Liberal Jews in Canada are increasingly concerned that a two state solution, which would allow Israel to keep 3/4 of historic Palestine as a Jewish State, may no longer be possible. Some openly worry about the “slippery slope to a dangerous one state reality” in which Palestinians would be a majority. Watch this recording of a webinar organized by one of Canada’s leading liberal Zionist organizations.
Canadian Friends of Peace Now, (CFPN) describes itself as “the largest Jewish organization in Canada that is Zionist and dedicated entirely to promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace on the basis of the two-state solution.”
But the “2 state solution” is increasingly under fire from both the left and the right. There are fewer and fewer Palestinians who still believe it is possible, and fewer and fewer Israelis who say they want to make any concession to the Palestinians.
On June 15th, CFPN organized a webinar with Israeli security analyst Yossi Alpher whose title was “The Slippery Slope: Israel/Palestine’s descent towards a dangerous one-state reality”. A link to the hour long webinar can be found here.
Alpher’s comments, and the questions raised from the audience after his presentation, reflect a growing desperation on the part of liberal Jews. In his presentation, Alpher demonstrated that he is well informed and thoughtful. He showed a good understanding of many of the issues.
Like many of the members of CFPN, Alpher is mainly concerned about saving the dream of a Jewish State. He worries that in one state, Jews will no longer be able to justify to the world permanent Jewish control over a non Jewish majority.
Unfortunately for his audience, who see the “two state solution” as a way to preserve the dream of a Jewish state, Alpher had little to offer in the way of hope. He argued that there is little support for a two state solution (except perhaps among liberal Jews in the diaspora). He saw none in the Israeli government, very little among the Israeli public, none among neighbouring Arab states, and no energy for really supporting it in the USA (despite official rhetoric). This against a backdrop of a worrying (for him) rejection of the two state idea among young Palestinians – both in the West Bank and inside Israel itself.
The notion of a “two state solution” still remains the official position of the Canadian government. It is a position that gets broad support in the Canadian population because it sounds “fair”. But that support is only “theoretical”, because as Israel continues to undermine the very basis for a two state solution by demolishing Palestinian houses, building new settlements, and arresting Palestinians who resist on an almost daily basis, Canada mostly looks the other way.
In the USA???
LIberal Zionists in the USA are on the defensive – attacked by well financed right wing Jewish organizations. Democratic congressman Andrew Levin, a Jew, came under intense fire from AIPAC, which opposed his renomination as a candidate for the 2022 election because he dared to be critical of Israel. Levin, who still says he still hopes for a two state solution, was defeated in the Democratic primary by the right wing Zionist machine.
Just before election day, Levin was interviewed by Peter Beinart, a well known US intellectual who had famously written in the New York Times that he has given up on the idea of a Jewish state.
The link to the hour long Beinart-Levin discussion is here.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.
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