Guest essay by Ernest A. Canning
Had Marcy Winograd simply chosen to denounce violence, both individual and state-based; had she objected to the oppressive nature of Iran's theocratic regime, or, during the 1980s, denounced a South African regime mired in racist apartheid, few would so much as raise an eyebrow.
Winograd's Feb. 15, 2008, speech, "Call For One State," delivered at the Friends of Sabeel Conference on behalf of L.A. Jews for Peace, however, was not merely directed against violence per se or against nations that permit a disparity in the rights of their citizens on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion. She denounced all forms of violence, including "Israeli state terrorism"; asserted that Israel had rendered a two-state solution all but impossible, and said she favored a "one state solution" because you "cannot establish a democracy in a state founded on the institutionalized superiority or exclusivity of one of religion, ethnicity, or culture."
In doing so, the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)-endorsed Winograd, now seeking to unseat a wealthy seven-term 'Blue Dog' Democrat, Jane Harman (D-CA36), touched what many see as a third rail in American politics.
The real question is whether American criticism of Israel should continue to be a political third rail or whether the courage to challenge "the bipartisan mainstream" consensus is long overdue...