The Irrelevance of Liberal Zionism

by Richard Falk

Frustrated by Israeli settlement expansion, excessive violence, AIPAC maximalism, Netanyahu’s arrogance, Israel’s defiant disregard of international law, various Jewish responses claim to seek a middle ground. Israel is criticized by this loyal opposition, sometimes harshly, although so is the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and activists around the world. Both sides are deemed responsible in equal measure for the failure to end the conflict. With such a stance liberal Zionists seek to occupy the high moral ground without ceding political relevance. In contrast, those who believe as I do that Israel poses the main obstacle to achieving a sustainable peace are dismissed by liberal Zionists as either obstructive or unrealistic, and at worst, as anti-Israeli or even anti-Semitic.

Listen to the funding appeals of J Street or read such columnists in the NY Times as Roger Cohen and Thomas Friedman to grasp the approach of liberal Zionism. These views are made to appear reasonable, and even just, by being set off against such maximalist support for Israel as associated with AIPAC and the U.S. Congress, or in the NY Times context by comparison with the more conservative views of David Brooks (whose son currently serves in the IDF) who published a recent ‘balanced’ column lionizing Netanyahu, “The Age of Bibi” [Jan. 2, 2014]. Of all the deformed reasoning contained in the column, perhaps the most scandalous was comparing Netanyahu to Churchill, and to suggest that his story has the grandeur that bears a resemblance to Shakespeare’s MacBeth, an observation that many would find unflattering.  Weiterlesen

Felicia und Mieciu Langer feiern Eiserne Hochzeit

von Ludwig Watzal

Wer ist heutzutage schon 65 Jahre mit ein und demselben Partner bzw. Partnerin verheiratet? Die Langers leben nun schon fast 25 Jahre in Tübingen. Diese Stadt kann sich glücklich schätzen, dieses Paar in seinen Mauern wohnen zu haben. Neben dem Oberbürgermeister Boris Palmer sind Felicia Langer und ihr Mann Mieciu wohl die bekanntesten Tübinger.

Ihr Leben ist alles andere als ein orientalisches Märchen aus Tausend und eine Nacht, obgleich es sich von 1950 bis 1990 im Nahen Osten abgespielt hat. Der Überfall der Nazis auf Polen machte die Familie Langer zu Flüchtlingen. In der Sowjetunion überlebte nur Felicia und ihre Mutter. Der Vater starb in den Kerkern Josef Stalins. Alle anderen Mitglieder ihrer Familie, die nicht geflohen waren, wurden von den Nazis umgebracht.

Nach ihrer Rückkehr aus der Sowjetunion kam es in einem Wohnheim für jüdische Waisen in Krakau zu einer schicksalhaften Begegnung: Hier begegnete Felicia-Amalia ihrem späteren Ehemann Mieciu Langer. Der zwanzigjährige hatte mehrere Konzentrationslager überlebt. Seine gesamte Familie fiel der Nazi-Barbarei zum Opfer. Als er der 17-jährigen seine „Liebe für das ganze Leben gestand“, fiel sie fast in Ohnmacht, da sie ja noch studieren wollte.


Shame on University of Pennsylvania (U of Penn)

by Ludwig Watzal

As a former Graduate student of International Relations at the U of Penn I’m appalled by the disinvitation of Chris Hedges, a renowned newspaper correspondent and highly awarded writer, because of his courage to speak out against Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine. Hedges was supposed to speak at a conference in April on prospects of peace in the Middle East on campus.

Usually, a university forum is supposed to be the best place in an open society to discuss theses that don’t make headlines in the mainstream media, especially, when they allude to Israel’s destructive role in the Middle East. In a good article on „truthdig“ , Hedges compared ISIS to Israel. „ISIS, ironically, is perhaps the only example of successful nation-building in the contemporary Middle East, despite the billions of dollars we have squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948. Its tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel. Antagonistic ISIS and Israeli states, infected by religious fundamentalism, would be irreconcilable neighbors. This is a recipe for apocalyptic warfare. We provided the ingredients.“