In a drawn out 7,000 words and an abridged New York Times version, Beinart, a controversial Jewish leftwing intellectual,proposes a utopian one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would be laughable if it weren’t so condescending and dangerous.

As a former editor of The New Republic, columnist for The Atlantic, and frequent guest on CNN, Beinart has been a staunch advocate for a two-state solution. After years of denigrating a potential one-state solution, however, Beinart seems to have made a drastic U-turn by embracing a binational Israeli-Palestinian state. And lest you think Beinart is alone in his newfound epiphany, you’d be wrong.

As noted by Jonathan Tobin in the New York Post, noteworthy Democratic foreign policy experts like Ben Rhodes and Robert Malley tweeted support for Beinart’s utopia. Given the current political climate and growing prominence of anti-Israel congresspeople like AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, it is easy to foresee a scenario in which Beinart’s idea becomes increasingly accepted in the US, which would shake the very nature of the US-Israel relationship to its core.

As far as the article itself, Beinart’s distortion of history and international law is deeply disturbing. But what’s most troubling is his complete ignorance of what it means to be a young Israeli and the world we live in.

As one such Israeli, I am offended at the way Beinart speaks of us as bigoted fools who cannot see Palestinians as anything other than terrorists. Strange concepts like human rights and equality mean nothing to us simpletons, or so Beinart would make it seem. Beinart celebrates the notion that all humans are created in the image of God, yet he appears to view us as a monolithic group of vicious racists, instead of individuals with nuanced opinions.

Beinart writes that for most Jews, being Jewish means supporting the existence of a Jewish state above all else. According to him, “The reason is rarely spelled out, mostly because it’s considered obvious: Opposing a Jewish state means risking a second Holocaust.”

Wrong.

We don’t live in constant fear of extinction, nor do we see ourselves as victims.

We see ourselves as a perfectly imperfect little country that, despite occasionally stumbling over itself, inches closer and closer to achieving the lofty ideals set out in our Declaration of Independence: a state built on freedom, justice, peace, and equality of rights irrespective of religion, race or sex. We haven’t always lived up to these standards, but we are certainly trying.

Beinart’s claim that his vision doesn’t require “abandoning Zionism” is manifestly false. Zionism is not just the creation of a “home” for Jews, as Beinart deceptively claims, but the establishment of a Jewish State in our ancestral homeland; the same homeland that contained a continuous Jewish presence for thousands of years. Zionism is not just the manifestation of a peoples’ right to self-determination – it is the ultimate fruition of a three-thousand-year dream to return to the birthplace of our national, spiritual, religious, cultural and political identity. The revival of our Jewish State solidified the revival of this identity, and like so many other Israelis, I beam with pride at what our state has accomplished.

In addition to the moral goodness of Zionism, the establishment of a Jewish State fulfils the just causes outlined over decades of international law. Beginning with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, developing with the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922, and culminating with the UN Partition Plan in 1947, the Zionist dream has been acknowledged and accepted by the international community.

It is therefore profoundly amoral and unjust for Beinart to petition the end of such an enduring idea that would rarely (if ever) be asked of another nation.

These reasons are what compel me, like so many other Israelis, to enroll in institutes of higher learning studying government, sustainability, medicine and innovation; to realize the Zionist vision of creating a better country for our citizens, and a better world for all.

And yet we Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis alike postpone our studies, often for half a decade, to wear the sacred IDF uniform and protect our loved ones from the likes of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.

As a young Israeli who would reside in Beinart’s proposed bi-national state, I am particularly worried about his complete disregard for the terror that’s been facing innocent Israelis since our state’s inception.

Beinart’s warped vision is devoid of Palestinian terror. In fact, variations of the word “terror” only appear twice in his entire opus (he euphemistically writes “armed struggle,” as if that’s fooling anybody).

But the stark reality of life in Israel is that Palestinian terrorism has impacted every single Israeli. During a slew of terror attacks in 2015, my former high school homeroom teacher, Yaakov Don, was murdered five minutes from my hometown of Efrat while on his way to study Torah with his son. Another victim in this attack was 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz, a US citizen from Sharon, Massachusetts. In 2018, Ari Fuld, a resident of Efrat originally from New York, lost his life while heroically trying to save innocent bystanders from a terrorist at a mall where my mother shops almost every day.

These anecdotes are not unique; most Israelis can recount similar stories that happened to people they know and love. Yet Beinart has the audacity to refer to these attacks as simple “nihilistic rage” and “despair expressed with knives.” This threat would intensify tenfold under his horrific fantasy.

According to Beinart, the traumatic legacy of the Holocaust prevents us from entertaining the possibility that Hamas is open to peaceful coexistence. I scoff at this ridiculous notion because my older brother, whom I so greatly admire, spent 60 days in Gaza fighting Hamas during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, where he lost many dear friends. I scoff because Hamas fired rockets at my family in the middle of the night, and I had to rush downstairs, pull my little brother out of the shower, and hold him in my arms as I ran with him to the bomb shelter. We all scoff because one look at the Hamas charter shows their true goal.

The crux of Beinart’s premise is that we don’t need a Jewish State in Israel. Tell that to the million Jews who fled Russian oppression or the 850,000 Jews who were forcibly expelled from Arab lands whose descendants now make up the majority of Israel’s population. Tell that to the millions of Jews who cry for joy at the sight of a nation reborn.

Beinart is not naïve. Yet he seems utterly committed to playing make-believe, disregarding a 3,000-year history, and is willing to put the lives of us Israelis, our families and our friends at risk in the process.

Thanks, Peter, but you can keep your fantasy to yourself.

[Featured Image: Screenshot via YouTube]

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Eitan Fischberger is an Israeli student and veteran of the Israeli Air Force. His writing has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), Legal Insurrection, The Daily Wire, Algemeiner Journal, and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

 

 
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