What are Americans doing wrong with Israel

Beinart, Peter: The American Jews and Israel. What's wrong

On paper, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, but the continued occupation and illegal settlement of the territories conquered in 1967 are systematically destroying them. The Jew and Zionist Peter Beinart shows in “The American Jews and Israel” (“The Crisis of Zionism” 2012) why fewer and fewer young American Jews identify with this Israel. To do this, he analyzes the clash between Obama and Netanyahu in Middle East politics and describes the failure of American Jewish organizations, which uncritically place themselves at the service of the Israeli government and thus reveal their own liberal roots. Unlike 50 years ago, the problem is no longer the weakness of the Jewish people, but rather the power they have to deal with. American Jewish organizations could be dominated by ultraorthodes in the next generation. That could mean the end of a liberal Zionism, one of whose most prominent exponents is Peter Beinart. The dream of a Jewish state that is democratic at the same time.

For me, this book by the young American scientist, who is still little known to us, is the counterpart - and the continuation into Judaism - of the book «Herr oder Knecht? About the unprecedented relationship between Israel and the USA »of his colleague emeritus James Petras, who examines whether the USA controls Israel or not rather Israel controls the USA. If Petras occasionally takes a sweeping and polemical approach, Peter Beinart writes in a highly differentiated and as objective manner as is humanly possible. His personal conviction as a Jew makes him prick up his ears for the development of Judaism in Israel and the USA, some of which he illuminates every hour. He advocates a two-state solution and argues with terms that are foreign to me, such as a "democratic and an undemocratic Israel".

The first chapters of his academic work reads like an intellectual thriller and at the same time like an intimate diary, the final chapters passionately, personally, critically and self-critically seek solutions. Such seriousness deserves the highest respect - even if, like others, I do not share the conclusions, but rather ask in an amateurish way whether Zionism itself is not the cause of the dilemma. The well-researched, legibly written and translated book brings everyone who thinks they already understand some new information and original approaches.

Beinart, Peter: The American Jews and Israel. What's wrong. C. H. Beck, Munich 2013, 220 pages