Radicals, Rabbis, and Peacemakers: Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel
Common Courage Press has just released the challenging RADICALS, RABBIS AND PEACEMAKERS: Conversations With Jewish Critics of Israel, edited with commentary by Dr. Seth Farber, a psychologist and member of Jews Against the Occupation. The contributors are among the leading American Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis, Adam Shapiro, Phyllis Bennis, Rabbi Weiss and 6 others. They are a diverse group of 11 Jews – Orthodox Jews, atheists, cultural Jews, a Buberesque theologian, Gandhian activists – united only by their opposition to Zionism and their indignation at their fellow Jews (Israel and its American supporters) for the dispossession of the Palestinians that began in 1948 with the expulsion -the ethnic cleansing – of 3/4 of a million Palestinians from their homes and continues to this very day as Israel continues to build settlements in territory seized and occupied in 1967, and subjects Palestinians to an ongoing process of state terrorism – random shooting of children, razing of innocent Palestinians' homes, military measures amounting to a deliberate "policy of starvation" (to quote a U.N. report).
Farber's perspective imparts coherence to this diversity of views and informs both his questions and his commentary: The supporters of Israel are "self-hating Jews," Farber reveals, turning the table on his critics with this phrase, idolaters who have sacrificed the prophetic Jewish passion for justice and substituted in its stead the worship of the powerful nation-state of Israel. Thus the Zionists, Farber warns, are jeopardizing Jews' relationship with God – the covenant itself. Farber quotes Marc Ellis who wrote in 1999: "[T]he covenant remains today in a struggle for life in the heart of every Jew, religious and non-religious alike. It is murdered or given life as the other, the Palestinian, is banished or embraced by the Jewish community."
The book is available directly from Common Courage Press (http://www.commoncouragepress.com) and from online and local booksellers.