Consolidation

Where to begin? Mum often nags me to write – to put my thoughts and emotions to paper, to spew out the couscousy mesh of experiences that have been blended into a single stretch of memory – and thus to immortalize the symphony of incidents, stories and smells that accompany me throughout my journeys. ‘Anything, anything at all’, she pleads and reasons. But I never seem to have the desire or the discipline to dedicate the few hours required to put pen to paper. So here I am now – on a bus from Tel Aviv back to the kibbutz, with a few hours to kill, my laptop, and a lump in my throat from not being quite sure how to summarize the past few months, or how to unpack my thoughts.

What is the most suitable way to describe the people I have met, and the gems I have gleaned in a faraway land described by many, simultaneously as ‘holy’, ‘heavenly’ and ‘hell’? How to relate to the people here that I simultaneously love and despise – like the young man, shut off from the world with music blasting through his headphones, who sneaks in front of the ticket machine at the train station, and grabs a ticket that he didn’t pay for – or the young woman who rushed to the aid of an elderly lady who dropped her shopping bag in crowded Jerusalem? How to thank the proverbial Israeli on the street, who insists on inviting me over for Shabbat dinner, “whenever you’re in city X!”, despite having just randomly met me on the street. And how can I even begin to detail the many random acts of kindness – a stranger, in the right place at the right time, bridging the invisible bridge that separates people, and running to the assistance of another.

Which is the best way to describe the uncomfortable feeling I get, when I hear one of my kin preaching hatred against perceived enemies of our people – real or imaginary, or the silent applause during the many moments of social harmony: religious and secular Jews, together celebrating the 60 year anniversary of a local council in the Negev; or the large billboards in Gush Etzion that promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Watching Ethiopian and Russian kids playing soccer in the street, hearing Americans ordering hummus in Jerusalem, watching an impromptu performance of Japansese pilgrims singing in Zion Square, or feeling the heat, as I sunbake amongst a sea of Frenchmen on a beach near Achziv.

How can I begin to explain the time an entire Egged bus erupted into laughter, when an Arab transport van pulled up beside us – with a podgy middle aged man seated cross-legged on the floor between the seats, happily smoked a nargilah and smiled back at us – the mystical plume of smoke that he exhaled, dancing toward the heavens, as if he was relaxing in Abu Gosh. Or the frustration of being screwed around with by the army – that constantly changes my draft date, and insists that all communication be done through faxing? How to picture the warmth and hospitality of the Beduins of Aramsha – a small village that straddles the Lebanese border, or the way that residents of Bnei Brak purposely avoid me with their eyes during a Shabbat afternoon stroll? How to describe the multitude of faces, cultures and personalities that forge this country for what it is – an unprecedented melting pot, instigated by one of the boldest state building projects of the 20th century.

How to express the sheer outpour of otherworldly senses when the sun kisses the pluvial horizon between Gaza and Rafiah, and bids these shores farewell with a spectacular show of colours in the sky – orange, blue and violet? How can I colour with words the jungle-like Wadi’s of the Upper Galilee, and the wild meat cows that roam free, and follow each hiker with their distinctive, pitiful stares? What on Earth is more blue than the Kinneret when viewed from the Golan Heights, or more yellow than the gigantic bees that lap up the water of the kibbutz pool, and then fly off in a hurry to pollinate the fields of the Western Negev desert?

Living in Israel from the inside is nothing like living it from the outside. The headlines continue to ramble on, inexorably and increasingly sensationalist, whilst on the ground, people trudge on, like a backpacker trekking through waist-deep mud: slowly, tiredly and assuredly forward – warding off the hardship and difficulty that surrounds. For in a place so compact and laden with history, which snares the hearts and minds of so many around the world, it’s really easy to get carried away in a biblical fantasy land of prophecies and conflict. It’s a land that brings out the best and worst in people – those guided toward kindness by their beliefs, and those who seek salvation in terror, destruction and death.

Perhaps on this auspicious occasion, at the height of the Arab spring, and Israel’s increasingly difficult political situation it has to be said: Too often Middle East is portrayed as a black and white narrative of hollywood-esque proportions, a game of good vs evil that each side reframes and repackages to suit their bias. The truth however lies in fact this troubled neighbourhood is plagued by many shades of grey, with each opinion offering an element of truth, and an element of sweet illusion. Often I find that the most zealous voices are those of people who have never set foot in the holy land, whilst those who live the reality, lead the moderate voices of peace.

Sure Israel has changed me. There was a time, in the first few weeks, when my heart would open up to every beggar in the street, as I foraged my wallet for all the spare change I could find. Today I join the mass of people who nonchalantly pass them by, choosing to ignore, reasoning that they should get a job, and passing on the assumed responsibility of helping them onto the next stranger. There was a time that I would wait politely in line, whilst the onlookers who pushed in front of me, looked back and giggled at the ‘friar’ (‘loser’ in Hebrew), who clearly has no idea about Israeli society. I remember the days when seeing a wind-torn Israeli flag fluttering in the middle of the desert aroused all kinds of emotional nostalgia and reinforced my sense of purpose here. And how could I forget the tiring bus trips at night, when I would stay awake and rest my head on the window, gazing out to the lights of distant settlements and villages that dot the inland hills; an intense spiritual sense like that of my first visit to the Kotel.

Indeed, as my initial excitement turned to disillusionment, which in turn became a sort of rebellious-teenager apathy, I found myself increasingly sceptical and disconnected from the values that initially brought me here. Whilst now, I find myself in a consolidation of sorts – having sobered up both from the initial thrill this country offered and the mild disappointment that followed.

There was a time when my heart skipped a beat each time I would come across ancient Israelite ruins – and each time I gazed out across the Shfela, the coastal plane, and imagined the ancient wayfarers and merchants that traded spices between the Phoenician north and the Philistine south. There was a period when seeing an Israeli soldier on the train filled me with pride, and almost always led me to make conversation – as I took the role of the excited ‘oleh hadash’ teenager – both astonished and envious.

Yet despite it all, I still feel that I belong here. A humid summer night in June comes to mind: we had just crossed back into Israel from Taba, Egypt, and although the surrounding mountains and the deep dark sea remained the same ominous mountains and sea, the distinct sense of anxiety, and foreignness that accompanied me through Egypt suddenly dispelled across the border. Sure the customs officers cursed in Hebrew, the taxi driver tried to rip us off a few extra shekels, and the size of the Israeli flag, flying white and blue, was no less impressive than her Egyptian counterpart over the border. But I felt at home, and I still do – and that is a feeling that is hard to come by.

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Being Jewish and criticizing Israel

Being Jewish today is not easy. Not only do Jews have the burden of religious and cultural obligations, but we are generally expected by wider society to be the archetypal role models of ‘morality’, ‘servitude’ and victim-hood. Indeed, in the wake of 2000 years of pogroms and persecutions across Europe and the Middle East culminating in the The Holocaust, The Jewish people have always been considered the mistreated minority: by the left as the defenseless underdogs and the scapegoats, by the right as the stateless wanderers at the mercy of benevolent kings and tyrannical rulers. But by 2011, a mere 65 years after the crematoria of Birkenau fell into their ghostly silence, everything has been reversed. The State of Israel – a country whose rasion detre is to provide a refuge for ‘The Wandering Jew’, is today portrayed as the aggressor rather than the victim. The words Israel and “apartheid”, “occupation” and “Nazi” have become so synonymous, that with the help of the internet, the transition from ‘helpless Jewish scapegoats’ to  ‘vicious Jewish oppressors’ is accelerating faster than ever.

Jewish and anti-Israel: antisemtism?

But amidst the antisemitic barrage of hate speech and hyperbole, lies legitimate criticisms of the State of Israel – her policies, the domestic and social problems, as well as her relationship with immediate neighbours. Israel is generally accepted as  ‘The Jewish collective’ – the single most identifiable symbol of Judaism across the world, so when Israel is criticized legitimately, this can often be misconstrued as anti-zionism or even anti-semitism. What I wish to focus on however, is the curious (and growing unfortunately) phenomena of Jewish anti-zionism in the wider context of Jewish voices criticizing Israel from the Diaspora. Make no mistake, Jews can be antisemites as well as anybody else (Pablo Christiani and Shlomo Sand instantly come to mind), and many of the voices spearheading the attack against Israel from college campuses across America and Australia, are in fact Jewish. The question is – what motivates so many Jews to rise up against their homeland and side with her enemies?

This is a question that I posed to international human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler when he came to speak to us at school. Is it that because so many Jewish children are raised on a steady diet of social justice, they feel compelled to interpret Israel’s actions as a gross injustice? His answer was insightful and interesting. Many of these Jewish anti-zionists have little or no connection to their heritage, and their campaign against Israel is often misguided, because they are ignorant of the facts on the ground. They are perceived by others to have more legitimacy in this issue because they are ‘Jewish’ – and Israel is ‘the Jewish state’ , yet ironically, the only time they publicly display or feel connected to their ‘Jewishness’ is when attacking Israel or siding with antisemites.

As an example, he reminded us that many of the Soviet Union’s most vociferous supporters were (yep, you guessed it) misguided Jews. Despite the fact that 2 million Jews were caged within the totalitarian Stalinist confines of institutionalized discrimination, and that students and mothers were marching on the streets of London, New York and Johannesburg demanding the freedom of Soviet Jewry – overzealous Jewish communists in the West continued to voice their support for the regime: A regime that denuded millions of Jews of their identity and still insisted that the word “Jew” was printed on their passports, so that they would never forget what they were. Today, a growing number of “Jewish communists” wage a similar, misguided battle. The simple fact that their parents are Jewish instantly makes them “experts” – yet they arrive on campus with little or no idea about Israel, Jewish history, culture or tradition. As little as 25% of American Jews have visited Israel. The number that attend Jewish day schools or youth groups is even lower. Every second Jew intermarries. Chelsea Clinton’s marriage to Marc Mezvinsky was hailed as proof that the golden age of the Jews of America is at it’s peak – however in another age such a marriage would have been widely shunned and criticized.

Martin Luther King: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.”

At the risk of calling Jewish anti-zionists ‘traitors’, I have to admit that I am somewhat ambivalent about being so quick to dismiss them as loonies or useful idiots. On the one hand, I share many disagreements with them. On the other, I’m proud that there is such a wide diversity of thoughts and opinions within the Jewish community. These people may be the ‘black-sheep’ of the family, but they’re part of the family nonetheless. I see this growing trend of anti-Israel radicalization amongst Jewish youth as synonymous with the distortion and deterioration of left-wing politics – which historically assumed support for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. An example is the Guardian newspaper which initially voiced support for Zionism, only to become infected with rabid Arabism over the course of the century.

Indeed, Jews have historically aligned themselves with the left side of politics. The left demanded Jewish emancipation in Europe during the 19th century. Jewish women spearheaded the fight for universal suffrage and feminism. The Bund, Trotsky and the Mensheviks lobbied to bring down the Czar in Russia, and create an egalitarian socialist utopia for all citizens. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched hand in hand with Martin Luther King at the height of the civil rights movement. These are all examples of Jews and left-wing politics working hand in hand to achieve universal human rights and freedom for all. The bad news, is that for the past 30 years, classic left-wing politics has all but disappeared, only to be replaced with a hollow shell of fanatical, ignorant, youth claiming immediate expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict after reading Wikipedia.

Secular Jewish antizionism - misguided

This is essentially what Jewish youth face on university campuses across the Western world. They are immediately receptive to any injustice: Tibet, Darfur, The Congo. They hear soundbites on the Israeli-Arab conflict for the first time, and the magical, idealized picture of the Jewish paradise shatters: Israel isn’t the heroic wonderland of their childhood, but an aggressor fighting in their name! Yet rather than researching about the conflict in-depth to discover its root causes: the existential threat Israel faces on a daily basis – and the democratic and human rights afforded there as the only in the entire region – they immediately jump onto the bandwagon of anti-zionism, further propagating the distorted image of Israel as the chief violator of human rights in the entire world. This view is further compounded by anti-zionist academia and faculty on Israeli, American and European campuses – further forcing brutal images down unsuspecting throats. This is at least one of the principle causes of secular Jewish anti-Zionism. Jewish anti-Zionism on religious grounds from groups such as Neturei Karta demands a separate article altogether, however, they too seek to achieve the same outcome: the destruction of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.

The claim that ‘all critiques of Israel are antisemitic’ is patently false and ignorant, because that would mean that Israel is the #1 most antisemitic country on Earth. There are no secrets in Israel. The Hebrew press uncovers everything and presents the damning allegations to the Israeli public. Does this make Israeli journalists writing in Hebrew for an Israeli audience antisemitic? Of course not! Every one of Israel’s 6 million Jews has something against the government and its policies: the despicable education system, unnecessary bureaucracy, the communities in ‘the territories’ (West Bank), final status on Jerusalem, and so forth. Their anger is neither antisemitic nor anti-Zionism – it is rather constructive criticism by those who love the country so much that they choose to live there. From this we can deduce the yardstick between legitimate criticism of Israel by Jews in the diaspora: if the criticism is directed to a distinctly Israeli audience, then it is most likely constructive criticism, appealing to voters to rectify the problems in their society. If the criticism is directed at a non-Jewish or a hostile audience, then the criticism, whether legitimate or hateful, instantly is construed as anti-Zionism.

Jewish refusenik turned head-of-the-Jewish-Agency-for-Israel, Natan Sharansky presented the famous three D’s to determine whether criticism of Israel is in fact antisemitic:

1. Demonization: portraying Israel as the single worst violator of human rights in the world and the embodiment of evil. This includes claiming that Palestinians are the ‘new Jews’ or that the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are now perpetrating a new Holocaust upon Arabs living in the vicinity.

2. Double Standards:  ignoring other far more serious crimes committed worldwide by focusing solely on Israel and her imperfections, turning a blind eye to Arab incitement and terrorism, and selectively bemoaning the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, whilst ignoring Israeli deaths at the hands of Hamas, Hezzbollah and the al-Aqsa martyrs brigade.

3. Delegitimization:  inferring that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state. This includes incorrectly portraying Israel as a vestige of colonialism or claiming that Israel is an ‘apartheid state’. Other examples include using selective quotations from Jewish texts such as The Talmud or Shulchan Aruch to support an anti-Israel agenda. Additionally, citing being ‘Jewish’ as conferring some type of authority to speak legitimately on behalf of other Jews in order to denigrate Israel is antisemitic.

I have a confession to make: I too have many qualms about the Israeli government and the path the country is taking. The correct place for me to air these complaints is in Hebrew on an Israeli newsite – to those who are receptive to such criticism and have the voting right to change the situation. Attacking Israel on non-Israeli sites or arenas is easily misread as anti-zionism and gives fuel for neo-nazis, Islamists and antisemites who don’t understand the nuanced and complicated problems within Israeli society. It is irrelevant that I’m Jewish, that I’m moving to Israel in a couple of months, or that I plan to enlist in the IDF: If my criticism breaks one of the three D’s or is directed at the wrong audience – then I too am guilty of antisemitism, and I hope that I am the first to recognize this. I remember talking to an elderly Hungarian Jew on our way back from a Passover Seder at night. I asked him why he decided to leave Israel, and what his views are on the country in general. He gave me a sharp stare, and then cooled off a bit: “I could tell you,” he answered me, “but I’m here now, not there. I don’t have to endure the hardships of living in Israel. I have no right to speak out against them.” And then we continued on in silence through the deserted streets and flickering light lamps – his droll, heretical wink giving me the answer that I was looking and hoping for.

The “Zionist entity”: conquering the world one postage stamp at a time

What is the single most destructive, oppressive and dangerous force in the entire world? That’s easy: “The Zionist entity.” After hours of procrastination on Al Jazeera and surfing through UN general assembly speeches on Youtube, I came to the conclusion that the name of this vague, evil force, “The Zionist Entity” – is an entity so dangerous and awe inspiring, that one can only mention it using “inverted commas”. Whilst simply mentioning this term evokes horror and rage in the hearts of faithful mujahadeen everywhere, intoning “The Zionist Entity” is not enough to achieve the desired effect. One must pile on adjective after adjective to ensure that if you haven’t experienced your ‘hit-in-the-back-of-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer’ moment, you will be able to recite every synonym of ‘deformed, evil, bastard entity, despicable, deranged, batshit crazy and disgusting’ without a Thesaurus.

But to some, even giving “The Zionist entity” a name, gives it the legitimacy and the attention that it does not deserve. So the next time you attend a terror-fest rally on the streets of Gaza city, make sure that you are well equipped with the many variants to describe ‘the so-called government of the so-called state.’ Indeed, to those that find out that the “Zionist entity” actually exists – and has a name (it is known colloquially by infidels as “Israel” a.k.a The “Jewish” state), it might come down as a bit of a shock, with symptoms including denial, anger, rage and eventually uncontrolled explosions in Tel Aviv kindergartens and buses.

Even Hezbollah has caught on to the trend on it’s official website, because apparently, typing out “The Zionist entity” every second sentence is too cumbersome and tiring – even for a Lebanese dhimmi with a gun to his head. According to the latest piece of propaganda verifiable evidence nicely littered with a touch of irony and scare quotes:

The list seemed to be part of a growing effort by activists, both in “Israel” and abroad, to pursue the pressing of war crime charges under the principle of universal jurisdiction against “Israeli” soldiers who participated in the attack. The three-week offensive launched by “Israel” in December 2008 resulted in the killings of about 1,400 Gazans. The disclosure of the troops’ details also appeared to expose the “Israeli” military’s growing difficulty in restricting such information from being revealed in the internet era, despite the army’s technology-savvy image. Data such as soldiers’ home addresses is not typically readily available to the public in “Israel”.

The term “Israel” was reported only 24 times in this piece, which is a pretty weak effort for Hezzbollah, considering that it managed to kill twice that number of innocent civilians in the Second Lebanon War. This article also bespeaks a tacit ‘understanding’ between those who realize that Israel exists, but that religiously, ideologically and ideally it doesn’t (wink-wink-nudge-nudge), which can often lead to confusing debates at Palestinian reconciliation meetings (“Isra-what?” I thought we were discussing *cue evil laugh* “The Zionist entity”).

Indeed, all of this innuendo not only confuses the faithful everywhere, but it can also cause major international relations slip ups. The sea surrounding “The Zionist Entity” has mysteriously become a graveyard for peace-loving humanitarian flotillas, because well, – it doesn’t appear on any maps. It turns outIHH was trying to deliver aid to the needy ‘people of Gaza’ who are being oppressed by an entity that doesn’t actually exist according to them.

Other grievances which require urgent international aid include: cigarettes tainted with pig blood, chimps running amok, and the Zionist sex gum of death:

GAZA CITY (AFP) — Hamas suspects that Israeli intelligence services are supplying its Gaza Strip stronghold with chewing gum that boosts the sex drive in order to “corrupt the young,” an official said on Tuesday.

Postage stamps: the root cause of the conflict?

Whilst “The entity’s” list of crimes are numerous: (defying the Accounting entity principle is considered by Accountants as the worst), the term “The Zionist entity” has it’s roots in the burgeoning Arab nationalist movement of the 20s, in which Arab leaders refused to recognize a Jewish state anywhere in the Middle East: not even the “size of a postage stamp.” In a twist of irony, Israel’s current landmass of 20770 square kilometers, although the size of tiny New Jersey, can still fit 8.31 quadrillion postage stamps (400 postage stamps per square meter x 1sq km x20770). That means that “Israel” has a success rate of 8308000000000%: pretty impressive for any “entity”.

According to many in the Arab world, the terms “Zionist” and “Jew” are interchangeable. So when it comes to post-Khartoum recognition of the “so-called”, “Jewish” state, one wonders what all the fuss is about? Efraim Karsh hits the nail on the head with his analysis:

“This pervasive denigration of Jews has been accompanied by a systematic denial of the Jewish state’s legitimacy by both the PA and the PLO. Israel is often referred to by the pejorative phrase, ‘the Zionist entity.’ Israel is glaringly absent from Palestinian maps, which portray its territory as part of a ‘Greater Palestine,’ from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.”

So the “Zionist Entity” is a byproduct of the lunatic hallucinations of cave-dwelling, turban-clad, Osamas – reliving their delusions of grandeur with a video camera and a loyal fan-base of robot jihadists – meekly awaiting 72 prizes in heaven. Because in reality, Zionism has been tainted to the extent that it is no longer considered a movement to return the Jewish people to their homeland, but a pejorative to describe everything that is bad in the Arab world. How long before the term ‘Zionist’ is dropped from the “The Zionist entity” – so that one day they will wail “The entity!” and everyone will know what the hell they’re talking about. It seems like “The entity” is here to stay, and many will have a hard time reconciling this fact with their warped worldview. In the mean time, those living inside “the Entity” go on with their lives, living, breathing and building: one postage stamp at a time.

Can you be Zionist and pro-Palestinian at the same time?

Many in my social milieu, have been raised on a steady diet of Zionism and support for Israel. Mollycoddled within the cosy confines of the “Jewish ghetto”, our unequivocal support for our homeland is instilled from childhood and to a large extent unquestioned. However, as we become more exposed to the political realities of the Israeli-Arab conflict, our naïve kindergarten views buckle under the barrage of narratives and sound-bytes thrown at us from all directions.

It is in this context, that I wish to raise the painful but unavoidable facts on the ground:
Israel’s closest allies, including Australia (and many Jews & Israelis too) are pressuring the Israeli government into establishing a Palestinian state alongside it in the West Bank and Gaza (or as some prefer: biblical Yehuda, Shomron v’Aza). The reasons for such a move are numerous, and the pros and cons can be debated until tomorrow morning. Yet as time passes, and Palestinian statehood looks increasingly likely, we must ask the question:

“Can we be Zionist and pro a Palestinian state at the same time? :

In other words, are we still supportive of Israel if we support the establishment of an Arab state alongside it?

Many will argue that if Israel withdraws from the West Bank, it will be used as a launching pad to attack Tel Aviv. Conservative Jewish communities bewail the idea of giving up the biblical lands of the Tanach – the majestic hills of Shomron in which our forefathers modestly herded cattle, or the rolling deserts of Yehuda where King David mounted his attack upon the ancient Canaanites. The half a million Jews living in these areas question the viability of Jew-vs-Jew, Gush-Katif-style expulsions, or conversely, receiving Palestinian citizenship in a new Arab state.

Currently, the ratio of Jews to Arabs in the Land of Israel is roughly equal. Considering the higher Arab birth-rate, there is a strong possibility that Jews may become a minority in their own country. So when demographic realities are taken into account, the answer becomes simple: Either establish a Palestinian state at the expense of a physically smaller Israel – but ensure a Jewish majority (Two-state solution), or force Israel to decide between remaining “democratic” (give all Palestinians Israeli citizenship; i.e. one state solution) or exclusively “Jewish” (an apartheid state with no voting rights for Israel’s Arab citizens).

Indeed, the perpetual dilemma facing the Zionist movement since its inception over 100 years ago, has been the reconciliation between establishing a Jewish state in Israel, whilst seeking to uphold the democratic rights of the local Arab inhabitants. Initially, the issue had been ignored or glossed over with the popular Zionist maxim: “A land without a people, and a people without a land” – portraying Palestine as an uninhabited backwater of the Ottoman empire. But immigration and the Arab womb had other ideas.

Upon capturing the “Yehuda, Shomron v’Aza” in 1967, Israel was faced with an internal dilemma. To annex these territories and so provide their 2 million Arab inhabitants with Israeli citizenship, return them to Jordan, or establish another Arab state. Neither was done. Instead, Israel maintained a military presence in the territories (branded as ‘The Occupation’ by the media), and eventually built Jewish towns and cities on the newly conquered lands.

It is in these cities that today, nearly half a million Israeli Jews now call home. Many of us have visited and stayed in one of the numerous towns, communities and Yeshivot that now dot the landscape. Many of the secular, religious and unaffiliated Israelis call these communities home – communities that form a portion of Israel’s economic, political and social life. But what is more important – a homeland for the Jewish people, or holding on to pieces of land we captured in a defensive war?

Theodore Herzl - founder of political Zionism

In these regions live 3-5 million stateless Arabs. As heart wrenching as it may be, for the ultimate goal of preserving the State of Israel as Jewish and democratic, we must seek a two state solution (albeit with territorial adjustments along the ’67 borders). Anything less would be an affront to the Zionist movement and the Jewish pioneers who paid the ultimate sacrifice to establish Israel.

I say this, knowing that there are many who strongly disagree with the idea of giving back any land. Ultimately, even though the creation of the “State of Palestine” may not end the Israeli-Arab conflict (on the contrary, Iran’s toxic tentacles encroaching ever closer is a more probable outcome) – it will ensure Israel remains a Jewish-democratic state. Our people have always successfully faced external threats when united – and the left-right political divide is tearing Israel apart.

So yes, being Zionist and supporting Israel, in effect makes you in favour of a Palestinian state.
Because unless a Palestinian state is established, Israel will be forced to choose between surrendering it’s Jewish character or abandoning democracy – and that’s a choice that none of us want her to make.