The Latest Work of Academic Anti-Zionism Argues That Jews Are Wrong to Seek Security

In his recent book The No-State Solution: A Jewish Manifesto, Daniel Boyarin—a distinguished professor of ancient Judaism at the University of California, Berkeley—takes old arguments against Zionism and dresses them up in the trendiest of academic clothing. The Jews, he contends, should celebrate their religious and national heritage, but realize that they are a thoroughly diasporic people who should embrace “not the promise of security, but rather the highly contingent possibility of an ethical collective existence.” Cole Aronson writes in his review:

One might propose that Jewish Zionists didn’t like life in Europe because Gentile mobs—often with the acquiescence or support of Gentile overlords—had abused, expelled, and killed Jews over and over again for centuries. Occasionally, Boyarin concedes that Jewish life before Israel was not all peaches and cream. But according to The No-State Solution, the thing most urgently to be remedied is not the misery or precariousness of Jewish life in the Diaspora, but that Jews came to associate misery and precariousness with life in the Diaspora. Western Gentiles not only made the Jews suffer; they also—the devils—confused the Jews into thinking that their suffering was due to their lack of a state with which to defend themselves against their enemies. If only Herzl, Weizmann, and Jabotinsky had realized the European imperialist source of their opposition to Jewish statelessness!

Early on, Boyarin asks: “What kind of social identity do we want for the Jews?” Good question. But without an analysis of the current Israeli answer and some thoughts on the likely consequences of other answers, Boyarin should not expect a serious hearing for his own. What Boyarin calls a “question of values” is not analyzed with respect to his progressive values or any other values. He doesn’t assess the costs and benefits of his proposed binational state in Palestine for the “Jews who live and breathe” there. He doesn’t do it for Palestinians, either.

In Boyarin’s view, for Jews to keep others safe is the ethical thing, whereas for Jews to do the one thing proven to keep themselves safe is at best the “secure” thing, at worst the “racist” or “fascist” thing.

Read more at First Things

More about: Academia, Anti-Zionism, Diaspora, Idiocy


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security