From AIJAC, 27 April 2012, by Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz:
Peter Beinart...has been a figure of much controversy lately due to his new book The Crisis of Zionism -- an extension of his 2009 essay 'The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment' in the New York Review of Books -- in which he makes the case that the Jewish community in America is taking an incorrect line on Israel and provides his own perspective on how the Israeli/Palestinian conflict ought to be addressed.
The book provoked a litany of responses from across the political spectrum, with almost every senior figure in the American foreign policy world deriding or distancing themselves from his contribution.
As a result, there is a very substantial body of work from which to draw in order to evaluate every point that he makes. In general, most experts agree that Beinart is ...hopelessly naive and heavily encumbered by a lack of serious research on the topic. ...a sheltered American ...who has never had much expertise in foreign policy -- deciding all of a sudden to jump head-first into one of the most controversial debates on the planet and go toe-to-toe with far more credible analysts.
The most salient criticism of Beinart is his entirely Israel-centric view on the conflict. He has taken a stance denying Palestinians of any agency or accountability, relegating them to bit-players in an Israeli production. To him, solving the conflict is entirely Israel's prerogative -- the Palestinians are passive victims with no say in the process. He does acknowledge that Palestinians have walked away from peace in the past and does condemn the continuing attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas, however he maintains that Israel is accountable for Palestinian decisions and punishing Israel could alter the way that Palestinians act....
From The Daily Beast, 19 March 2012, by David Frum:
...Peter Beinart urges a global economic boycott of Israel.
Peter draws a distinction between a boycott of "Israel" and "the occupied territories," but as his new associates in the anti-Israel boycott movement understand better than he does, such a distinction is unworkable in fact and unsustainable psychologically.
...The solution Peter offers
... punish Israelis in order to change the Palestinians. It's not a very good plan.
If the Israeli-Palestinian dispute were a dispute over borders, it would have been settled long ago. The dispute never has been about borders, and it is not about borders now. The spread of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is not a cause of Palestinian rejectionism. It is a consequence of Palestinian rejectionism.
It's tiresome to repeat the history. Peter knows it as well as I do.
Has there been a moment since 1936 when a majority of Jewish opinion would have rejected a peace based on partition and mutual recognition by a Jewish and Arab state? Has there has been a moment since 1936 when the Palestinian political community would have accepted such a peace?....
From a book review (‘The Crisis of Zionism,’ by Peter Beinart) in the
read more: Peter Beinart attracts the dersion of almost every senior figure in the American foreign policy world