Saturday, May 22, 2010

... and now for something completely different

I am often most disturbed and confused by the state of affairs in Israel and Palestine. In part because it's very difficult for me to wrap my mind around the ancient conflicts that exist there (I am after all a young person from a country that is only a couple hundred years old.) It's even more challenging for me to understand what (if) the global Jewish connection is to Israel and how that works. I suppose one could say I don't fully grasp the concepts of Zionism or understand the Jewish diaspora.

Anyway it's fairly critical to make every attempt comprehend the situation there as it directly affects American foreign policy. So at the urging of some friends I got myself on the mailing list for J street which is a
"... political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans to advocate for vigorous U.S. leadership to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to broaden debate around Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community."

I received an email from them recently linking me to Peter Beinart's article entitled "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment" It discusses a fundamental failure to facilitate and support healthy, stable, effective pro-Israeli conversations about the condition of the state and the vital need for peace and basic human rights compliance. For me it was also clear eyed distillation of the state of Jewish affairs globally with some much needed historical context in the mix (I made sure to google all the terms, people and places I wasn't familiar with). I really needed somebody to explain things to me this eloquently and simply. I've provided a link to this remarkable essay here because I thought perhaps some of you might need that too.

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
by Peter Beinart