On August 14th I attended a book launch for ‘After Zionism‘, at the Educational Bookshop in Jerusalem, which featured three of the book’s contributor’s: Diana Butto, Joseph Dana and Antony Loewenstein.
(In addition to Butto, Dana and Loewenstein, contributors to the book include Israeli BDS activist Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Jeremiah Haber, ICAHD’s Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss of Mondoweiss.)
Here’s a photo I took at the event.
Butto is a Palestinian lawyer, former Berzeit University Professor, and former legal adviser to the PLO negotiating team. At one point during the Q&A of the Jerusalem launch Butto condemned the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israeli security, thus denying Palestinians the possibility of engaging in “resistance”.
Dana, an American Jew who (at some point in his life) had a political epiphany and, in his words, “broke free of the Zionist indoctrination program“, has contributed to the site +972 and now evidently lives in Ramallah where he claims he is now free to explore his Jewish identity. During the talk Dana evoked the South African model in characterizing how Israel will eventually implode and, at on point, without a hint of irony, mocked Israelis’ “siege mentality”, while simultaneously calling for the state’s destruction.
Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based Jewish anti-Zionist commentator who often warns of the danger posed by the organized Jewish community in his country. For instance, he has called for a public inquiry into the alleged power and influence of the Jewish lobby in Australia, and once warned that “old, connected Jewish men” are demanding the Australian government’s “blind dedication to the Jewish state.”
At the event in Jerusalem he squarely blamed diaspora Jews for “enabling” Zionism, an ideology which he believes should (to paraphrase the loosely translated words of one prolific world leader) “vanish from the pages of time” – a sentiment he repeated in a ‘Comment is Free’ essay published on Yom Kippur (Sept. 26).
In his CiF piece Loewenstein argued that “growing numbers of Palestinians under occupation are talking about adopting the one-state solution and pressuring their leaders to follow“.
He also added the following on the evidently unstoppable momentum of his bold proposal:
“The status quo is beginning to crumble, though, with senior PA officials now talking about abandoning the two-state idea and pushing for a one-state equation. Hamas concurs.“ [emphasis added]
Yes, Hamas, which cites the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ in their founding charter, and openly supports the the murder of Jews – and not merely Israelis – grants their political hechsher. One can assume that it’s only a matter of time before Jews world-wide will see the wisdom of the Islamist terror group’s enlightened ideology.
Loewenstein may be a marginal figure but his brand of “social justice” is quite ubiquitous among self-styled Jewish anti-Zionist progressives and, like so many Jewish enemies of Israel, is not self-hating but, rather, actually fancies himself a ‘better Jew‘.
He once wrote the following:
“I feel incredibly Jewish and am very proud of my religion’s dissenting traditions. I write extensively about Israel and the Palestinians precisely because I care deeply about the fate of the Jewish people, not because I want to shun my background.”
His love is so great that he believes in a final political solution which would potentially place six million Israeli souls in the hands of a hostile majority.
Arabs – who expelled the overwhelming majority of their Jewish citizens (from lands where they had lived for centuries), and today are compromised by endemic antisemitism - would, we are to believe, live in harmony with their Jewish neighbors, and benevolently rule over Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
While Loewenstein represents a crude caricature of genuine progressive sensibilities, the Guardian, by continuing to legitimize the extremely dangerous, typically malevolent (if incredibly unserious) proposal that Jews be forced to relinquish their hard-fought freedom and political independence, positions itself squarely within the moral plane of antisemitism.