Yes, it took me aback too when I first read it, but the most distinguished living Israeli historian, Yehudah Bauer, says that the current Israeli government, in its attempt to maintain the Occupation and its refusal to recoginze a Palestinian state, is “anti-Zionist:”
“I am speaking from a Zionist standpoint,” Prof. Yehuda Bauer explained. “Zionism sets as its goal the preservation of a Jewish national home with a solid Jewish majority – this was the dream of people from the left, right and center of classical Zionism. But the continuation of the occupation guarantees the nullification of Zionism – that is, it rules out the possibility that the Jewish people will live in its land with a strong majority and international recognition. In my eyes, this makes [Israel’s] government clearly anti-Zionist.”
Bauer said that he sees the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders as the “realization of genuine Jewish nationalism that exists in peace in the region, and within the international community.”
Bauer and 16 other Israel Prize winners will join other prominent public figures in a historic signing of a document which recognizes a Palestinian state within 1967 borders. They will assemble on Thursday outside Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where David Ben Gurion signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948.
I understand that there are readers who will be disappointed in Bauer’s articulation of his argument because he is clearly wedded to a Jewish majority state. But what’s important to me is that he and a number of Israeli luminaries are willing to get off their behinds and publicly recognize a Palestinian state in 1967 borders. To me, this is part of a rising tide of support, both international and domestic (inside Israel), calling for immediate recognition of a Palestinian state. This undercuts the position of the current Israeli government and even the current U.S. government, which is a good thing.