Inside the Conflict

TPM Reader JC writes in with a request …

Josh, I was really taken with your pair of tweets this morning about how, as David Ben-Gurion said Jews should “Fight the White Paper as if there was no War, and fight the War as if there was no White Paper,” so should we fight Israel-haters as if there was no Israeli Right with zero interest in peace, and fight the anti-peace Right as if there were no Israel-haters.

I hope you write and a larger piece expanding on this thought. I’d like to share it with friends and family.

It really crystallized a dilemma I’ve faced as an American-Jew raised to value Israel’s commitment to Democratic values and Judaism’s moral center. I’ve been hesitant to speak out on contemporary Israeli issues, because I don’t want to be seen as a critic while Israel is under figurative and literal attack and see myself labeled the problem from each side. I also didn’t want to feel as if I was betraying my own values by defending actions I don’t always feel are defensible.

But your reminder of Ben-Gurion’s approach to conflicting impulses in defense of Zionism helped me resolve my conflicted feelings and see a way to maintain my commitment to Israel’s security *and* its values.

I feel more comfortable now speaking out on both fronts, and I hope you will urge others to do so.