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Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
December 2023

In the wake of developments in Gaza, Peter Beinart, a professor of journalism and  
political science at the City University of New York and an editor for Jewish  
Currents, wrote an article in the New York Times (Oct.15, 2023), “The Work of  
Moral Rebuilding Must Begin Now.”  
He writes: “Hamas…has committed an unspeakable horror that may damage the  
Palestinian cause for decades to come. Yet when Palestinians resist their  
oppression in ethical ways—-by calling for boycotts, sanctions, and the  
application of international law—the U.S. and its allies work to ensure that  
those efforts fail, which convinces many Palestinians that ethical resistance  
doesn’t work, which empowers Hamas.”  
In Beinart’s view, “The savagery Hamas committed…has made reversing this  
monstrous cycle much harder…It will require a shared commitment to ending  
Palestinian oppression in ways that respect the infinite value of every human  
life…It will require new forms of political community…built around a democratic  
vision powerful enough to transcend tribal divides…The effort may fail. It has  
failed before. The alternative is to descend, flags waving, into hell.”  
Over the years, notes Beinart, “Israel, with America’s help…has repeatedly  
undermined Palestinians who sought to end Israel’s occupation through  
negotiations or nonviolent pressure…As part of the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO  
renounced violence and began working with Israel…because they thought it would  
deliver them a state…The 1996 election of Mr. Netanyahu and the failure of Israel  
and its American patron to stop settlement growth, however, curdled Palestinian  
sentiment…Like many others who care about the lives of both Palestinians and  
Jews, I have felt in recent days the greatest despair I have ever known…A  
Palestinian friend sent me a note of consolation. She ended it with the words  
‘only together.’ Maybe that can be our motto.” *

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