Gershom Gorenberg is an exception to the rule—more than one rule. He’s an Orthodox Jewish Israeli of American origin, a group that generally tilts sharply to the right in an Israeli context. But he’s decidedly on the political left, an advocate of not only freezing settlement construction but of initiating evacuations “without waiting for a signature on a peace agreement,” of negotiating a two-state solution based on the Green Line (the armistice lines of 1949, the de facto borders prior to the 1967 war), of the separation of synagogue and state, and of true civic equality between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. More than this, he has a realistic understanding of how the Zionist project must have been perceived by the Arab population of the Levant from the beginning: when he talks about the Palestinian Nakba—“catastrophe,” which is how the Palestinian Arabs refer to the events Israeli Jews call the War of Independence—he doesn’t put the word in scare quotes.
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