netanyahu replied that there was no chance of Israel withdrawing to “indefensible lines.”
Then Netanyahu went before a joint session of Congress. Each member of Congress had a single gallery pass to give out, and most gave theirs to their largest AIPAC donor. With the hall packed with supporters, Netanyahu received one thundering ovation after another. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who as head of the Democratic National Committee plays a key role in party fundraising, used arm motions to signal to her colleagues when to stand and applaud, and they rose and clapped at Netanyahu’s most controversial statements.
Concluding from this that America was unlikely to help, the Palestinian Authority tried to secure United Nations backing for a state within the 1967 borders. […]
(h/t to Justin Elliott from Salon)
Wonder if the President, whom the Israeli Prime Minister humiliated that afternoon, ever called Wasserman-Schultz to ask her whose side she is on?
Two State Solution: Why A Jewish Democracy Is An Impossibility
In Peter Beinart’s NY Times Op-Ed, To Save Israel, Boycott the Settlements, he begins by painting the picture of a ‘noble’ ideal being attacked by two antithetical extremes:
TO believe in a democratic Jewish state today is to be caught between the jaws of a pincer.
He first points out the threat to Israel’s status as a democracy, namely Israel’s continued occupation and settlement expansion of Palestinian lands, where “millions of West Bank Palestinians are barred from citizenship and the right to vote in the state that controls their lives.”
He then points towards what he feels threatens Israel’s Jewish majority, namely BDS supporters’ calls for “the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes,” which if were to happen, would “dismantle Israel as a Jewish state.”
What strikes me as odd, is the fact that Beinart cannot see the blatant incongruity of the two core components of his Utopian ideal for Israel: ‘democratic Jewish’ state.
It is farcical to believe that a two-state solution, even if it prohibited the Palestinians’ right of return (which international law, by the way, accords every human being on the planet), would bring a ‘Jewish Democracy.’
Democracy is a government by the people, as ruled by the majority. If one subgroup within what constitutes ‘the people’ is permitted to enforce discriminatory laws to ensure that their group always enjoys a ruling majority, then the government is not really one of ‘the people’ — i.e. a democracy — but a government of that one subgroup.
Those outside that dominant subgroup, in this case non-Jewish Israelis, could not claim to enjoy democracy inside their own country, because the laws have been stacked against them to ensure they will always remain outnumbered, and thus, their voices forever silenced in government.
To predetermine that ANY group will always remain powerless within their own government is to pervert the very concept of democracy in ways that might even make Vladimir Putin blush.
Liberal Zionists should at least be honest, like Netanyahu has been, and state unequivocally that their notion of Israel’s ‘survival’ is predicated on a country where ONLY Jews will have a voice in government, and all non-Jews effectively silenced by a permanent minority status, which can only be ensured by systematic discrimination.