Strange things are taking place in the inner workings of the State of Israel, and here in the U.S., liberal Zionists must face the reality that they have not only failed, but unleashed the worst of the worst of the Zionist thugs who are now in power. The power in the “Jewish State” is no longer in the hands of so-called moderate Zionists who are palatable to Zionist liberals, but the most violent, dangerous thugs the State of Israel has ever seen. However, these individuals would never have been able to reach such power if it were not for the J Street liberals who keep the pie-in-the-sky myth of the liberal, peace loving Israel alive.
In a pathetic, lackluster address to the organization, Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder and president of J Street, all but begged them to allow him to continue in his job, even though he admitted that things are far worse today than they were when J Street was founded in 2008. Under a different set of circumstances, Ben-Ami’s speech would have been just another boring, lackluster talk. But in today’s reality, there was more to it than that. What Ben-Ami and the entire J Street operation refuse to acknowledge (and their members refuse to see) is that Liberal Zionism is the fig leaf under which Zionist crimes and the apartheid regime to flourish.
New far-right Minister for National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir is the direct ideological descendant of the early founders of Zionism. He could have never come to power had liberal Zionism not kept alive the myth that says another Israel is possible, or as some call it, “the Israel we once knew.”
Ben-Ami made certain to include all the necessary code words in his speech so that no one would suspect he intended to interfere with the liberal Zionist business as usual attitude towards Israel. Those three terms included in every Zionist speech are: “Israeli security,” “Israeli democracy,” and “Jewish character of Israel.”
He stressed that J Street is committed to Israel’s security, but of course would not dare to mention a commitment to the security of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid. This means Israel has the right to maintain a monstrous military force dedicated to murder, abuse and to enforcing the apartheid regime. He then said that the whole point of the Two-State Solution – which some call “the Two-State Illusion” – is to ensure Israeli security. Because, according to every liberal Zionist in history, the occupation and oppression are bad for Israeli security. Yet liberal Zionists have always been opposed to enforcing measures that were sure to bring an end to Israeli lawlessness and abuses of human rights.
Ben-Ami talked about how J Street values are aligned with Israeli democracy, “and the values upon which Israel was founded.” He failed to demonstrate at what point exactly was Israel a democracy and which value Israel was founded upon that he particularly finds appealing. At this very moment, video clips showing former Israeli terrorists of 1948 telling the stories of their horrific crimes are going viral. Stories from 1948 describing rape and senseless mass murder of Palestinian civilians by Zionist terrorists throughout Palestine continue to surface to this day. One wonders if there will be an end to these hellish accounts given by old, white men who should be indicted for crimes against humanity.
The so-called Jewish character of Israel is yet another sad myth. It reflects poorly on Jews everywhere to think that there is anything about Israel that is remotely Jewish in nature. However, when Zionists talk about Israel’s “Jewish character”, they mean Jewish majority. It is code for a racist idea, according to which there has to be a Jewish majority within the boundaries of the state of Israel. The occupation of 1967 interferes with that. If a few million Palestinians are forced to remain within a small Bantustan state, then that allows Israel to maintain its Jewish majority. This is not a Jewish characteristic, but a racist one.
The lackluster general
Jeremy Ben-Ami wanted to show that the very people at the top of the Israeli security apparatus also oppose the new form of right-wing Israeli politics. To that end, he mentioned the former IDF chief of staff General Gadi Eizenkot. Eizenkot himself is another lackluster general who made it to the top of the IDF pyramid only because he was ambitious, not very intelligent and posed no political threat to anyone around him. Being the IDF chief of staff has been known to be a political stepping stone.
Eizenkot, Ben-Ami stated, “said that if the new government harms Israeli democracy…a million people should take to the streets, and he committed to be in front of the line.” Here, Ben-Ami really outdid himself. To quote Eizenkot of all people – and particularly in the context of people marching for liberty – is both cruel and cynical. Eizenkot was the IDF chief of staff when the Gaza March of Return took place. His soldiers shot, killed and maimed thousands of unarmed protestors demonstrating for their freedom.
This horrific war crime which Eizenkot presided over proudly is documented in the film “Gaza Fights for Freedom,” directed and narrated by Abby Martin. Clearly, for Ben-Ami, the IDF mowing down marchers in Gaza was perfectly acceptable.
The mind cannot grasp the hypocrisy of quoting an Israeli general while speaking of marching for freedom, and particularly this general at this time. But hypocrisy, dishonesty, and a sense of superiority are part and parcel of liberal Zionism.
Ben-Ami made sure to refer to Israel as the “national homeland” of the Jewish people, which is a pillar of Zionist ideology and which connects him directly to Ben-Gvir and Benjamin Netanyahu – the very people he pretends to distance himself from.
At the end of his speech he made a plea for J Street supporters to continue to support the organization, and consequently keep him in his job – even though he and the organization, along with the entire liberal Zionist apparatus, have proven to be useless at best, and catastrophic at worst.
Feature photo | Jeremy Ben-Ami, President, J Street, speaking at a press conference where members of Congress unveiled the Two-State Solution Act, September 23, 2021. Michael Brochstein | Sipa via AP Images
Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”