The relationship between Israel and the Diaspora has never been as complex. While a peaceful solution remains as elusive as ever, the debate rages on, polarised between those offering unconditional support and those labelled ‘self-hating Jews’ for their criticism of Israeli government policy whether abroad or in Israel itself.
Into this landscape of dogma and unshifting political realities, a new American organisation, J Street, has emerged to offer a third way - supportive but not sycophantic. Daniel Levy, one of its advisors, was in conversation with Francesca Klug, LSE professor and Director of the Human Rights Futures project, which explores and analyses the future direction of human rights discourse and with David Newman, Professor of Political Geography at Ben-Gurion University. He has been involved in peace-related activities and played a major role in the defence of Israeli universities faced with academic boycott.
They shared with us their assessment of the present situation and their thoughts on what lies ahead.
Francesca Klug OBE is a Professorial Research Fellow at the LSE and Director of the Human Rights Futures Project. She is based in the Centre for the Study of Global Governance and is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. She is a trustee of the Campaign for Freedom of Information. Francesca is a frequent broadcaster and has written widely on human rights, including Values for a Godless Age: the story of the UK Bill of Rights.
Daniel Levy is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative at The Century Foundation and a Senior Fellow and Director of theMiddle East Initiative at the New America Foundation. He is on the Advisory Board of J Street.
David Newman is Professor of Political Geography at Ben-Gurion University and editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics. Originally from London, Newman has lived in Israel for the past 30 years. Newman was the founder and first chairperson of the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University and was also instrumental in the setting up of the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society at that University. He writes a regular political column in the Jerusalem Post.