Carlo Strenger skriver i Haaretz (”Jewish liberals from all nations, unite”) om judiska liberalers balansgång mellan å ena sidan kritik mot antidemokratiska och illiberala tendenser i det israeliska samhället (se Lieberman, Ishai) och å andra sidan ett totalt avståndstagande från vad Strenger kallar ”SLES”:
”There are those on the European (and sometimes on the American) left that have moved into a simplistic, black-and-white worldview governed by what I call SLES, short for ”Standard Left Explanatory System.” SLES is a remainder of the guilt that many Europeans feel about their colonial past. Its algorithm is very simple: always support the underdog, particularly if non-Western. If the underdog behaves immorally (9/11; 7/7; Hamas hiding weaponry and fighters in civilian buildings), always accuse the West, and preferably Jews, for having pushed them to do this. Never demand non-Western groups to take responsibility for their actions, but instead masochistically look for ways to make the West responsible.”
Känns välbekant, eller hur? Men det går att vara kritisk mot bosättningspolitiken och mot ockupationen utan att falla i SLES-fällan. Strenger fortsätter:
”The new Jewish Liberal voice refuses to give in to the pressures of the Jewish right to support Israel’s actions when if they are wrong-headed, immoral and destructive. It is critical of Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinians territories after 43 years, and condemns the ongoing settlement construction.
At the same time it refuses, adamantly, to cave in to the masochistic tendency of SLES to look for Western culprits only, and systematically exposes anti-Semitic undercurrents in some of the anti-Israeli rhetoric. It strongly supports Palestinians’ right to a state of their own in which they can live in dignity and freedom, but it doesn’t let them off the hook for their dreadful mistakes, starting with the rejection of the UN partition agreement in 1947 and ending with electing the explicitly anti-Semitic Hamas into power in 2005.
It firmly believes that respecting Palestinians means to hold them responsible for their actions and consistently unmasks the tendency of the Arab world to accuse Israel of its own shortcomings and backwardness; and it never loses sight of the dangers in radical Islam, while seeking cooperation with moderate and progressive Arabs and Muslims.
The new Jewish Liberals are characterized by what philosopher Susan Neiman, in a wonderful book has called Moral Clarity: a combination of moral principles that are not to be compromised combined with insistence that reason rather than religious belief or dogmatic ideology must be the guide in making up our minds on questions of fact.”