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Peter Beinart’s new book, The Crisis of Zionism, tries hard—really, really hard—to distinguish between what he calls “non-democratic Israel”, i.e. the occupation and settlements, and “democratic Israel”, which seems somehow in his and other liberal Zionists’ brains as immune from the theft, murder, and grinding ethnic cleansing of the big-o Occupation. It’s a charming but […]


Aafter an overly long hiatus from Hybrid States due to extreme time pressure in other fields of my life, I read Gershom Gorenberg’s excerpt from his new book The Unmaking of Israel, which deals, ironically enough, with the making of Israel via the removal of 80 percent of the non-Jewish, indigenous population. A response to […]


Do you not find it grotesque that Israelis celebrate “Independence Day” in artificial parks built by the Jewish National Fund on the ruins of Palestinian villages? For example, Canada Park (cited in the link), was built on the depopulated and destroyed villages of Dayr Ayyub, Imwas, Yalo, and Bayt Nuba. The Biriya National Forest on […]


A routine rebuttal to the argument that Israel is an apartheid state is to focus on the conditions of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Israel’s defenders allege, for example, that Palestinians within its borders (whatever those are taken to be) live better than other Palestinians, or even other Arabs. Others like to point out that […]


We are accustomed to hearing about how Israel as an ethnically exclusivist state was necessary to protect the Jews after the Holocaust. For most Israelis, this assertion has taken on almost axiomatic status. So it’s interesting to note that many of the early Zionist leaders, including the relentlessly mythologized David Ben-Gurion, Zionist leader and first […]


OK, that headline is deliberately and falsely sensationalistic in order to grab your attention.? Unfortunately, I believe Moshe Arens’ motivation for making an extremely similar statement about the Nakba reflects a far more insidious objective than simple attention grabbing. A couple days ago, Haaretz published a revolting verbal attack on what was probably the most […]


The big story at the moment is the forthcoming law that would require all non-Jews, who want to become Israeli citizens, to make a loyalty oath to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. Although revealing in the insecurity of identity and purpose that motivates it, it really is just one more law (among at […]

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Today is the anniversary of the establishment of Israel on May 15th, 1948. It is also the day that Palestinians commemorate as the Nakba (“the catastrophe”). Here are two excellent documentaries on the establishment of Israel and the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Spend some time today thinking about the history conveyed in these […]


This story should probably be filed in the category of institutional and individual Israeli racism toward Arabs. But the Shaya family story is so compelling on a variety of levels, including the relationship between Israeli Palestinians, the Nakba, and the neo-fascism of Foreign Minister Lieberman, that its significance rises above the more basic (but still […]


In yesterday’s post, I argued against the simplistic and, in my view, weak argument that a one state framework for achieving peace in Israel/Palestine is “political fancifulness”. Given that this argument is one of the most commonly heard criticisms of the one state idea, I want to spend a bit more time addressing it. I […]