Jerusalem, Palestine – The liberal Zionist voice, which many people mistake for actual support for justice in Palestine, is toxic and dangerous and probably serves Israel and its brutal, racist agenda more than any other ideology.
The most glaring example for this is of course J-Street and its followers. The following two statements are from the advocacy’s group’s website, and in light of Israel’s latest murderous assault on Gaza, they are particularly reprehensible:“We support Israel’s right to defend itself militarily and believe that maintaining Israel’s qualitative military advantage in the region is one essential element of a strategy to keep Israel secure for the long term.”
“We believe that Israel’s military actions in Gaza have been both understandable and justifiable. No country can be expected to absorb thousands of rockets without the right to respond militarily.”
J-Street claims Israel’s attacks on Gaza are “Understandable and justifiable!!” I think they should tell that to the parents of the children who Israel killed and maimed so effectively. Regarding Israel’s bloody assault on Gaza this month, and the criminal targeting of residential areas that caused death and severe injuries to children and other civilians, the best J-street could come up with was,
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is a terrorist organization responsible for horrific attacks against Israeli civilians. Israel has the same right as any other country to defend itself from the threats posed by such an entity.”
Barely mentioning the death of Palestinian children, they could not find the courage to condemn Israel for its reckless, bloody and unprovoked attack and all they could say is that Israel,
[T]argeted top PIJ commanders in Gaza in order to preempt retaliation by PIJ against Israel. PIJ responded to the Israeli airstrikes comprising the operation with rocket fire into Israel, including into civilian areas.”
J-Street added that:
Israel’s airstrikes reportedly resulted in the death of both PIJ fighters and Palestinian civilians, including children. There are also reports that malfunctioning PIJ rockets resulted in Palestinian civilian deaths. We grieve for the civilian lives lost in this latest round of violence and call for the circumstances of their deaths to be credibly and independently investigated.”
Why are they not condemning Israeli aggression in the strongest possible terms? It is interesting what the organization says about the political candidates they decide to endorse:
J Street supports political candidates who support Israeli security and peace in the Middle East. To be eligible for JStreetPAC endorsement, a political candidate must demonstrate that they support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, active U.S. leadership to help end the conflict, the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, continued aid to the Palestinian Authority and opposition to the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction movement.”
It was well reported that J-Street and AIPAC clashed over which candidate will represent the Democratic Party for Michigan’s 11th district. As things turned out, Rep. Haley Stevens defeated Rep. Andy Levine, who portrayed himself as the most progressive voice on Palestine in the United States Congress.
However, looking at it from Palestine, representative Andy Levine’s claims to be “pro-Palestinian” are even more absurd than they are when seeing them from the U.S. Here are a few examples of Levin’s “pro-Palestinian” stance.
After President Biden’s visit to Israel, Levin released a statement saying:
I commend President Biden’s reaffirmation of [the] United States’ bedrock support for a two-state solution as the only way to ensure both Israel’s long-term security as a Jewish and democratic state and the political and human rights of the Palestinian people. After years of rightward shift under Trump that denied Palestinians’ right to self-determination, President Biden has restored our commitment to two states for two peoples to the heart of U.S. policy.”
Biden had, in fact, not reversed the Trump administration’s anti-Palestinian policies and, as was well reported, stood by Israeli leaders and declared himself to be a Zionist. In other words, supporting racism, apartheid and unchecked violence against the Palestinian people.
Furthermore, Levin stated:
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a proud Jewish American and the author of the Two-State Solution Act, I will continue to work with the President and his team and my colleagues in Congress toward advancing peace, justice and security for Israelis and Palestinians.”
And in a tweet from 2021, he said, “I believe U.S. policy must support real human rights for Palestinians and real security for Israelis, who have a right to live without fear of deadly rocket fire.”
More toxic than AIPAC
The so-called liberal Zionist approach was the bedrock of Zionist public relations. Even though it was Zionist Labor and other “left leaning” political parties that conducted some of the most bloody attacks against Palestinians, somehow the lie of liberal Zionism survived. Over the years, the political parties in Israel dropped the facade of being “left leaning” or even “liberal” with regards to the Palestinian issue. They continued to pursue the violent racist policies of Zionism, and it became the work of Zionists in the West to continue the lie.
J-Street came in at a time when it was clear that Zionist public relations required help. Zionist Jews needed an organization that would help them to continue their support for apartheid in Palestine, and so they needed a home, so to speak, that would continue to perpetuate the lie of a nicer, friendlier form of Zionism.
Even as Israel showed less regard for its image, J-Street took on the role of fig leaf covering the true face of Israel and helping Zionist American Jews to talk about the possibility – which exists only in their minds – of this friendlier, pie in the sky, peace-loving Israel. It would seem an impossible task as the Israeli brutality towards Palestinians continued unabashed. And yet they succeeded. J-Street is a player among players, raising funds and promoting the lies of a democratic yet strong Israel that can one day live in peace with its neighbors.
Decoding the propaganda
There are many areas in which it would seem unthinkable that the lie could survive, the most glaring of which is the Gaza Strip, an area with over two million people, more than half of whom are children. Israel imprisons Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and imposes a policy of calorie counting on them, meaning that they never starve to death but will just live on the brink of starvation.
If J-Street and its supporters were concerned with the rights, life or safety of Palestinians they would see – as people of conscience around the world do – that it is incompatible with support for Israel. “Israeli security” is code for giving Israel license to kill indiscriminately. “A Strong Israel” is code for permitting the reckless arming of an apartheid regime that uses its massive military force to target a nation who never had a military force.
“The Two-State Solution” is code for allowing the Israeli apartheid state to continue its crimes against Palestinians indefinitely. A “democratic Israel” is code for disregarding the fact that Israel was established as an apartheid state and that it is not even remotely interested in the rights of Palestinians, but rather promoting a Jewish supremacist agenda throughout all of Palestine.
Opposing the Palestinian call for boycott and sanctions against Israel and referring to Palestinian resistance as “terrorism” is unconscionable. Yet it continues to be the foundation of Zionists, whether they are liberal or otherwise.
Israel’s war on children
One would think that the safety and rights of children would be something we can all agree on. Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children is not only a violation of international law, but a violation of all the boundaries of humanity. Children are a real test of where one’s humanity stands, regardless of whether one calls oneself Jewish or not.
Andy Levin constantly repeats that he is “proudly Jewish.” He even said he was “very Jewish” – whatever that means. When I asked Andy Levin to sign on to a bill presented in Congress by a colleague of his, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, which speaks to the need to protect Palestinian children, he said he would not do so. He then added that none of the Jewish members of Congress would ever support it because, “it is anti-Israel.” So what if it is? If justice, peace, freedom are all anti-Israel, it means there is a problem with Israel and those who support it.
Feature photo | Graphic by MintPress News
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.”