A father/son navigating a conversation about Israel where opinions are divergent but respected.
By Philip Weiss | Mondoweiss | Feb 21, 2020
About a month ago my 15-year-old son told me he was an anti-Zionist because he couldn’t support the notion that in Israel the Jews received preferential treatment over Palestinians in all aspects of life, such as education, housing, employment, and access to justice.
— Eric Flamm, writer
I keep telling friends that before long a prominent liberal Zionist is going to say, I’m sick of what the Jewish state is doing in my name so I’m going to become an anti-Zionist, just like an American pol leaving one party for another. But it hasn’t happened. Peter Beinart hasn’t been able to take the plunge. My college friend Dan Fleshler is still with J Street. David Rothkopf and David Remnick and Roger Cohen haven’t made the break. The only real exception is Henry Siegmann.
The shift is surely happening inside many Jewish families, though, and writer Eric Flamm has published an important piece documenting the change. Flamm himself is dedicated to Israel. He moved there in his 20’s in 1994 and became an Israeli citizen and was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces and served in a combat unit as a reservist. Then in 2001, he moved back to his college town, Portland, Oregon, and emerged as a leading liberal Zionist. He chaired the J Street chapter there from 2012-2018 and wrote a book of stories titled “Portland Zionists Unite!”
Then a couple of months back, Flamm’s son announced to him — BAM! — that he’s an anti-Zionist. And it’s not all that complicated.