Doing some research for a blog of my own, I came across the comment below, ‘After the murder of baby Ali, is Zionism beyond redemption?’ from the writer Robert Cohen which I thought I’d share. I don’t agree with all of it, but I found it thoughtful and considered, and sometimes a little painful.

As someone who follows this issue closely, it’s often struck me that many of its most fearless and outspoken writers and activists are Jewish, from Noam Chomsky and Norman Finklestein, to Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and Philip Weiss, to Max Blumenthal, Dan Cohen, David Sheen and Anna Baltzer. Two of the most compelling contributions to the case of Steve Salaita, infamously ‘unhired’ by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over his ‘uncivil’ tweets about last summer’s Gaza siege, are from the academics Michael Rothberg, who heads the English department at UIUC and directs the campus’s Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, and Todd Presner who runs UCLA’s Jewish studies programme.

The demonstrations and other events I attend are invariably populated by the tireless crew from Jews for Justice for Palestinians, reps from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and countless ordinary people of extraordinary conscience. These are the folks contemptuously smeared as ‘self-hating’ by self-appointed guardians of Israel’s putative interests, and ignored by a mainstream media content with its facile conflation of apparently homogeneous ‘Jewish’ interests with those of the state of Israel.

Their commitment to a tradition of Jewish dissidence, their distaste for injustice, and their willingness to confront uncomfortable truths offer romantics like me a flicker of hope, albeit one that’s increasingly snuffed out by the hawkish xenophobia of the Israeli leadership and its cynical patrons and pitiful apologists in the West, from Hasbarists on Twitter to the editorial leadership of the BBC.

And yet: there it is again, a flash barely detectable out of the corner of my eye, and I can keep on writing.

After the murder of baby Ali, is Zionism beyond redemption?

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