Israel, Justice, Politics

Now here's an Israeli patriot I can admire

Naomi Chazan is a firecracker. She’s a leading professor of political science in Israel — probably because she was Deputy Speaker of Knesset and a 10-year Meretz party veteran, board president of the largest funder of Israeli civil society, and founder of numerous civil and women’s rights organizations.
Tonight she spoke at Town & Village Synagogue in Manhattan and whipped the audience into considering their own moral blindspots:
On Gaza: “When you have no direction or vision, fear drives politics.”
On Durban II: “On one hand we have Ahmadinejad spouting vileness, on the other Jews who support Israel no matter what it does. I can’t stand either.”
On the occupation: “Israel’s existence is totally dependent on Israel’s soul. An end to the discomfort.”
On Bibi’s two-state reluctance: “The alternative to a two state solution is not a one state solution, it’s more of what we have now, wars on the backs of civilians.”
On progressive American Jews: “Maybe it is time there is are new Jewish voices that stand for the values of dignity, justice, and peace.”
On the next generation: “Too many young Jews don’t want to hear the word Israel. Israel is not doing good for American Jewry.”
On American Jewry: “It’s as if there’s a total disconnect between the liberal values of American Jews and their attitude to Israel.”
Wow. Tell it to ’em straight, Madam Speaker. She’s speaking again to a young activist crowd at NYU’s Bronfman Center this Saturday, 7 pm (RSVP).

One thought on “Now here's an Israeli patriot I can admire

  1. How many votes did Meretz get this time around? 3? 5? With all due respect, her political platform has been voted out of power in Israel for demanding the country be whittled down to a defenseless, Lebanonized rump state overrun by “right of returnees”.
    There is not another place to post this, so I’ll do so here… Has anyone else been noticing the dramatic shift in Obama administration’s tone towards Israel the last few days? A month ago they were on a mission to save Israel from itself, practically calling Lieberman an obstacle to peace, Biden practically forbidding Israel to attack Iranian nuke facilities and suggesting Netanyahu will snap like a twig under American pressure.
    The last few days have seen a dramatic turnaround. Gates is out there urging Israel to wait for a new round of sanctions, but essentially agreeing the Iranians want a nuke. Hillary made the rounds making it clear Hamas would not be getting US aid. The general tone seems to be more conciliatory.
    I had a much better grasp of what was going on when they were practically declaring war on Israel. All this laying of groundwork for Netanyahu’s visit… Peres is coming to warm Obama up and make sure everyone is on the same page… it’s such a weird turnaround.
    Either they pushed Netanyahu and he pushed back so they don’t want to have a diplomatic disaster on their hands, or they pushed him and he gave them something in private.

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