On this week’s episode of Lever Time, David Sirota is joined by Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp, who recently authored a provocative article about how Israel’s mass violence against Palestinians in Gaza could prompt a backlash to right-wing Zionism and a resurgence of the “Liberal Zionist” political tradition.

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A transcript of this episode is available here.

The modern debate surrounding Zionism tends to be fraught, accompanied by decades of historical baggage and confusion over the term’s many meanings. In a literal sense, Zionism is defined as “the belief that there should be an independent Jewish state.” Today, the dominant concept of Zionism is embodied by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is using the term to justify the mass murder and displacement of Palestinians. 

But historically, Zionism also encapsulated the concept of liberal Zionism, which imagines an independent, democratic Jewish state that could offer equal rights to all of its citizens, including Palestinians. 

In today’s discussion, David and Zack explore whether the war in Gaza will ultimately result in the return of the liberal Zionist tradition. They also break down the definition of liberal Zionism and how it’s differentiated from other forms of Zionism. And they discuss the collapse of the liberal Zionist movement within Israel, and the inherent tension between liberal Zionists’ desire for a Jewish homeland and their stated support for creating a real democracy. 


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