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Thursday, August 04, 2011
What Does A Progressive Vision For Israel Look Like?

Photo: Jeremy Ben-Ami and Peter Beinart

In light of the bid for statehood Palestinians are expected to pursue at the United Nations next month, The New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristoff’s latest column looks at the struggle for balance between Israel and Palestine:

In the last few years, a former government official named Jeremy Ben-Ami has been trying to change the political dynamic in Washington with a new organization — J Street — that presses Congress and the White House to show more balance. Ben-Ami has just published a book, “A New Voice for Israel,” that is a clarion call for American reasonableness in the Middle East.

“If things don’t change pretty soon, chances are that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will slip through our fingers,” Ben-Ami writes. “As that happens, the dream of the Jewish people to be a free people in their own land also slowly disappears.”

Ben-Ami, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House, comes from a long line of Zionists, and his ancestors helped found Tel Aviv. But he’s aghast at the way the United States is enabling hard-line Israeli policies that make peace less likely.

Read the op-ed in full at The New York Times. Then mark your calendars for September 20, when Jeremy Ben-Ami and Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast and author of The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, come to 92Y and discuss what it means to be “pro-Israel,” the creation of a viable Palestinian state and the need for strong US leadership to lead the way to a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict. Tickets are available here.

If you have questions for either panelist, let us know in the comments below. We will submit your questions during the Q&A portion of the event and if it is used on stage, we will provide you with two tickets to an upcoming event, pending availability. So get questioning!

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