Peter Beinart: Israel is “commiting a sin ‘that cannot be atoned for’

1) “Peter Beinart, “The hard truth if Israel’s endgame in Gaza; Peter Beinart warns that the country is “commiting a sin that ‘cannot be atoned for’,” New York Times, January 9, 2024 (podcast);

What are Israel’s plans for Gaza if it succeeds in expelling Hamas? In this audio essay, Peter Beinart argues that the country’s goal is very clear: to force Palestinians to leave. Beinart believes America’s blanket support of Israel makes it complicit in crimes against humanity. “I want U.S. diplomats to understand that the forced expulsion of a population or part of a population is a war crime,” Beinart says. “I want U.S. government officials to fear that this will be their legacy and to ensure that it’s not.”


Beinart, in one of tge most outspoken statements by an American Jewish learer, affirms the following:

There is a concept in Judaism called “Chillul Hashem.” It’s one of the greatest sins that a human being can commit. And it is to do something that would bring God’s name itself into disrepute. It seems to me that forcing Palestinians in Gaza into a situation where their choices are either death or expulsion is Chillul Hashem, a sin for which there, actually, in Jewish law, cannot be atoned for.

In a more historical vein, it strikes me as a profound and deeply disturbing irony that a people whose own history has been marked by mass expulsion now has a state that is speaking in our name and enacting policies that are very likely going to create mass expulsion of other people.