Home  Principles & Statements  Positions of the ACJ  Articles  DonationsAbout Us  Contact Us  Links                                         

Jeff Halper Writes: “Peter Beinart Doesn’t Go Far Enough”

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
August 2020

Writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (July 13, 2020), Jeff Halper argues  
that Peter Beinart “does not go far enough” in his article, “I No Longer  
Believe In A Jewish State.” Halper is an Israeli anthropologist, heads the  
Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions and is a founder of the One  
Democratic State Campaign.  
He writes: “A single State is the only alternative to what exists today, and  
what annexation plainly offers for the future: apartheid...The One  
Democratic State campaign has formulated a political program that calls for  
a single democracy of equal rights, the homecoming of the refugees and the  
emergence of a shared civil society.”  
To the question, “Will Israeli Jews buy into it?” Halper provides this  
assessment: “0f course not. Why would they? To such a degree do they enjoy  
the benefits of an apartheid regime that the occupation and Palestinian  
rights have been reduced to a non-issue. ...The refusal of most white South  
Africans to willingly dismantle apartheid resembles that of Israeli Jews. So  
Palestinians and their few Israeli partners that share the vision of a  
shared society must take a leaf from the ANC. (African National Congress)  
playbook....Like the ANC, we must create a direct link between the  
international public, for whom Palestinian rights is a major issue (  
including among a growing proportion of young Jews) and our one-State  
movement. In that way, we render Israeli apartheid unsustainable, as the ANC  
did in South Africa, finally bringing the Israelis into the transition  
process when they have no choice but to cooperate.”  
Halper concludes: “Are we going to become actors in creating a state for all  
of us living in this country, in which we enjoy both democratic rights and,  
within that framework a national life in our country shared with others, or  
will we have to be dragged unwillingly into it? In my view, and maybe  
Beinart’s, the former is the ‘Zionist’ answer.”  
Another Israeli who is giving up on a two-State solution is Gershon Baskin,  
a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. In a 2019 column, he wrote: “Those of us  
in Israel who have supported and struggled to bring about a two-State  
solution are now forced to accept the new reality that Netanyahu will  
create, and we will have to join the ranks of the people who will fight for  
democracy and equality in a non-nation-non-ethnic secular state.”  
Writing in The Nation, Eric Alterman declares: “Liberal Zionism is a  
contradiction in terms.” **

< return to article list
© 2010 The American Council For Judaism.