Peter Beinart Represents Zionism Like a Black KKK Member Represents African-Americans

March 18, 2012 2:05 pm 29 comments

American writer and editor Peter Beinart.

Those concerned “About Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future” can read Zion Square, a new blog at The Daily Beast edited and founded by Peter Beinart. Beinart’s blog, which is harshly critical of Israel, is intended to change the “official Jewish discourse about Israel” – this from a self-proclaimed “Zionist.”

Supportive of the “two-state” solution, this passionate New Yorker has already shown his stripes with the publication of his previous controversial books “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment”, and “The Crisis of Zionism” which highlights the importance of Liberalism – and his perception that tensions between liberalism and Zionism will tear the two apart. Beinart has written “saving liberal Zionism in the U.S.- so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel – is the great American Jewish challenge of our age.” Not intermarriage/assimilation or the Iranian threat – but American Jews helping to save liberal Zionism in Israel is the greatest challenge? Recently merged with Newsweek, The Daily Beast is a major American news reporting and opinion website – and why they would allow this blog by an extreme leftist is beyond comprehension. Beinart’s values are not at all reflective of American Zionism or Judaism.

The Daily Beast wouldn’t feature a blog written by an African American journalist on why affirmative action should be abolished, civil rights legislation overturned, and minorities exempt from unemployment benefits. Nor does it feature a “feminist” blog opining on why abortion should be made illegal, sexual harassment permitted, and pregnancy leave at work banished. Beinart’s values are not at all reflective of American Zionism or Judaism – Absurd, and yet The Daily Beast prominently features Beinart’s “Zionist” blog devoted to Israel bashing as if those sentiments are somehow reflective of Zionism or American Jews. Owing a PR agency active in the pro-Israel community I’d be happy to provide them with plenty of actual leaders, or reporters indicative of the pro-Israel American Zionist community. Beinart is well outside the consensus.

Beinart shares that: “Zion Square’s mission is to launch a conversation not just about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not just about the specter of war with Iran, not just about the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jews, not just about Jewish theology and culture, but about the struggle to confront the ethical responsibilities of a world in which Jewish fortunes have radically changed.” Perhaps in Beinart’s Ivy League birthplace of Cambridge, Massachusetts, or his college at Yale or post-grad work at Oxford, or raising his children on the elitist Upper East Side there is a “struggle to confront the ethical responsibilities of a world in which Jewish fortunes have radically changed.” When reporting on the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jews, will any Jews from Arab countries be included in that dialogue? Will the largest Jewish organization worldwide, Chabad have representation when blogging on “Jewish theology”?  The answers are clear – In Beinart’s “conversation,” as of now comments aren’t accepted, and the extreme, liberal organization Americans for Peace Now will supply a daily summary of the Hebrew-language press.

Beinart claims that “obsession with victimhood lies at the heart of why Zionism is dying among America’s secular Jewish young. It simply bears no relationship to their lived experience…” With American Jewish assimilation at upwards of 60 percent, secular Judaism is dying – and Beinart can more accurately reflect the Jewish experience by leaving Park Avenue to visit synagogue ruins in the Arab World, or Europe where Antisemitism is rampant to learn about how “Jewish fortunes have radically changed”.

Beinart has stated his concern over answering “..the question of what it means to live an ethical Jewish life in an age of Jewish power.” These values are reflected by him accepting an award by J Street, the purported “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization described by Alan Dershowitz in the following terms, “..J Street has done more damage to Israel than any [other] American organization,” and “..It has made a generation of Jews ashamed to be pro-Israel, and has made it politically correct among young people to single out Israel to a double standard and for fault.” Beinart furthers that concept, and his blog will help Israel as much as J Street has.

Beinart has previously claimed that young, non-religious Jews are forced to make a choice between liberal/democratic values and supporting Israel, writing, “Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct.” Beinart’s is right, Zionism/Judaism are increasingly distinct from liberalism – but there is nowhere in the Torah, or in any precept of Judaism that proclaims liberalism to be more important than Judaism? Liberals like Beinart simply can’t accept that Judaism doesn’t delineate that Jews need to be victims. Is “peace” more important than survival? Norman Podhoretz, author of Why Jews are Liberals, said it best: “..in virtually every instance of a clash between Jewish law and contemporary liberalism, it is the liberal creed that prevails for most American Jews. This is to say that for them, liberalism has become more than a political outlook. It has for all practical purposes superseded Judaism and become a religion in its own right.”

This sickness permeates in the name of Jews because Beinart happens to be Jewish. Despite his over-inflated ego and that his opinions are well outside the consensus of the American Jewish community (organizations and leadership), he thinks the American Jews (and millions of voters in Israel) need a Park Avenue Jew to come and “save liberal Zionism in Israel.” While thankfully America is a country where Jews have seen successes- New York is not “Zion Square.”  Thankfully, Zion Square remains in the center of Jewish life – Israel.

I formerly served as National President of the Betar Movement – a great Zionist movement founded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky (of whom a picture appears on the front page of Beinart’s blog.) Jabotinsky is the father of the Revisionist Zionist Movement (today the ruling Likud Party). Jabotinsky famously said “Journalists are the ruling class in the world,” and “There is no other work in the world more splendid than the work of the journalist. The role of the journalist in the field of humanities is like the function of the circulatory system in the body or the role of commerce in international economy.” The value Jabotinsky attached to writing can be seen in an excerpt from the newspaper Hazit Ha’am (The National Front) where he wrote a reaction to the popular slogan: “We have no need for words, give us actions!” “The crowd forgets one thing: speaking is also a form of action; perhaps the most powerful of all other deeds. Cities have been and will be destroyed, but what “shouters” (the people of Israel) proclaimed in the desert thousands of years ago is still actual and vibrant. The world was created by the word, and it will be perfected by a word.”

Thankfully, as Jabotinsky wrote many years ago, that which was “proclaimed in the desert thousands of years ago is still actual and vibrant. The world was created by the word, and it will be perfected by a word.” But it’s not the word of Beinart – whose “Zion Square” is a misguided effort that will bear little impact on the Jewish community. ‘The word’ remains the  actions of a strong, proud Jewish people and State of Israel. Words and actions of the Torah and of the proud and strong Israel Defense Forces. These words and actions are far stronger than the distorted pleading of Beinart and his ilk that bow down to their lord of liberalism.

Beinart is a shame to the Jewish community – a self-hating Jew. Beinart doesn’t represent the Jewish community any more than a black member of the KKK would represent African-Americans.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a Top 25 PR Agency and author of Amazon best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.” The book was referred to by Likud Knesset MK Danny Danon as the “best book ever written regarding Israel’s PR.”

29 Comments

  • Please stop using the word “Liberal” when you mean “Leftist”. I am a proud Liberal and a Jew who supports the Second Amendment (gun ownership), freedom of the press, separation of Church and State, and the right of Israel to defend itself as it sees fit against all enemies. I feel these are liberal values.

  • Peter Beinart isn’t Jewish any more than Uncle Tom was black. Beinart is devoted to harming Israel.

  • Interesting to see that all acusers of beinart seem to ignore facts in their dogmatic pursuit of stamping out moderate jewism…..

  • Peter Beinart should be forced to listen to Zeev Jabotinsky all day and all nite. And then watch Holocaust footage – he will change his mind. And if not, then he should spend a few days touring Gaza.

  • David Dovidele

    Peter Beinart may be a Jew in name, but that doesnt mean he cant be an enemy of the jewish state. He is an enemy of Israel and one who deserves excommunication.

  • beinart is the same as a kapo – helping the enemy to kill jews. What a drek. His book from page one shows the whole beinart family as garbage:
    “From her home in South Africa, she says to her American grandson who is boasting about his country, “Don’t get too attached. The Jews are like rats. We leave the sinking ship.”
    RATS ? JEWS ARE RATS ? we have been killed worldwide – we dont leave anywhere. We stay in mass graves.

  • Jew and Proud

    Peter Beinart is a traitor. Period. Clear.

  • Richard Levinson

    Peter Beinart simply doesnt care about Jews – thats the bottom line – he cares about himself.

  • ISRAELSECONDER

    Aw, whassamatta? Widdle Ronny couldn’t take a widdle cwiticism? Had to delete my comment?

  • Ha! Ha! Yes! Only Nazis would criticize Isreal and if they’re Jewish, why they must be self-loathing!

    There is no other possible explanation because Isreal has nevr done anything wrong and if they have well they had good reason and it doesn’t matter because the Jewish god says it’s perfectly okay and how can you argue with a god?!?

    • Not to worry, we will always have people like you, and our legions of sworn enemies, to point out Israel’s flaws. Good thing the world has no other states to criticize, or we might never benefit from their guidance on how to create a fair, peaceful, democratic nation ruled by law and justice.

  • This is simple jew hatred which beinart preaches – no different than others so lets call him what he is. A traitor.

    • A traitor to whom, exactly? As he is more compromising and accommodating than I am regarding Israeli actions and policies, Peter Beinart is hardly a person who should be considered to be an enemy of the Jews, any more than Obama is really a radical socialist. Both are moderates, and hardly bomb-throwers.

      Again, all this means is that the standard model of the “rah rah Israel” folks among us is threatened by reality.

  • “Beinart is a shame to the Jewish community – a self-hating Jew. Beinart doesn’t represent the Jewish community any more than a black member of the KKK would represent African-Americans.”

    Frankly Ronn, given your (and your ilk’s) intense failures to promote a positive image of Israel that actually wins over new supporters, I’m not inclined to take your ritual, over-the-top denunciation of Peter Beinart seriously. Your views come from too much time spent among fellow travellers.

    If you wish to discount the views of liberal Jews in the US, the Jews that make up 80% of the Jewish population in the US, just be honest about it. And be honest about the fact that the views of the Betar movement represent the mainstream less than Peter Beinart’s views do.

    And finally, be honest about the fact that you favor a one-state solution but have no plan for how to deal with the millions of Palestinians that would be part of Israel in such an eventuality.

  • This disorganized screed of straw-men and non-sequiters does nothing to reveal or refute Peter Beinart’s views. It’s circumstantial debating chaff, that produces more smoke than light. The overwhelming majority of Israeli and Diaspora Jews want a secure, prosperous, (small “l”) liberal democracy in Israel. The degree to which that democracy is under threat and the extent to which those threats can be confronted while Israeli is on the precipice of war can and should be debated. But calling someone a self-hating Jew for coming down on one side or another of that discussion is childish and unproductive.

  • David Karger

    Let’s get our facts straight. Beinert does *not* advocate a boycott of Israel. As his op-ed states in the NY Times today, he advocates a boycott of the *settlements* and urges that the withheld money be invested west of the green line (and in East Jerusalem) to signal support for a democratic Israel. He explicitly rejects the aims of the BDS “boycott all of Israel” movement.

  • Those of us who are critical of Israeli policy and actions are not “self-hating Jews.” This blog post merely is another indication of how out-of-touch the organized Jewish institutions are in this country, and how scared they are due to the growing numbers of us who question the accepted narrative of Israel that they peddle. For the record, Peter Beinart is someone I consider to be a moderate voice. When I disagree with him, it’s on those occasions where he is more moderate than I am. I think the fact that he is the victim of ad hominem attacks like this one only suggests even more that he is dead on with his writings.

    • Someone who advocates boycotting Israel isnt a moderate in any sense of the term in the US. In fact, in Israel, Beinart’s political views are so extreme left that the party he would vote for has exactly ZERO Knesset representation. They are so far left that its off the totum pole – so one couldnt imagine how he can be pro-israel. No one is scared – because Beinart has zero influence. Perhaps angry, saddened and sickened.

      • But he doesn’t advocate boycotting Israel. Just the settlements. And for some unusual reason, not E. Jerusalem.

        By definition, he is a moderate. I and others do support a boycott of Israel, not just the occupied territory. Not to delegitimize Israel; that is a canard that is illogical and just not truthful. But I think Israel is deserving of a boycott. If you think that is not a moderate position, then ok. But it is quite different from that of Beinart.

        • David Toub NOT

          Once again, but whose definition is Beinart a moderate? Across the political spectrum he was condemned.
          Ok so then Yigal Amir is a moderate. Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Arabs, Yigal Amir only killed 1 – therefore he is a moderate because I say so.
          He is not and does not claim to be an Orthodox Jew (he attends a synagogue – so what)… I can attend church doesnt make me Christian any more than beinart an orthodox Jew.
          Beinart is a traitor.

          • By definition, he is moderate. He supports a two-state solution. He supports the Zionist enterprise within the green line, and opposes BDS. In contrast, I am an extremist.

    • David Toub I am not

      This blog post shows how extreme Beinart is – and while you, David Toub are precisely noone and its unimportant if you consider him to be moderate.

      Someone else can claim Meir Kahane to be moderate – and that wouldnt make him so. Beinart is absolutely as mainstream and moderate as Kahane Chai/Kach is.

      • I stand by my words. If I have any objection to Beinart’s writings, it’s that they are like his NYT op-ed today: trying to have it both ways by criticizing then supporting Israel. He’s a traitor? Really? Spare me this nonsense. I’m not a self-hating Jew just because I am disgusted by the occupation and neither is Beinart. The difference between him and me is that i support BDS, in favor of a one-state solution in principal, and am totally secular. Beinart is actually very pro-Israel, anti-BDS and an orthodox Jew. If you want to stone him, I’d hate to think what you’d want to do to me ;-)

  • Richie Levinsons comment is quite abhorrent and disgusting as well..so there…I can play the name calling game as well.

    hopefully that makes us all better people.

    ugh….

    • What is disgusting about calling a kettle black ? if someone helps the enemy what does that make them ? Beinart the slime wrote an article today calling for a boycott of israel in the NYT. Slime.

  • Richie Levinson

    Jews who are liberals have nothing to believe in other than liberalism. They are “Jewish” at birth and nothing more. Beinart and J Street are disgusting people.

    • “They are “Jewish” at birth and nothing more. Beinart and J Street are disgusting people.

      I think you’re disgusting. There are plenty of religious and observant liberal Jews. Just because they haven’t adopted conservatism as a religion like you have doesn’t make them any less Jewish than you, chump.

  • I wonder why Beinart even receives so much attention. Who is he exactly and why would Daily Beast even allow him a self standing blog ?

  • Jonathan Beinart is a Jewish Uncle Tom – that is really the bottom line. J Street, Peace Now and Beinart do more damage to the Jewish nation than Arabs can do.

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