Peter Beinart’s newest book “The Crisis of Zionism” has garnerd significant controversy in the American-Zionist community, earning both praise and criticism. The book is a personal reflection on what it means for the senior Daily Beast editor and CUNY professor to be a Zionist, the current state and future possibilities of democracy in Israel, and his belief that current mainstream American Jewish leadership does not value Zionism’s original liberal principles.
Many of his critics claim that Beinart is detrimental to the state of Israel and delegitimizes it. After speaking with him privately, there is no doubt in my mind that Beinart is pro-Israel, even if he is critical of its policies. Alan Dershowitz, perhaps the most well respected and commanding American Israel defender, commented on Beinart at the Jerusalem Post conference this past Sunday, stating that while many may disagree with Beinart, he is not an enemy. He went on to say that there are individuals, including Jews, that want to deligitimize Israel’s very right to exist. Those are the real enemies.
No matter what your view, Beinart’s comments will definitely make you think.
The following was taken from Jspace.com. The interview was conducted by Jspace Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Rob Lattin, who also blogs about Israeli and Middle Eastern foreign policy for Foreign Policy Blogs.