web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Peter Beinart, ADL Chief, Spar over ‘Crisis’ in Zionism at President’s Conference

Peter Beinart (L), author of The Crisis of Zionism, and Abe Foxman (R), Director of the ADL

Peter Beinart (L), author of The Crisis of Zionism, and Abe Foxman (R), Director of the ADL
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90

The final day of the ‘Facing Tomorrow’ 2012 Presidential Conference in Jerusalem featured some of the most anticipated panels of the conference, including one on the relationship between Israel and World Jewry headlined by the controversial Peter Beinart and Abe Foxman of the ADL, and another on the future borders of Israel featuring journalist Caroline Glick, nationalist leader Naftali Bennett, and former IDF Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz.

The panel on Israel-diaspora Jewry relations was highlighted by a heated debate over the state of relations, and its ability to maintain its previous levels of closeness. Beinart, the former editor of The New Republic and current darling of the liberal media after the publication of his book The Crisis of Zionism, said: “We Are Witnessing the Slow Decline of the Zionist Consensus.” He pointed the finger of blame at leaders of the U.S. Jewish establishment, and their lack of willingness to deal openly and honestly with Israel. “What alienates young American Jews is the fact that they see Israelis criticizing Israeli policy, but they don’t hear the same candor from American Jews.”

Several panelists challenged Beinart’s perception of a crisis. Foxman said: “My love and support for Israel is unconditional, it does not depend on the Israeli acceptance of my ideas. My Zionism is not in crisis because my Zionism is not conditioned on an idealized view of what I’d like Israel to be.”

Alana Newhouse, Editor-in-Chief of Tablet Magazine, also disagreed with Beinart’s assessment, warning of the consequences of “crying wolf,” and worrying that the talk of an emergency could become “a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

The panel also included moderator Shmuel Rosner, Chair of the Israel Diaspora Paradigm Committee Pierre Besnainou, and Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic.

All panelists agreed that the Diaspora community needed to focus more on Jewish education and introducing young Jews to the importance of Israel, with Wieseltier lamenting U.S. Jewry’s reliance on Israel for its Jewish identity.

“Israel was not created to relieve U.S. Jewry of the burden of creating its own identity,” said Wieseltier. “In so far as the weakening affiliation is real, a moment of truth is arriving for American Jews and we can finally see what kind of Judaism U.S. Jewry is capable of.”

In the panel on Israel’s borders, experts from both sides of the political spectrum offered competing visions and solutions. Panelists addressed both geographical and demographic concerns and commented on the feasibility of drawing borders that would be acceptable to the international community, to the Palestinians and at the same time maintain the sustainability and safety of Israel.

Former West Bank Territorial Brigades Commander Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz stated that, in his view, “the demographical threat should dictate Israel’s action over geographical concerns.” Citing a population of more than 4 million in the Palestinian Territories, and the current Israeli population of 49% Jewish, 47% Arab, he claimed that, “by 2015 Jews will be the minority in Israel. This is really the existential threat – and this is the gist of the conflict between the left and the right.”

Caroline Glick, Senior Contributing Editor of the Jerusalem Post disagreed with Paz, stating that these figures were highly skewed, and claimed that the demographic future belongs to the Jewish people. She argued that the Jews will still maintain a 2:1 ratio over the Arab population, citing the convergence of fertility rates and the potential mass Aliya (immigration) to Israel.

Additionally, Glick maintained that Israel had exhausted the options that have been called for by the international community: “We have seen that sole Palestinian sovereignty –in Gaza- has failed. We have also seen that shared sovereignty in Judea and Samaria does not work. We have fulfilled our international obligation to attempt to reach an agreed reconciliation with the Palestinians. They have made it clear that they are unwilling to make peace with Israel and have shown that they are not interested in a Palestinian State. Instead they have focused their efforts on destroying the Jewish State.”

In her opinion, Israeli withdrawal is the worst option and that “Israel belongs to the Jews by law and right and should stop hemming and hawing and just say it and rule it.”

Naftali Bennett, the up-and-coming religious Zionist leader and founder of the Yisraelim Party suggested that the Palestinians be granted autonomy, but not a State; thus precluding a Palestinian army and an influx of Palestinian refugees from the region.

Bennett also highlighted the importance of avoiding the forceful expulsion of any Israeli citizen from their homes, explaining that the implications of uprooting more than 120,000 additional people in Judea and Samaria are very worrisome. “I urge everyone to go out, walk the land, meet the people and see the life in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “If we had a Prime Minister like Begin who would apply sovereignty on Judea and Samaria, we would undoubtedly be condemned by the world for a few days but then life would move on. The world has bigger things on the agenda than Israel – including Greece and Syria. We need to do what’s right for the Jewish State.”

David Makovsky, distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that an agreement between the two sides is “very possible, as the differences are not as wide as people think.”

Makovsky suggested increasing the area of the proposed land swap to include more Jews on the Israel side and more Palestinians on the Palestinian side. “Instead of a 2.2 percent land swap, why not make it 4.4 percent, or even more? If we swap five percent of the land this would include places like Beit El and the North of Ariel and will leave just 60,000 Israelis on the wrong side of the border.” While conceding that 60,000 is still a large number, he points out that it is still half the number that the proposed plan would seek to uproot.

The Fourth Presidential Conference will conclude on Thursday night with a session featuring remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Natan Sharansky, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Peter Beinart, ADL Chief, Spar over ‘Crisis’ in Zionism at President’s Conference”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Regarding the demographics:

    In 2006, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority had legislative elections. In Israel, 3,186,739 votes were cast, a turnout of 64%. In the PA, 990,873 votes were case, a turnout of 74%. That corresponds to a voting population of approximately 5 million in Israel (1 million of whom are Arabs) and 1.34 million in the PA.

    While the numbers are approximate, that isn't a 49%-47% split, nor is it a 2:1 split.

  2. Stephen Leavitt says:

    I remember that. Of course the one caveat is that it refers to people of voting age. But yes, that might be good indicator of how far off the numbers are.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS seized control of Quneitra, at least temporarily, towards the end of August 2014.
Israel Watching Northern Border with Syria, Lebanon
Latest News Stories
ISIS seized control of Quneitra, at least temporarily, towards the end of August 2014.

Israeli military is watching the northern border closely, waiting for the day the “changes” arrive. Rebels already control Syria’s side of the fence.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Jan. 20, 2014.

Canada will strip citizenship from those who travel abroad to join ISIS or other terrorist groups.

rayer vigil at Ma'arat HaMachpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.

An Arab media outlet appears to be having issues with the closure of the Cave of the Patriarchs to Muslims over Rosh Hashana.

One of the photos displaying wares for sale on the Baqiyah Creation page on Facebook. Sept. 20, 2014.

The days of the red cape and Superman are long gone. Now one surfs the Net and buys ISIS chotchkes to become Jihad John.

Nearly 70 years after the Nazis fell, evidence is found in Theresienstadt that life flourished even among those marked for death.

There are IDF officers whose job is to oversee all operations and endeavor to ensure the civilian population is protected.

The Cabinet has approved a massive infrastructure upgrade of Sderot and other southern Israeli communities.

Yemen, where the ‘Arab Spring’ begun, continues to be mired in turmoil and terror.

Cease-fire negotiations in Cairo between Israel and Gaza terrorist factions are being held Tuesday in deference to Rosh Hashana.

President Reuven Rivlin is set to inaugurate the Jewish Museum of Warsaw when he travels to Poland in October.

Angry parents spoke out Sunday against Arabs attacking their children on the Mount of Olives.

Only 30 % of European Jews will attend high holiday services; 1/4 fear wearing Jewish symbols.

It’s not monopoly money. It’s Israel’s new 50 Shekel bill (in the middle), with a picture of poet Shaul Tchernikovsky on it. The bill is said to feature some of the most advanced anti-counterfeiting technologies, and it just went into circulation.

S&P has confirmed that Israel’s credit rating is good, and we’re still on the right fiscal path.

Gush Etzion residents were surprised and angry when the issue of the fence was raised from the dead.

The exact location is secret because of safety concerns. How long before the PA claims it is theirs?

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
rayer vigil at Ma'arat HaMachpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.

An Arab media outlet appears to be having issues with the closure of the Cave of the Patriarchs to Muslims over Rosh Hashana.

Meir Panim with Soldiers

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.

The ISIS terror group has released its first “feature length” film.” It’s worthy of an Oscar. Not.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

A dozen rabbis and a Jewish gun club are extremely critical of the position on gun control taken by the RCA and the OU.

Never, never, never take packages from someone without knowing what is inside.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/peter-beinart-adl-chief-spar-over-crisis-in-zionism-experts-argue-israels-borders-at-presidents-conference/2012/06/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: