Peter Beinart

  • Aired:  03/29/12
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Peter Beinart discusses his book "The Crisis of Zionism" and what he sees as a divide between the democratic Israel and the Israel of the West Bank. (5:38)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT WRITES ABOUT ISRAELI AFFAIRS FOR THE DAILY BEAST WHICH SYRONIC BECAUSE I BELIEVE

THE DAILY BEAST IS IRAN'S NAME FOR ISRAEL.

PLEASE WELCOME PETER BEINART.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

THANKS FOR COMING BY.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: SU HAVE A VERY IMPRESSIVE CV, ARE YOU THE PROFESSOR OF-- YOU ALSO

WRITE FOR SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER FOR THE DAILY BEAST AND YOU HAVE THE BLOG OPEN ZYON.

AND YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK CALLED THE CRISIS OF ZIONISM.

WHAT CRISIS IS THERE IN ZIONISM?

>> THIS LAND IS MINE, GOD GAVES THIS LAND TO ME.

WHAT PART OF THAT IS A CRISIS?

>> THE CRISIS IS THE PEOPLE WHO CREATE THE STATE OF ISRAEL BELIEVE IT HAD TO BE A DEMOCRACY.

THEY BELIEVED IT HAD TO BE A COUNTRY THREE AREAS AFTER THE HOLOCAUST THAT WAS GOING

TO TREAT OTHER PEOPLE JUSTLY AND LEARN THE LESSONS THAT EUROPE HAD NOT LEARNED WHEN

THE JEWS LIVED IN EUROPE.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE PROMISE ITS COMPLETE EQUALITY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

IRRESPECTIVE RACE, RELIGION AND SEX THAT IS ZIONISM, AND THAT IS IN PERIL TODAY.

>> YOU WOULD AGREE THAT OUR FRIEND IN THE MIDDLE EAST THERE IS NO GREAT FRIEND

THAN THE STATE OF ISRAEL THAN YOURS TRULY.

THE ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE REGION THAT WE DID NOT HAVE TO ESTABLISH BY INVADING SOMEPLACE.

SO YOU AGREE THAT WE HAVE TO STAND BY OUR FRIENDS.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> THEY ARE OUR FRIENDS.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> THEY ARE JUST A FRIEND WHO HAPPENS TO TALK [BLEEP]

ABOUT THEIR-- AND WE HAVE TO GET THEIR BACK.

>> WHAT MAKES ISRAEL OUR FRIEND FUNDAMENTALLY IS THAT ISRAEL SHARES OUR DEMOCRATIC VALUES.

AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT ISRAEL CAN CONTINUE TO DO THAT AND THAT'S IN DANGER

BECAUSE ISRAEL CONTROLS A LOT OF TERRITORY WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT JEWISH,

PALESTINIANS DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

>> TALKING ABOUT THE WEST BANK.

>> WATCH YOUR STEP.

ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE WEST BANK.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: OKAY THAT IS LAND THAT THEY WON.

AND IT'S FINDERS KEEPERS,

LOSERS-- HAVE A PROTRACTED GUERRILLA WAR THAT MAKES EVERYONE IN THE REGION WEEPERS.

(LAUGHTER)

>> BUT WINNING LAND DOESN'T MAKE YOU STRONGER WHEN YOU CAN'T GIVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE

AND CITIZENSHIP TO THE PEOPLE ON THAT LAND.

>> Stephen: THEY ARE NOT CITIZENS.

>> THAT'S RIGHT'SES THAT EAT PROBLEM.

THEY DON'T HAVE THE BASIC RIGHTS ENSCHRYNED IN ISRAEL'S DECLARATION OF

INDEPENDENCE WHICH IS WHY THEY NEED THEIR OWN STATE WHERE THEY HAVE DIGNITY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

OTHERWISE THEY WILL HATE ISRAEL AND MAKE ISRAEL LESS SAFE.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER.

YOU ARE AN EDITORIAL CALLING FOR BOYCOTT, SELECTIVE BOYCOTT OF ONE PART OF ISRAEL.

YOU SAY THERE IS THE DEMOCRATIC ISRAEL AND NONDEMOCRATIC ISRAEL.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE THERE.

>> THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT IN ONE PART OF ISRAEL, ISRAEL'S ORIGINAL BOUNDARIES ALL

PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CITIZENSHIP AND THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

THAT'S WHAT MAKES ISRAEL PRECIOUS TO ME.

THAT IS YES LOVE ISRAEL.

BUT IN THE WEST BANK THAT'S NOT TRUE.

AND SO WE HAVE TO DRAW A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE WAY WE TREAT THAT PART OF ISRAEL

THAT LIVES UP TO ISRAEL'S FOUNDING IDEALS OR TRIES AT LEAST, AND THAT PART WHICH

THREATENS ISRAEL'S FOUNDING IDEALS.

>> Stephen: HOW DO YOU BOYCOTT JUST THE WEST BANK.

HOW I DO GO TO THE STORE AND BOYCOTT JUST PART OF A COUNTRY.

I MEAN HOW, HOW WELL I DO HAVE TO GET TO KNOW MY HUMMUS?

>> MAYBE THAT'S WHERE THE GOOD HUMMUS COMES FROM.

MAYBE THE OPPRESSION IS WHAT GIVES IT THE TASTE.

>> I THINK THAT WHAT WE HAVE TO DO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE IS DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE WEST

BANK AND DEMOCRATIC ISRAEL.

BECAUSE THE WEST BANK,

ISRAEL'S CONTROL OVER IT THREATENS ISRAEL'S FUTURE AS A DEMOCRATIC JEWISH STATE

THAT I WANT TO PASS ON TO MY CHILDREN.

>> Stephen: WHY DON'T WE JUST TAKE THE PEOPLE WHO YOU SAY DON'T HAVE THE RIGHTS

THAT ARE IN THE NONDEMOCRATIC PART OF ISRAEL AND JUST PUT THEM IN THE DEMOCRATIC PART, AND THEN

EVERYBODY HAS GOT DEMOCRACY.

NOBEL PRIZE PLEASE.

CAN THEY NOT GO.

CAN THE PALESTINIANS NOT GO INTO THE REST OF ISRAEL?

>> NO, IF WE WANT ISRAEL TO REMAIN A JEWISH STATE, AND I BELIEVE THAT GIVEN OUR

HISTORY WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO A JEWISH STATE, THEN THE BEST ANSWER IS PALESTINIANS

HAVE THEIR OWN STATE IN THE WEST BANK.

>> Stephen: AND THAT SOUNDS LIKE A FINE PLAN.

HOW DO YOU DO THAT IF THE WEST BANK WITHOUT GIVING UP ANY LAND.

>> I THINK YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP LAND.

>> Stephen: THAT'S NOT MY QUESTION.

HOW DO YOU DO IT WITHOUT GIVING UP ANY LAND BECAUSE THAT IS THE BETRAYAL OF THE

STATE OF ISRAEL OOFERMENT'S NOT EVEN JEWISH AND I'M ANGRY.

I'M A CHRISTIAN.

WE CHRISTIANS KNOW ASK PAT ROBERTSON.

YOU GUYS HAVE TO KEEP ALL THE WEST BANK OR ELSE NO RAPTURE, JESUS DON'T COME BACK.

>> YOU CAN ALSO READ EXODUS,

WE READ IT TO SAY WE REMEMBER THE HEART OF THE STRANGER BECAUSE WE WERE STRANGERS IN THE LAND OF EGYPT.

AND WE DON'T WANT TO TREAT THE STRANGERS AMONGST US IN A WAY THAT VIOLATES OUR OWN

ETHICAL TRADITIONS.

>> Stephen: YOU THINK THIS WHOLE PROBLEM TO COULD GET BETTER IF THE PALESTINIAN

WAS GIVE SOME SORT OF GOODWILL GESTURE, SOMETHING SMALL LIKE RECOGNIZING 9

RIGHT OF ISRAEL TO EXIST.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

SOME PALESTINIANS HAVE DONE EXACTLY THAT.

NOT ENOUGH, MORE SHOULD, BUT THE QUESTION IS HOW DO WE STRENGTHEN THOSE WHO HAVE,

AND THE ONLY WAY WE STRENGTHEN THEM IS BY GIVING THEM THE PONT OF THEIR OWN STATE.

>> Stephen: I'M GLAD THAT YOU AND I IN SIX AND A HALF MINUTES WERE ABLE TO FIX

THIS WHOLE MIDDLE EAST THING.

MR. BEINART, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING ON.

PETER BEINART, THE BOOK IS THE C