Much internet attention has been given to the “Juicebox Mafia”, a group of very young, Jewish, liberal bloggers who have been sharply critical of Israel, especially in the wake of the recent Gaza incursion. The terms Juicebox Mafia was coined and popularized by ideological opponents of the group (Noah Pollack in Commentary, Marty Peretz in the New Republic); but like the terms “Tory” and “queer”, it’s an insult which fast became a badge of honor. The core of the Juicebox Mafia would include Matthew Yglesias, Spencer Ackerman, Ezra Klein and Dana Goldstein.
I myself (without using the phrase “Juicebox Mafia”) tried to contextualize the group by arguing that we’re witnessing the emergence of a post-Zionist moment, with Jews all over the Diaspora increasingly alienated from Israeli nationalism.
In a very smart response to my National Post piece about how young Jews are becoming disenchanted with Israel, Dana Goldstein zeroed in in on the word “post-Zionist.”
Heer calls us “post-Zionist,” and that just sits better with me. “Anti-Zionism” is not always anti-Semitic, but it sometimes is. “Non-Zionism” implies a lack of support for Israel in any form. Post-Zionism, I think, acknowledges Zionism’s place in modern Jewish history while urging a pretty radical rethinking of the Zionist project itself — and whether the actions of today’s Israeli government, and its Diaspora supporters, are really best suited to accomplish the original Zionist goal of making the world and the Promised Land safer for Jews.
I want to say a bit more about the word post-Zionist because I think it really does describe the moment we’re experiencing right now.