1) In Phil Weiss’s blog posting of July 1, while not exactly changing his views, Weiss has apologized for his tone in a prior posting. He also admits to some commonality of concern and values with progressive Zionists. And he realizes that some of the comments he attracts are antisemitic or close to it. Still, the confusions, which he readily admits to, continue to shine through.
He continues to insist upon simply naming issues (e.g., “dual loyalty”) rather than analyzing them in practical terms. In other words, he wraps himself in the principle of “universalism” versus “nationalism,” as if anyone who supports the right of the Jewish people to self-determination automatically is a “nationalist” in the mold of a right-wing chauvinist. As progressive Zionists, we struggle to find ways to reconcile the opposing rights to self-determination of both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. There’s no easy formula in this, but a just solution is NOT the complete subordination of the rights of one to the other.
2) I doubt that this will mark a dramatic change in Rabbi Michael Lerner’s overly-PC attitudes re Israel, but the following episode is gratifying. In an email below, I complained about his ongoing use of Tikkun print and online resources as a platform for Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian who is stridently and uncompromisingly anti-Zionist:
I wonder why you continue to give Ilan Pappe a platform for his noxious views. It isn’t that he lies (although he shades the truth), but that he’s totally one-sided. In his piece on Gaza here, he is contemptuous of “Diet Zionists” and in other ways attacks progressive Zionists who believe in two states [Israel and Palestine]. “Zionism” as such is anathema to him. If you have a Tikkun forum about two states vs. one, such as the recent debate between Pappe and Uri Avnery, then his voice belongs, but otherwise, you are just reinforcing blanket anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism. I know that you don’t really mean to do that.
Lerner e-mailed back that he agreed with me and promised to “stop using him.”