Thursday, August 7, 2014

Liberal Zionism After Gaza by Jonathan Freedland | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Liberal Zionism After Gaza by Jonathan Freedland | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
by Jonathan Freedland
(Freedland is executive editor for Oinion at The Guardian)
"Never do liberal Zionists feel more torn than when Israel is at war. Days after I’d filed my essay for The New York Review on Ari Shavit and his fellow liberal Zionists, the perennial tension between Israel and the Palestinians had flared into violent confrontation and, eventually, a war in Gaza—the third such military clash in five years. For liberal Zionists these are times when the dual nature of their position is tested, some would say to destruction. What the Israel Defense Forces called Operation Protective Edge—a large-scale mobilization that by the time a twelve-hour “humanitarian truce” was agreed on July 26 had reached its nineteenth day—was no different.
 Even during the grim chain of events that led to this episode, liberal Zionists found themselves facing both ways, switching direction day-by-day, even hour-by-hour. Of course, they, like everyone else, condemned the brutal June kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers on the West Bank, an act immediately blamed on the Hamas leadership (falsely so, it later turned out: the kidnapping was, in fact, the work of a local “lone cell,” acting without authorization). But some felt queasy during the subsequent two-week Israeli operation to root out Hamas militants there, referred to as “mowing the lawn,” not least because several Palestinian civilians were killed in the process. Still, it was hard to criticize too loudly, because that effort was conducted under the cover of a search for the three missing teens and, by then, the three were the object of a campaign that encompassed the global Jewish diaspora: #BringBackOurBoys."

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