Peter Beinart is a writer, CNN political contributor, and Professor at the City University of New York and every time I hear Beinart introduced on a CNN segment my blood begins to boil. I have the same reaction when his Haaretz articles are published. As a matter of fact and in full disclosure, my strong dislike for Beinart began in 2008. Peter Beinart was a guest speaker at a Passover retreat I attended in Mexico. To just say he was a guest speaker would not be an adequate characterization, in my mind he was there as a campaign stumper for then candidate Obama. He smugly told an audience of mostly American Jews why Obama was their only horse in the race. Fast forward to present; how many American Jews regret voting for Barack Obama?
This past summer, I watched angrily as Peter Beinart spewed his liberal approach to solving the Israeli-Palestinian problems to all who would listen. He consistently laid the fault of the conflict on Netanyahu and on Israel’s discriminatory and inhumane treatment of the Palestinians. At every turn, Beinart cautioned the CNN viewers that Israel’s lack of commitment to the two state solution was the core issue. I often thought to myself; with friends like this who needs enemies? With his skewed characterization of the conflict, Beinart was feeding a spiraling anti-Semitic frenzy. How scary to know that this man is a graduate professor at CUNY.
This week in Haaretz, Beinart weighed in on the now infamous Obama-Netanyahu spat. He has declared the winners and the losers. American Jewry and the various organizations and committees that represent American Jewry are the losers. He goes on to say the great divide between the older pro-Israel American constituency and the younger pro-humanitarian liberal American Jews has been dealt a devastating blow and the rift may be beyond repair.
Beinart underscores the young American Jewish liberal disgust with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. He says Palestinians are denied the right of citizenship, the right to vote, travel freely within Israel, and live under the same legal system as their Jewish neighbors. Herein lies my dilemma with the “brilliant” Peter Beinart; context. Does Peter Beinart ever mention the Israeli-Arab population which holds Israeli citizenship, serves in the army, hold political offices and vote in Israeli elections? No, because that would diminish his point.
I‘m wondering why Beinart and his liberal posse are so upset about Palestinians in the West Bank & Gaza not having Israeli citizenship? Isn’t the ultimate game plan to have a two state solution and Palestinians be citizens of their own self-determined rule? Why would Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza need to vote in Israeli elections when they currently vote for their leadership in their own territories? In fact, I would say that Palestinians share their voice quite regularly. They vote all the time with their actions. They voted for Hamas leadership, they voted to build an infrastructure of terror tunnels instead of schools and hospitals, they voted to store rockets in schools, they voted to hold celebratory parades to mark Israeli deaths, they voted to use ambulances as Hamas transportation, they voted to maintain the language in their charter calling for the destruction of Israel and the weeding out of Zionists throughout the world. Lastly, why would Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza want to live under Israeli law? Shouldn’t they have the choice to set up a legal system of their own?
The liberal American Jewish voice singularly holds the tiny country of Israel to a far higher moral standard than they do any other country in the world. In fact they seemingly turn a blind eye to the true human rights abusers.
Perhaps instead of Beinart widening the divide between American Jews and promoting hatred towards the Likud party and Israel he could take a new approach. Invite the Palestinians to pull up their pants, tie their shoes, wash their hands, put aside their automatic weapons and sit down at the dinner table like grown-ups. Sorry, but there will be no certified blood libel matzo on the menu!