Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Debate: Who should defend Israel?

The legitimacy of Zionism and Israel are under increasing attack in the United States and Europe. Defense of the right of Israel to exist is mostly in the hands of Zionists of the right wing persuasion, who often do more harm than good. They cannot speak the language of the left. They confound local conservative politics ("buy an I am a conservative T-shirt") with Zionism, they raise the ire of non-Zionists with assertions like "There are no Palestinians" and site "authorities" who are often discredited or racist. The people in the BEST position to defend Zionism and Israel on campuses and in public debates are progressive Zionists. They can pose the case for Israel and Zionism in terms of human rights issues and national liberation. They can divorce the issue of Israel's right to exist from the occupation and its ills.
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