Dershowitz calls Beinart a Nazi

JVL Introduction

In an extraordinary – and hate-filled – escalation of language Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz has accused Peter Beinart of advocating a Final Solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This allusion to the Nazi endgame is not accidental, repeated again and again by Dershowitz in recent weeks.

Jonathan Ofir dismantles the weaknesses and distortions of Dershowitz’s arguments against Beinart, particularly those which claim to present a continuous and relentless Palestinian undermining of peace talks over the decades.

He concludes: “Zionists need this fear mongering – the one that Dershowitz provides. It doesn’t need to be real, it just needs to manufacture consent for maintenance of the status quo, which is Israeli expansionism.”

This article was originally published by Mondoweiss on Mon 20 Jul 2020. Read the original here.

Dershowitz calls Beinart a Nazi

Peter Beinart’s essay in Jewish Currents and op-ed in The New York Times of two weeks ago, announcing his abandonment of the two-state solution idea for Palestine-Israel, have made a lot of noise, and mark a serious crisis for ‘liberal Zionism’.

While some, like Haaretz’s US corresponder Chemi Shalev, insisted on holding respect for Beinart while expressing “sorrow and regret”, others were much less respectful. Last week Israel apologist Alan Dershowitz published a piece in Newsweek titled “Beinart’s Final Solution: End Israel as Nation-State of the Jewish People”. The allusion to the Nazi genocide is not accidental, and its repetition at the last paragraph of the piece affirms this:

“The citizens of Israel—both Jewish and Muslim—will be the ones to decide on the appropriate solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. They overwhelmingly support a two-state solution, and they overwhelmingly reject Beinart’s Final Solution.”

Beinart himself noted Deshowitz’s piece on twitter, remarking:

“I write an essay arguing that by depicting Palestinians as Nazis, Jewish discourse erases their humanity and conflates equality with genocide. In response, @AlanDersh calls my argument “the final solution.” It’s beyond caricature.”

Indeed, Dershowitz was calling Beinart a Nazi.

Lara Friedman, President of Foundation for Middle East Peace, immediately noted, “Apparently FDD’s Clifford May wanted to get in on the action: ‘Peter Beinart’s one-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians – If it were taken seriously, it could lead to a final solution’”.

Indeed, Clifford May of the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which was founded in 2001 to “enhance Israel’s image in North America”, was also suggesting Beinart is a Nazi, in the pages of the Washington Times. He’s making the same argument as Dershowitz – that an abandonment of the Jewish State will lead to a genocide of Jews.

Before delving into Dershowitz’s mass of egregious misrepresentations, let it be noted that his title, with its unambiguous Nazi genocide reference, is, after all, an editorial prerogative. Newsweek has allowed Alan Dershowitz to call Peter Beinart a Nazi. With all the talk about “cancel culture”, that’s one that didn’t get cancelled. The standard disclaimer at the bottom of the piece saying “The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own”, cannot wash away the fact that Newsweek decided to allow and publish that title, which is arguably hate speech. Let’s just imagine that someone was writing about an Israeli official, who boasted about returning Gaza “to the stone age”, and applying to the piece the title “final solution”. The example is not arbitrary, it refers to Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s ‘liberal’ rival, who boasted this on his election campaign. All of a sudden, this would be anti-Semitic – all of a sudden, the author would be violating the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which in its 10th example says “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” (7 of the 11 examples relate to Israel). There would be a cry from the Jewish establishment, the ADL would be all over it – what exaggeration! What hate! But calling Beinart a Nazi is now legitimate, since he is challenging Zionist sensibilities (although not abandoning Zionism totally), and by extension that Nazi accusation goes to Palestinians, so who cares. Just another “wrong kind of Jew”. Thus, Jewish Press reprinted Dershowitz’s piece (in a shorter version) with the “Final Solution” title, Friday.

So now to the details of Dershowitz’s piece. Here there are many faults. It is way beyond the fact that Newsweek did not, at the time of writing, even fix a typo on Dershowitz’s “from the river to the see [sic]”. Dershowitz is simply misrepresenting the historical record.

Dershowitz starts his piece like this:

“Peter Beinart’s New York Times op-ed advocating the end of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a study in historical ignorance, willful deception and arrogant rejection of democracy.”

Notice the pious liberal claim to “democracy”. Dershowitz typically makes a point of him being a liberal, ostensibly in the moderate center of things. It comes in passages like this one:

“In reality, it is only hardliners who want one state: many Muslim hardliners want one Palestinian state ‘from the river to the see, [sic]’, and some Jewish hardliners want a Jewish state in all of biblical Israel.”

See the lopsided and false parity in Dershowitz’s comparison: “Many Muslim hardliners” as opposed to “some Jewish hardliners”. It’s not about Jews and Palestinians, it’s about Jews and Muslims, and it’s “many” of the former and “some” of the latter. And what kind of a state do these people want? Do they want equality? Do they want Apartheid? Dershowitz doesn’t go there. By default, the Jewish State is a democracy, and the Muslim State is genocide. But Dershowitz doesn’t pick a side, he’s a liberal.

Binational or bi-religious states don’t work, according to Dershowitz

Dershowitz continues by pointing out why Beinart’s proposal of a “binational” (or even “bi-religious” per Dershowitz) state won’t work:

Beinart proposed that a single binational, bi-religious state in what is now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip replace current Israel, whose Jewish population would then be given a “homeland” within the new nation. But Beinart is woefully ignorant of previous attempts to create or maintain binational or bi-religious states. He ignores the lessons of history surrounding the former Yugoslavia—Tito’s failed effort to create a single artificial nation from different ethnicities and religions—which ended in genocide, tragedy and its breakup into several states now living in relative peace. He omits any mention of Lebanon—a failed experiment in sharing power between Muslims and Christians—which ended with the expulsion of most of the Christian population. He writes as if Hindu India still included Muslim Pakistan, instead of having been divided after considerable bloodshed and divisiveness.

Why does Dershowitz not note the successes? What about Belgium, what about Canada – and why is even “bi-religious” is a problem, shouldn’t freedom of religion be a must in a liberal state, such as the USA which Dershowitz is a proud citizen of?

Dershowitz opines that Beinart’s two examples of successes are irrelevant:

[Beinart] focuses instead on two countries, Northern Ireland and South Africa, which bear little relationship to current-day Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Northern Ireland is a country whose population is ethnically similar, with only religious differences at a time when religion is playing a far less important role in the life of many secular Northern Irish. South Africa was a country in which a tiny minority of whites dominated a large majority of Blacks, and is now a dominantly Black nation.

So, Northern Ireland is “ethnically similar”. Are Jews “ethnically similar”? Really, they aren’t. Zionism drew upon the religious myth of a “Jewish people” and then called it a “nation”, a “Jewish nation”. As we can see, people make up their religious, national and ethnic identities as they please, and these things cross over each other. Race and racialization is not written in genetics, it’s written in human consciousness and social grooming. So what if South Africa had a “tiny minority” of whites? They still dominated a majority of blacks. That Apartheid is not very different from the Israeli Apartheid after all. Israel too has its Bantustans. Arguably, Jews are a minority in their Apartheid scheme, because they first ethnically cleansed most Palestinians in order to be a majority, then they took over more territory and applied the separation principle. If the wrong of ethnic cleansing were corrected and refugees allowed return, Jews would be a minority in the one-state reality. Jews already count equal to Palestinians inside that territory. It’s not a question of numbers – Apartheid is Apartheid.

The nuclear arsenal

In his argumentation against a one-state, Dershowitz brings up the nuclear arsenal argument. This is somewhat amusing, since we can’t talk about it.

“Beinart never discusses the issue of who would control the armed forces and, most particular, Israel’s nuclear arsenal, under a binational and bi-religious state.”

And this (neither confirmed nor denied) issue will be a problem, because “[t]his would create yet another Islamic state, among the many that currently exist—but this one would have a nuclear arsenal”. Dershowitz cannot imagine a secular state, and surely there are ways to control and monitor nuclear arsenals (control which Israel is exempted from). But even Islamic states, like Pakistan, have nuclear arsenals. We could go into all kinds of discussions about how to solve this – but let’s cut it short – Dershowitz doesn’t think it’s a problem that a Jewish State, the “Nation State of the Jewish People” as he repeatedly calls it (repeating the wording of the 2018 racist law), would have a nuclear arsenal. It is assumed that Jews are reasonable and would never do anything irresponsible with nucs. Even if Sheldon Adelson advocates to nuc Iran.

“Beinart’s willful deception”

Dershowitz calls Beinart’s article “maliciously deceptive”, since it supposedly “places the blame for the absence of a two-state solution largely on Israel, willfully omitting Israel’s willingness over many decades to accept a Palestinian state”.

Dershowitz only addresses the shorter New York Times piece by Beinart, wherein Beinart’s appraisal in this respect is:

About 640,000 Jewish settlers now live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the Israeli and American governments have divested Palestinian statehood of any real meaning. The Trump administration’s peace plan envisions an archipelago of Palestinian towns, scattered across as little as 70 percent of the West Bank, under Israeli control. Even the leaders of Israel’s supposedly center-left parties don’t support a viable, sovereign Palestinian state. The West Bank hosts Israel’s newest medical school. If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fulfills his pledge to impose Israeli sovereignty in parts of the West Bank, he will just formalize a decades-old reality: In practice, Israel annexed the West Bank long ago. Israel has all but made its decision: one country that includes millions of Palestinians who lack basic rights. Now liberal Zionists must make our decision, too. It’s time to abandon the traditional two-state solution and embrace the goal of equal rights for Jews and Palestinians. It’s time to imagine a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.”

In order to prove his point of Palestinian rejectionism, Dershowitz goes back to 1937, to the first partition plan of the Royal Peel Commision. He says that “[t]he Jews reluctantly accepted the two-state offer, while the Palestinians adamantly rejected it”. On that, Ben-Gurion wrote at the time to his son:

“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.”

Then Dershowitz goes to the 1947 UN “partition plan”:

“The same is true in 1947 and 1948, when the United Nations partitioned Mandatory Palestine into two states for two peoples. The Jews once again accepted that proposal, in November 1947, while the Arabs rejected it and went to war against Israel after the latter declared its independence in May 1948.”

This is a very general appraisal, which contains multiple egregious misrepresentations. The UN did not “partition” Mandatory Palestine, because it had no mandate to do so. The resolution was a proposal. We could go into the details of how fair it was to give over 55% of the land to the Jewish population of mostly newcomers, who constituted 1/3 of the population and owned about 7% of the land. The Palestinians were arguably right to reject that partition suggestion. For the Zionists, nominal acceptance was of course a means of “increasing strength”, as Ben-Gurion pointed out, a means towards eventual possession “of the land as a whole”. And let’s remember – Ben-Gurion was a Labor Zionist. It’s not just about those few “hardliners”. Dershowitz protrays the Palestinian rejection of the partition proposal almost as if it was a direct declaration of war (“rejected it and went to war against Israel”). But what happened between November 1947 and the point where Israel unilaterally declared itself a state, in May 1948? There was a whole half year, where Zionist militias, including Ben-Gurion’s own mainstream Haganah, carried out large scale ethnic cleansing, in fact expelling nearly half of the Palestinian population that would eventually be expelled in 1948 and razing nearly half of the Palestinian villages that would be destroyed in 1948, by the time of the declaration of independence. Not mentioning that the war of 1948 was in any way related to Zionist ethnic cleansing, is “willfully omitting” a central and founding chapter of Israel’s establishing, an omission which is concurrent with Alan Dershowitz’s essential Nakba denial.

Dershowitz continues to 1967:

“In 1967, the Israelis accepted United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which would have returned the vast majority of the disputed lands to the Arabs. The Arabs convened in Khartoum, instead, and issued their three famous ‘three no’s’: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations.”

The portrayal of Israeli “acceptance” of UN 242, which in its preamble emphasized the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and called for an Israeli withdrawal from territories it occupied, is very misleading. Moshe Dayan had said Israel had a “problem” with that resolution. In 1978, he spoke to the Israeli parliament as Foreign Minister:

“The Government of Israel has stated in the Knesset that it accepts Security Council Resolution 242, and that statement is still valid. But, of course, there are different interpretations to Resolution 242. In the view of the Government, there is no contradiction between the Israeli peace plan, including its proposals for Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and the meaning of Resolution 242.”

Once again, the supposed Israeli “acceptance” has been a “way to procrastinate”, as Palestinian Chief Negotiator Nabil Shaath noted. By 1978, when Dayan spoke of his “proposals for Judea and Samaria”, the PLO was already approximating UN 242 and was well ahead of Israel in terms of nearing a 2-state solution strategy. Within a decade the PLO would officially abandon its 1-state aspirations, resorting instead to a fight for the remaining 22% of historical Palestine. Contrary to popular myth, even the Oslo Accords of the 1990’s were not about an actual Palestinian state as far as Israel was concerned, but about “less than a state” as Rabin assured the parliament in 1995. Shimon Peres, the man who received the Nobel Peace Prize for that one, was “vehemently opposed the idea [of a Palestinian state]”, according to former Labor Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, and this was throughout the Oslo years.

Barak’s “generous offer” of 2000

Now, this gets to recent history, and this is still a very misunderstood and under-scrutinized issue. And it’s about the portrayal of more recent peace offers, particularly Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s “generous offer” of 2000.


“In 2000 and 2001, President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a state on more than 95 percent of the disputed territories. Yasser Arafat rejected it and commenced an intifada that killed over 4,000 people. In 2008, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians even more than did Barak.”

Dershowitz is making a very disingenuous mixing here, so we need to separate it into a bit of detail.

In the Camp David negotiations of 2000, Barak made that which he later claimed was a “generous offer”. But it was not 95 percent of Dershowitz’s “disputed territories”, known officially as the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

First of all, we need to see what Barak actually offered of the West Bank, in addition to Gaza. By the Israeli claim, it was offering about 91% of the West Bank. But that figure already shaves 5% off by areas which Israel had unilaterally annexed.

Jeremy Pressman of Harvard in his essay Visions in Collusion explains:

“[T]he 91 percent land offer was based on the Israeli definition of the West Bank, but this differs by approximately 5 percentage points from the Palestinian definition. Palestinians use a total area of 5,854 square kilometers. Israel, however, omits the area known as No Man’s Land (50 sq. km near Latrun),41 post-1967 East Jerusalem (, and the territorial waters of the Dead Sea (195 sq. km), which reduces the total to 5,538 sq. km. Thus, an Israeli offer of 91 percent (of 5,538 sq. km) of the West Bank translates into only 86 percent from the Palestinian perspective”.

This is not a mere “Palestinian perspective”. The Israeli annexations are not endorsed by international law. The Gaza strip area of 360 SQKM would add another nearly 6%, so we would be close to 92%.

Beinart is certainly more precise on this than Dershowitz in his recent essay, although he appears to have missed the above – in any case he doesn’t note it. Beinart:

“By 2000, when the settler population in East Jerusalem and the West Bank exceeded 365,000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak proposed that Israel annex 9% of the West Bank, and compensate Palestinians with one-ninth as much land inside Israel proper.”

Anyhow, there were more problems to the Barak “generous offer”. Pressman:

“Israel demanded extensive security mechanisms, including three early warning stations in the West Bank and a demilitarized Palestinian state. Israel also wanted to retain control of the Jordan Valley to protect against an Arab invasion from the east via the new Palestinian state. Regardless of whether the Palestinians were accorded sovereignty in the valley, Israel planned to retain control of it for six to twenty-one years.”

And the West Bank was sliced up:

[T]he Israeli territorial offer at Camp David was noncontiguous, breaking the West Bank into two, if not three, separate areas. At a minimum, as Barak has since confirmed, the Israeli offer broke the West Bank into two parts: “The Palestinians were promised a continuous piece of sovereign territory except for a razor-thin Israeli wedge running from Jerusalem through from [the Israeli settlement of] Maale Adumim to the Jordan River.” The Palestinian negotiators and others have alleged that Israel included a second east-west salient in the northern West Bank (through the Israeli settlement of Ariel). If true, the salient through Ariel would have cut the West Bank portion of the Palestinian state into three pieces.

Pressman summarizes:

“Thus, at Camp David, the total Palestinian land share of the West Bank would have been closer to 77 percent for the first six to twenty-one years.”

The added roughly 10% of the Jordan Valley which Israel wanted to retain for those 6-21 years would have eventually made it about 87% of the West Bank.

The late Ron Pundak, a main architect of the Oslo Accords and director of the Peres Center for Peace, said the first Israeli offer went even further in terms of annexation, and he’s using Israeli numbers:

“The Israeli offer at Camp David was based on a map which included an annexation of approximately 12% of the West Bank without territorial compensation… Towards the end of the talks, the Americans made clear to the Palestinians that the maximal Israeli offer included an annexation of 9% and a compensation of 1%. The version presented in retrospect by Israeli spokespersons, claiming that Barak at Camp David offered 95% and an additional 5% in compensation, or alternatively 97% and another 3% compensation are an attempt at writing history”.

The former Foreign Minister under Barak’s government, Shlomo Ben-Ami, has confessed outright:

“If I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well”.

Dershowitz basically echoes the Israeli propaganda, largely disseminated by Barak himself at the time, that there was “no one to talk to”, and that Arafat “chose terror” over peace. But then came December 2000, and Clinton presented his “parameters” to the parties, which were to be non-negotiable. Dershowitz regularly claims that Arafat rejected these parameters, while Israel accepted them– as he does in a debate with Noam Chomsky at Harvard, 2005 – but actually, the White House officially stated that “both sides had accepted the President’s parameters with reservations”.

Chomsky pointed out that it was actually Barak who called the negotiations off.

Indeed, in an interview in Haaretz with Ari Shavit in 2002, Barak admits he saw no hope in it, mostly because he wouldn’t give up the Haram Al Sharif (“Temple Mount”) nor allow “even one [Palestinian] refugee” to return.

Shavit asked, “Didn’t the Clinton parameters of December 2000 go beyond the red line? Do you really think that Israel could have existed in security within the framework of those parameters?”

Barak answered:

“The content of the parameters scraped the edge of what Israel can allow itself even in a peace settlement. Therefore, toward the end of Clinton’s presidency, I sent him a 20-page document detailing all our reservations. The two main points that I explained to him over and over were that I would not sign any document that transfers sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Palestinians and that no Israeli prime minister will accept even one refugee on the basis of the right of return.”

“But you didn’t want to go to the Taba conference?”

“It was plain to me that there was no chance of reaching a settlement at Taba. Therefore I said there would be no negotiations and there would be no delegation and there would be no official discussions and no documentation.”

So, actually, Israel rejected the Clinton Parameters, and Barak called the thing off for all practical purposes.

For Dershowitz, that’s another “missed opportunity” for the Palestinians, as he repeats over and over again, they “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”, echoing Abba Eban.

Clinton might have been offering Palestinians a bit more than Barak had in his “generosity”, but then Barak rejected that. Olmert may have offered Palestinians “even more than did Barak” in 2008, as Dershowitz says, but that doesn’t really say much. Olmert later claimed that he wanted to annex 6.3% of the West Bank including 75% of the settlers (that, again, is by Israeli definition which should be reduce the remaining 93.7% by another 5%). In any case, at the point when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wanted to study the Israeli proposal map, Olmert wouldn’t give it to him.

Olmert related:

“‘Give me the map so that I can consult with my colleagues,’ [Abbas] said to me. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Take the pen and sign now. You’ll never get an offer that is fairer or more just. Don’t hesitate. This is hard for me too, but we don’t have an option of not resolving this.’”

It bears noting, that settlement building continued full-throttle in the Oslo years, and had reached a record speed under Barak in 2000. This is supposedly just a little “obstacle to peace”, which for Dershowitz really does not even bear acknowledgement. For him, these are just “disputed territories”.

“Destroy the Nation State of the Jewish People” and “Israel is a wonder to the world”

Having misrepresented the historical record and putting the blame on Palestinians for being rejectionist, Dershowitz then returns to chide Beinart for wanting to destroy the Jewish State, extolling Israel’s wondrous achievements as in “why would you want to destroy all that?”:

“Beinart’s attempt to destroy the nation-state of the Jewish people would undo decades of sacrifice and hard work by Zionists since the middle of the 19th century.”

All that sacrifice and hard work – imagine that – all that ethnic cleansing, all that Zionist colonization… who in their right minds would want to undo that? Of course there are imperfections, Dershowitz admits, but after all, Israel is a “wonder”:

“Despite its imperfections, Israel is a wonder to the world. It has given more to humankind—scientifically, medically, technologically, literarily and in so many other areas”.

Israel is a wonder, according to Dershowitz, because it’s in such a bad neighborhood:

“No nation faced with the threats comparable to those faced by Israel—including terrorism, rocket and terror tunnels attacks as well as Iranian aggression—has ever had a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law and concern for enemy civilians than has Israel.”

Which “terror tunnels attacks” is Dershowitz talking about? The tunnels that Hamas has used solely for military engagement? The myth of the “Hamas terror tunnels” was propagated in 2014 to serve as a casus belli for the Israeli summer onslaught. Amos Oz, the liberal-Zionist writer, was actually a main promoter of that conspiracy theory. On July 31st, 2014, at the midst of Israel’s unprecedented assault on Gaza, Oz gave an interview to the Deutsche Welle and opened the interview with two questions of his own, defying world opinion:

“Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?

Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

With these two questions I pass the interview to you”.

No tunnel led into any Israeli village. The sole purpose for which the tunnels were ever used in the handful of cases – was military engagement, legitimate under international law.

And Israel has a fantastic record of concern for “enemy civilians”. Just ask the snipers who celebrate their shots with lethal ammunition of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza perimeter fence, snipers who count how many knees they blew open per day, snipers who have killed hundreds and injured thousands protesting their incarceration. It’s such a fantastic record, that the ICC is considering investigating it, since Israel isn’t.

Dershowitz asks “why does Beinart believe there is no room for one nation-state of the Jewish people capable of protecting its citizens from aggression, capable of welcoming oppressed Jews from around the world and dedicated to equal rights for all of its citizens?”

Well, maybe because when it comes to “equal rights for all of its citizens”, Israel can’t even do that. Even after it ethnically cleanses most Palestinians, after it holds them in exile, and the rest under occupation and siege, not even then can it offer equal rights to that minority of non-Jews that are left in its nominal “Jewish democracy”, and those Palestinian citizens are discriminated against by a myriad of discriminatory laws, as well as “petty Apartheid” policies, such as segregation in maternity wards and widespread opposition to hiring of Palestinian kindergarten workers in Jewish kindergartens. That discrimination has been codified in the 2018 quasi-constitutional Nation State law.

Beinart’s concerns are just malicious, according to Dershowitz, and therefore should be consigned to the “waste basket of history”:

“Beinart’s nasty and ignorant article belongs in the waste basket of history. He has lost all claim to speak for any segment of the pro-Israel and Jewish communities by siding with those who would end the existence of the only nation-state of the Jewish people.”

See, Dershowitz sees the Jewish Nation State supremacy not as a mere virtue in itself, but also as a singular one – it is the only one of its kind, it represents all Jews in some way, and therefore, ending the supremacy would be tantamount to an attack on all Jews.

The Israelis will decide

Dershowitz suggests that Beinart keep a distance, and not pretend he is Israeli or Palestinian, as it were:

“The citizens of Israel—both Jewish and Muslim—will be the ones to decide on the appropriate solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. They overwhelmingly support a two-state solution, and they overwhelmingly reject Beinart’s Final Solution.”

While it is true that currently, the two-state solution is still officially and nominally the policy of both Israeli politicians – Jewish and Palestinian – as well as the PLO, the popular support for a one state has been growing. And not least because of a sense of despair. When faced with dwindling prospects or hope of an actual Palestinian state, the support for a one state soars to about two thirds of Palestinians. Among Israelis, polls have shown close to 40% support for “1 state for 2 peoples”. It is of course a question of how these questions are asked, and what the responders really mean when they say “one state”, but it’s certainly not a concept that is outlandish for many, and it’s only logical that many, even Zionists, are going Beinart’s way.


Zionists need this fear mongering – the one that Dershowitz provides. It doesn’t need to be real, it just needs to manufacture consent for maintenance of the status quo, which is Israeli expansionism. They will talk about two states, but the Palestinian state will conveniently never arrive, while they blame the Arabs for it. And if the fear mongering requires Nazi accusations, even against Jews, that’s fine, all in service to the good purpose, that “Nation State of the Jewish People”.

But these pundits are becoming more desperate, and Peter Beinart’s move has faced them with a need to prove that they are still about liberalism, while what they defend is widely exposed as incompatible with that liberalism, and amounts to Apartheid. So they are trying to further demonise those who promote this discussion and divert the attention, as Alan Dershowitz says “look over there – Nazis!”

Comments (12)

  • DJ says:

    A very well informed article. Peter Beinart’s decision to abandon the two state position is ruffling some feathers in the USA.For the right to call him a Nazi is shocking and shows they will do anything to discredit any version of the one state solution which is based on equality for all of its citizens. It would interesting to know how this is playing out in the very large US Jewish diaspora. How many are moving in the same direction as Peter Beinhart?

  • Martin Davidson says:

    Maybe those calling for the final solution of the Palestinian problem are the real Nazis.

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    I remember the days – which I bet most people can’t- when Dershowitz was a civil liberties lawyer! Always keen to promote himself, but nevertheless, a good lawyer and campaigner.

    The factual stuff in this article is very useful. I just want to question some of the discussion about bi-national states. There is loads of evidence that these are problematic. Or that they do well in particular circumstances (e.g. Yugoslavia was a success when strong man Tito ruled over it, and built in checks and balances to protect the smaller and weaker groups. But the basic idea was flawed and fragile and it all fell apart when the strong man died). Northern Ireland, which I know a lot about, is indisputably a vastly better, happier, kinder, safer place – especially for Catholics – than it was during the Troubles (when I lived there). But its problems are being contained and managed, rather than addressed and resolved. The NI peace process simply didnt include any educative truth and reconciliation, because it would have required a political reckoning with decades of unionist oppression, which nobody was in a position to impose. But at least with mostly peace, there is a chance in N Ireland that one day, that truth will be sought. So I think everyone who refers to examples – either with or against Beinart – needs to be careful how far to take the comparisons.

    The other thing with Dershowitz which has got him really crazy is that Beinart has taken the moral high ground. Many (most?) readers and commentators have focused on his one state/two state discussion. But much more important is that he has succeeded in shifting everything for Diaspora Jews into a debate about morality! And about human rights. And about democracy. And whatever the speculative stuff about eventual state formation, Beinart is onto a winner when he asks liberal Diaspora Jews to ask themselves honestly, whether what they want in any part of that land between the river and the sea, is what they see today.

  • Mr Philip Horowitz says:

    I agree with Naomi Wayne that more discussion of bi-national states would have helped. To unequivocally call Belgium and Canada successes is simplistic.

  • DJ says:

    The form of any future single state would have to be jointly hammered out by the palestinians and the israelis.Given the uniqueness of the circumstances I’m not convinced there is a ready made model that could be copied from elsewhere.Having said that I see no alternative to seeking a model which enables the two communities to share the territories .

  • Dorothy says:

    New Zealand is a binational state that is managing to move forward in an inclusive way. So the idea that it is impossible looks flawed.

  • Harry Law says:

    The similarity between Israel and Ireland until 1999 is significant, the Israeli government ‘claim ‘ sovereignty over the whole Land of Israel, including the West Bank [they call it Judea and Samaria] similarly the Republic of Ireland claimed sovereignty over the whole Island of Ireland and its territorial waters in their 1937 constitution [articles 2 and 3] The Good Friday Agreement [GFA] between the UK and Irish government [including Sinn Fein] recognised that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination when the Republic changed its constitution from a ‘claim’ to an ‘aspiration’ and confirmed that there can be no constitutional change in NI without the majority agreeing to it.
    The result of the Irish Republics referendum in 1999 was 94.39% for constitutional change to 5.6% no change. This complemented the 1973 border poll in Northern Ireland which was 98.8% to remain part of the UK to 1.2% for a united Ireland. on a 58% turnout [Sinn Fein told their supporters to boycott the poll]. The GFA could not have happened without the Republic and Sinn Fein recognising that the people of Northern Ireland have the right to self determination. When a majority in NI vote for a united Ireland, negotiations between all parties concerned can take place in order to bring it about in an amicable way. All perfectly democratic, with no need for violence.
    The Israeli government do not recognise that the Palestinians have the right to self determination, therein lies the problem, for any peace agreement, the Israelis will need to do as the Irish did when they renounced their claim to the whole Island. I suspect the Israelis will double down and try to either transfer the Palestinians or put them in Bantustans, neither will work of course, unfortunately we will have much more bloodshed.

  • Stephen Williams says:

    Dershowitz has a lot on his mind at the moment as we await more revelations in the Epstein case. Robert Maxwell was said to be an Israel asset and there are murky circumstances surrounding his death which my yet come to light as his daughter is investigated.
    His commentaries have become increasingly deranged over the past few years, as he visibly ages.

  • Doug says:

    Nothing new as detailed above, see what works for Israel
    In mean time concentrate minds, war crimes combined with economic sanctions and reparations against individuals and the state should do it
    Publish list that is being drawn up by ICC, let their partners, friends and families do the rest
    By this time next year !

  • Harry Law says:

    I think everyone is being unfair to Alan, he only has suspects in the hands of the security services and their welfare in mind when he advocates for ‘torture warrants’ to enable the authorities to extract information by using only sterile needles to be inserted under the fingernails of suspects, see how caring he is.
    DERSHOWITZ: “Well, we don’t know, and that’s why [we could use] a torture warrant, which puts a heavy burden on the government to demonstrate by factual evidence the necessity to administer this horrible, horrible technique of torture. I would talk about nonlethal torture, say, a sterilized needle underneath the nail, which would violate the Geneva Accords, but you know, countries all over the world violate the Geneva Accords. They do it secretly and hypothetically, the way the French did it in Algeria. If we ever came close to doing it, and we don’t know whether this is such a case, I think we would want to do it with accountability and openly and not adopt the way of the hypocrite”.

  • RH says:

    An interesting whine from Dershowitz, given that (as has been pointed out in other articles here), it is the current dominant form of apartheid zionism that has effectively killed any possibility of a ‘two state solution’ – not opponents to it.

    Rationally, of course, it has long been a dead duck in both practical and moral terms – but that’s beside the point. There is no such thing as a state at ease with itself based on the cultural dominance of one group.

  • Johny Conspiranoid says:

    Israel has de-facto rejected the two state solution with its continuous expansion into the areas where the other state would have to go.

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