Avraham Burg isn’t giving an inch.
In a scathing op-ed in the New York Times on August 4, Burg lacerates Israel, its “warmongering” prime minister and its unconscionable treatment of the Palestinians.
Burg is an unusual character. Back in 2008, the Times profiled Burg as a critic of Israel whose pedigree, at the very least, is unexpected: he’s the scion of an old-line ultra-religious Zionist clan, and he served as speaker of Israel’s Knesset and as chairman of the World Zionist Organization. His father, Yosef Burg, was one of the chieftains of the old National Religious Party, which was a long-time member of Israel’s ruling coalition. But, as he told the Times in 2008:
“I realized something about myself and Israel that frightened me. I realized that Israel had become an efficient kingdom with no prophecy. Where was it going? What is a Jewish democratic state? What does it mean that Jews define themselves by genetics 60 years after genetics were used against them?”
So he wrote a book called The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From Its Ashes. Among other things, he’s suggested that Israel dismantle the memorial of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, which serves as a prime stop for every American politician who visit Israel—as if, somehow, what the Germans did to European Jews in the 1930s and 1940s justifies what Jews from Morocco, Russia and Iran do to Arab Palestinians today.
In his op-ed, Burg slams Mitt Romney for his callous anti-Iran rhetoric while seeking to profit from snuggling up to Benjamin Netanyahu:
When an American presidential candidate visits Israel and his key message is to encourage us to pursue a misguided war with Iran, declaring it “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” for America to stand with our warmongering prime minister, we know that something profound and basic has changed in the relationship between Israel and the United States.