If you get a chance, I highly recommend reading that Corey Robin piece on Jeffrey Goldberg that John linked to. Robin points out that while he himself is a practicing Jew, he’ll never be more than a self-hater or narcissist to Goldberg and the like because he is critical of Israel (Robin actually opposes Zionism). I see this sort of thing a lot at work. I have a resolutely non-practicing Jewish coworker who supports the Likud party and spends a lot of time on Facebook bashing what he sees as enemies of Israel. More often than not, these enemies are American Jews who criticize Israel — Peter Beinart, Noam Chomsky, Max Blumenthal, and J Street are public enemies one through four (somehow Beinart has managed to surpass Chomsky over the past year or so).
I’m often struck by the similarities in the language used by conservative Catholics and
“pro-Israel” Likudnik Jews. In each case, one issue — reproductive/sexual issues in the case of Catholicism, support for right-wing policies in Israel — takes precedence over all others. In each case, anyone who disagrees with the right on these issues is cast out, labeled “cafeteria Catholic” or “self-hating Jews”. The similarities end at a certain point: Goldberg may not even vote Republican whereas his Catholic counterparts (Bill Donohue) certainly do, and more broadly, all the “pro-Israel” stuff conservatives do doesn’t win over many Jewish voters, whereas I think the “pro-life” stuff is very effective politically.
Sometimes I think this is a paradigm for what has gone wrong in American politics (maybe all of western politics). People on the right have managed to claim some weird higher ground in many areas. Austerity is morally superior to Keynesianism. Interventionism is strong, while neo-isolationsim, and even foreign policy realism, is weak.
This will eventually stop — it just doesn’t fly with teh kids — but it will have done an enormous damage when it does, and I still don’t understand the mechanism by which it has happened.
It works because it’s an easy answer to a hard question.
It’s a continuing source of amazement how much narrower the “allowed” spectrum of opinion about Israel is among public* American Jews than Israelis. I mean, you want to hear some real vicious criticism of the Israeli government, drop in at any Tel Aviv cafe.
*You have to add “public”. The majority of American Jews are Democrats, lean liberal, and support a two-state solution with territory trades. They just don’t have AIPAC’s megaphone to skree into.
I still don’t understand the mechanism by which it has happened.
Watch any action movie. The hero is a brave, self-sacrificing interventionist who has no time for the squishy details, and triumphs using violence against cartoon evildoers.
People dumb enough to think this is a realistic depiction of how the world works eat up the wingnut line.
I had never heard of Jeffrey Goldberg before today and I have to admit I’m a little confused about why his comments are getting so much blog-attention.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
Conservative Catholics have only one or two things on their menu. Does this make them Dunkin’ Donut Catholics?
People respond to the Big Daddy promising to smash all the “bad guys” and keep them safe. You know, like their daddies promised them when they were 8 years old. A LOT of people – on the right, left AND center – have never learned as adults to disassociate their rational mind from their emotional mind. So we get misguided Middle East policies based on “Daddy Smash” and schizophrenic immigration policies building giant walls because the browns scare some people, and whopping cough outbreaks because some quack convinced a bunch of granola crunchers that their kids are gonna die if they get vaccinated. And disappointed firebaggers firebagging because Daddy Obama didn’t beat up all the mean Republicans.
Its all the same stupid lizard brain stuff.
It works because we allow the framing to occur and over-rely on pesky facts which may be persuasive but don’t undo the framing.
It’s because we’re hairless ground apes that didn’t leave the trees / savannahs all that long ago (evolutionarily), the world (universe) is big, complicated, and scary, and simple platitudes are easier to process than complexity. We have to hunt (go to work) and gather (go shopping), and don’t have time for all this Keynesian babble / intricacies of mid-east politics.
Caveman just need to know good, or bad. Israel good, good that Jews live there, because like in the bible. Simple!
You say that money is just a construct of society created to facilitate exchange and allocation of goods and resources? Make caveman head hurt! You say money is just lighter form of gold, and should be worth gold? Me understand! Gold shiny! Me like shiny gold!
gonna go make a crepe cake. I don’t like any of these people at all and hope something eats them.
OT but halperin is trying to walk back the “death panels” remark. By invoking The Screamer and saying that he was mostly right anyway.
Mark Halperin @MarkHalperin 29m
In Mon intv I did not say “death panels” nor do I believe ACA contains them. Was speaking of political/policy challenge of IPAB cuts. My bad
Mark Halperin @MarkHalperin 30m
Howard Dean: “The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body.” Again, not endorsing that view, but shows coming political challenge
They all mask aggression as sacrifice, with the purveyors never coming within a country mile of any personal sacrifice.
So I hear the Pope is a communist now
How long until Bill O’Reilly issues a fatwa
James E. Powell
It works because it’s an easy answer to a hard question.
I agree and would add that buying into the whole program provides easy answers to a whole lot of difficult questions. In fact, it precludes the need to think about many of life’s difficult questions.
This is an enormously difficult topic to talk about, in no small part because so many Likudnik Jews (a term I use in preference to the “Pro-Israel” term that you use) and so many Anti-Zionists are firebreathing eliminationist extremists. Like a lot of American Jews I am an Atheist and not a supporter of current Israeli policy; in Israel, I might even be considered a wacky leftist on nationalist issues. But I do support the continuation of Israel as an idea and a country, whereas reading Corey Robin and even more so his friends you often get the idea they’d be happy to see the Jews driven into the sea, just as reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s friends you often get the idea they’d be happy to see Israeli tanks drive the Palestinians out of the borders of some biblical Greater Israel.
I liked Emily Hauser’s piece a lot (which John linked yesterday). BTW–she has been hired by Haaretz to write commentary for them. Great great news! Take that Jeffrey Goldberg.
@agorabum: just fell out of my chair, thanks!
The rightards in Orange County even named their airport after an actor who portrayed their cartoon-stupid view of the world. Like their other dress-up-and-pretend hero Ronald Reagan, they seem to have a real problem distinguishing between movies and reality.
Speaking as someone who was raised Catholic, I agree 100%.
This is also why I enjoy the new Pope so much. Even if he does nothing substantive to reform the Church, the simple sight of watching all those “right winger first, Catholic second” assholes squirming and trying to twist themselves into pretzels with the whole “he didn’t really mean that…” with the undercurrents of “how could he be the Real Pope?” makes it worth it.
Have they come up with a birth certificate equivalent yet? Seems like it must be just a matter of time…
Lol…Laura Logan taking a leave of absense to spend more time with her family. I figured they would have waited a couple more weeks to quietly show her the door.
Don’t let the door hit ya. Wonder if Faux Noise has made an offer yet. Would not be surprised in the least
My pal Bernie the Attorney says people’s prime motivation is always “ego and laziness” (i.e. conservation of energy). They seek reinforcement and approval to keep their ego intact by constant evaluation/reevaluation of their positions (positive) or remaining in their own bubbles (negative), and look for the path of least resistance in problem solving (efficient and positive) or they shut out conflicting data as learning new things that conflict with their worldview is just too hard (as well as damaging to their psyche) – negative.
@James E. Powell: I was once sitting in an ICU waiting room listening to some woman go on and on and on about how she preferred one specific translation of the bible as “it gave unambiguous answers”. Totally floated past the implications of acknowleging there were alternative translations and what that entailed. But that is factually what sells in Peoria.
No, you’d be considered entirely middle-of-the-road.
While their parents may be lax zionists, you should not underestimate their kids – I know a lot of US Jews who send their kids over for summer Kibbutz’s and if you think that indoctrination isn’t going to bear fruit, you may want to research it.
1) Yell a lot.
2) Repeat 1).
In other words, they bluffed their way into the “morally superior” position by browbeating people, and having media concentrated enough that there would be nobody to call them on it.
@Warren Terra: I very much appreciate this comment. There’s not really a writer on I-P issues out there who I can say expresses my views on the subject, and a lot of that is because there’s a galling lack of nuance in so much of what gets written, and there’s always a push to take one of two views on every related dispute. Whether its Goldberg labeling those with opposing views anti-semites, or anti-zionists minimizing the importance of the state of israel to jewish continuity and culture.
The most frustrating thing about Goldberg is that when pushed, his views on a two-state solution probably aren’t so different from J-Street’s – he just seems less interested in getting there and way too willing to assume bad motives of anyone who disagrees with him.
@James E. Powell:
And I would add that it gives them a reason to feel hate, which many people enjoy.
LOL at religion. What a bunch of man made delusional crap.
America’s “dirty Jew” secret is we our Jewish population is about as large as Israel’s Jewish population.
Out of 14 million Jews worldwide I think Israel has 5.5 million Jews and the U.S. has 5.2 million Jews.
American Jews, I think, can thus push for the U.S.A. to be the spiritual center and cultural center for Judaism over Israel’s claim to be the only home for Jews.
@srv: I’m living in the thick of it, and it’s not the kibbutzniks you have to worry about, it’s the black hats. Even though the kibbutzim have morphed from socialist communes to at best some sort of capitalist syndic but mostly straight-out closely-held corporations, the socialist/peacenik ideology is still strongly felt. The real problem is the religious ideologues who sustain the settler movement and the young men who engage in small-scale terrorism (a/k/a “Price Tag”) against the rightful owners of that land.
@muricafukyea: Makes me wonder if she and her ex-Lincoln Group husband,
a) knew the story would screw her career
b) thought they’d get away with it, or,
c) actually believed what they were selling
OT and might have been mentioned, but Lara Logan is “taking a leave of absence” from 60 Minutes.
Paul in KY
@Butch: He’s a member of Le Village. Happens to be Jewish too (doveltails with Iran Treaty just announced).
David in NY
How about “[Health insurance companies are] essentially … heath care rationing bod[ies]. [And they need control.]” The answer to the coming political challenge.
If health care is more affordable, moreover, less rationing will occur.
in the interest of topics we can all agree on, cake
durn it, I am in moderation. Don’t know why. is c a k e a moderated word?
Paul in KY
@goblue72: It’s like what Goering talked about when he was being interrogated after the war. Find an ‘other’ and get the rest of the country mad at the other, etc. etc.
Paul in KY
@agorabum: You left out an ‘ungowah!’, but otherwise spot on.
I grew up in the ’60s in suburban NJ. Many of my closest friends were Jewish. However, at a very early age, reading the NYT, I realized that spending any energy on trying to understand or solve that generations-long tribal battle in the Middle East was a total waste of time. Too many were obviously invested in the status quo to have any real interest in peace. To this day I rarely read any news regarding that particular conflict.
@David in NY: spot on magn.
OT: Dinesh D’Souza is trying to make himself relevant again.
Dinesh D’Souza @DineshDSouza
I am thankful this week when I remember that America is big enough and great enough to survive Grown-Up Trayvon in the White House!
@srv: Kibbutzim are far from monolithic. They’re allied/aligned with the various political parties; the one I lived on for about a year (WAY back when) was once pro-USSR communist, then socialist/atheist, and now (I suspect) capitalist but still atheist/lefty+. I guarantee you that a lot kibbutzniks are two-state, Peace Now types. A lot aren’t, of course — some kibbutzim are far-right Orthodox — but they shouldn’t be lumped together as Bibi-loving propaganda mills.
Zionist is such a loaded term, I don’t even know what Robin means when he says he opposes Zionism.
jake the snake
From what I hear and read, Israel has tremendous support among the Tea Party right.
Even among many of the paranoid conspiracy theorists, Israel is somehow separate from the
I don’t know that support of Israel would gain additional votes, but criticism could very well
lose votes. To these people, the Palestinians are just more Muslim terrorists.
Paul in KY
@LanceThruster: Bernie seems to be an astute observer of people.
Tossing this out there for y’all to make what you will of it;
I don’t want Israel “driven into the sea,” but I would like someone to explain to me what we the people of these United States have to gain from continually subsidizing and enabling a country with no long-term viability of its own [see demographic trends and what they mean for the “Jewish state” status, as Tokoloko was fond of reminding us] year after year after year at the expense of many other interests we have in the region.
How do people see this ending? We’ve got a country that defines itself in ethnic/sectarian terms, but whose status as the country of that ethnicity seems seriously jeopardized by the birth rates we’re seeing now… who, unlike the French Algerians or (if the worst had come to the worst) the Ulster Protestants have no “mainland” on the other side of the sea to retreat to… and who have nuclear weapons and most likely the will to use them if they feel cornered. (I don’t see Israelis being willing to accept their nation as anything other than “a Jewish state,” particularly since it’s the only one in existence, so losing that status would qualify as “feeling cornered.”)
From my POV there is no way this ends happily (I suppose if you’re an end-of-days fundiegelical that’s rather the point)… so speaking as someone whose country really doesn’t have a dog in the fight but has chosen to involve itself nonetheless, I’d like to know, well, where America’s role in the conflict is supposed to go from here. (Or if it should go on at all).
Paul in KY
@scav: Should have told her you liked Thomas Jefferson’s version. Bet it would have gone right over her head, though.
My perspective is that of an extremely non-religious Jew. What is Jewish about me, other than my heritage?
For a long time, the answer to that was, “My feelings about Israel.”
And my feelings about Israel were formed by a knowledge of Jewish history as well as personal experiences. I’ve never been to Israel, but one of my most vivid memories is being in a synagogue in Philadelphia on the night after Israel won the Six Day War and gained control of East Jerusalem. The sheer joy and thanksgiving as the congregation sang Yerushalayim shel zahav were overwhelming (remembering it still brings tears to my eyes).
I’m not going to go into the long and painful journey from how I used to feel about Israel to how I feel now; I’m quite sure my story isn’t unique. My feelings now are angry and sad, with a good bit of shame mixed in – because I’m Jewish, and anything Israel does reflects on all Jews, because that’s the way it is.
I can’t really say I’m a Zionist, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-Zionist.
Being a not-Zionist doesn’t mean I want Israel to not-exist. I just at this point don’t see how Israel can go on another 50 years. Its politics are ghastly; Bibi & Co. have burnt every bridge to the Arab/Muslim world, alienating even their allies in Jordan and Turkey. The demographics look grim, too.
But if I’m not a Zionist, then what is left about me that’s “Jewish”?
Part of the mechanism by which it happened is media and money. I was just on youtube (looking for the zhang zi-yi/Grandmaster kung-fu fight) and was treated to a one minute whiteboard review all of the times various Iranian leaders have called for “death to the Great Satan America”, and asking the viewer to call their congressman to stop the lifting of sanctions on Iran. So someone is out there spending money putting out this propaganda.
Paul in KY
@srv: I thought that comment was in relation to this para above it:
‘Sometimes I think this is a paradigm for what has gone wrong in American politics (maybe all of western politics). People on the right have managed to claim some weird higher ground in many areas. Austerity is morally superior to Keynesianism. Interventionism is strong, while neo-isolationsim, and even foreign policy realism, is weak’.
While I know plenty of Likudniks – and oh, sometimes I wish I didn’t, but then again this is just like wishing you didn’t know your crazy Republican friends – there is a cetain difference between the pro-life and the pro-Israel. Basically, the pro-life movement DOES let that one issue take precedence above all others. But 99% of the Jews I know (and as someone who has lived in San Francisco, Chicago and NYC in the most Jewish areas of each) will ALL say that they keep Israel in mind when they vote. Usually it’s in their top 5, if not their #1 issue on which they vote. But – like most of the American Jewish population – they tend to vote liberal, not Republican, because they don’t think the excessive pro-Israel stance is the best thing for Israel. I tend to lean extremely progressive/verging into socialist in my own politics, and my voting tends to reflect that, but I will ALWAYS vote against the batshit “Israel is evil/apartheid/we should ban everything they produce/we should dissolve the entire country because they STOLE it” so-called “progressives”, even if it means I’m voting Republican for once in my life. (admittedly, I’m 25, so luckily I haven’t encountered it too much. But one of the things that makes me most upset is that the Left in the US has turned so reflexively anti-Israel in some places that I’m actually afraid of having a Democrat-controlled House/Senate/Presidency because the Republicans might be 100% wrong on how to deal with Israel – let’s be honest, they need plenty of yelling at, esp. with Bibi as prime minister, because sometimes people are IDIOTS and being located in Israel does not change that – but at least they won’t look the other way should Israel get bombed, which I honeslty think some House reps in CA really, really would.)
Considering Israel one of my top issues of importance doesn’t mean I bash people who differ from my perspective on what’s best for Israel because hey, I could be wrong, but I still define myself as pro-Israel. Whereas most of the people I know who call themselves pro-life not only consider it a top issue in their voting, they ALSO go out of their way to bash people who disagree.
Thanks for the info, my observation is that many of their parents did not do visit Israel until older as tourists, but there is a real industry to get the kids over there.
I was raised to be what I call a “Chanukah Jew.” We celebrate Chanukah, Passover and the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah. There are a lot of Jews like me. I believe in Israel’s right to exist but I don’t believe that only Jews have the right to live there and Netanyahu sickens me. I think that the real reason why the GOP is so pro-Israel has nothing to do with the reason the Neo-cons are. I try to tell members of my family that the Dominionists in the GOP LOVE Israel. That doesn’t mean they love Jews. They want to bring on the end of days and that means they want Jews dead in Israel.
I still consider myself to be a Jew even if I am not a Zionist but I know that people like Jeffery Goldberg would argue otherwise.
So many of the far rightists want to simply yell the N-word just like Dr. Laura did.
It’s killing them that they can’t.
D’Souza is one mean little tool.
@jheartney: Cartoons foster a cartoon ideology.
Paul in KY
@Gene108: I think Israel’s claim is bolstered by its close proximity to this city, er, Jeru-something…
@ranchandsyrup: If it survived the monkey-buddy wielding jelly beans and selling arms to Iran and giving money to rebels both on the downlow, a smart one, even one flaunting skittles, sidewalks and the deadly deadly health care should indeed be a cakewalk.
A need for that next sweet fix of media attention is a tough one. Tweets beat mugging the next guy they see in a suit, I guess.
Pastor Hagee shows his ass on this one. The end game is a conversion to Christianity or hellfire and damnation. There are no members of the Jewish faith in their fantasy endgame.
@GregB: But he wrote a book about the “End of Racism” so it’s totes over.
@scav: Heh indeedy.
As to the idea that Iran simply wants to eliminate all Jews, I think that is really rank and vile hate propaganda. Surely there is strong anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment in Iran and the broader Middle East, however Iran actually hosts the second largest Jewish community in the region, after Israel.
The Iranian constitution actually allows for a Jewish member in their parliament.
Not all Iranians are Ahmadinejad and not all Israelis are Avigdor Lieberman.
@Paul in KY: I was also just a little cramped by my by reverend aunt the minister being in the room. That and the whole ICU thing. Forgive me, for I succumbed to the temptations of politeness and circumstance.
Paul in KY
@ranchandsyrup: Man, he is a real creep.
I think you could split up the right-wing Christians and the likudniks if the rightwing christians were
more motivated to meddle in abortion policy in Israel. It is legal, and often government funded.
Socialist healthcare, too!
Pope Francis is a libertarian:
Paul in KY
@Chris: They will make it so only Jews can vote & will expel undesirables to Palestine/West Bank & soldier on. They ain’t leaving, I can tell you that.
Paul in KY
@CaseyL: Your anscestors, your family heritage…stuff like that.
(this from an atheist WASP).
Paul in KY
@karen: Those members of your family know that the ‘Dominionist’ stuff is pure hooey, so they probably don’t mind getting their help as they know Jesus ain’t coming back when A, B, & C happen.
Paul in KY
@GregB: But the Zionists are fine using them, as they know that crap ain’t gonna happen.
There’s a core of this problem that traces itself to the mass waves of immigration into Israel by post-Glasnost era Soviet Jews. These “Russian” Jews (many of whom were from other parts of the former Soviet Union like the Central Asian Republics) were both fairly secular (compared to Levantine Jews) and very nationalistic/militaristic.
They were prone to be extremely anti-communist and avoided affiliation with Israel’s left-wing parties, even though on economic policies the were fairly socialistic. They eventually got absorbed into the Likud party. The far-right, anti-Palestinian (pro-apartheid) Israeli politician Avigdor Liberman is a Russian born immigrant.
Combine this with Israel’s settlement policies for the Soviet migrants which located the migrants – esp. lower class Soviet migrants – into settlements at the periphery of Israel (i.e. in the borders of the occupied territories) – and you have a extremely toxic brew when it comes to Israel-Palestine relations.
You know that Russian neighbor of yours who always insists he is right, has the stubbornness of a Russian winter, and has a mean streak a mile wide? Now just imagine him and all his buddies building illegal homes in the Occupied Territories on land that used to belong to poor Arab farmers, who are now left homeless with nothing but rocks. Welcome to the I-P “question”!
Paul in KY
@scav: No problem there. I have some couth in certain situations. I hope I’d have kept my thoughts to myself too.
One of the reasons that discussions of Israel become heated in American politics is the role of campaign money. While Jewish voters have consistently voted Democrat, donations motivated by concerns about Israel tend to veer right. In 2012, Republicans in the presidential primaries were not angling for Sheldon Adelson’s one vote. They were eyeing his millions of dollars. The moment Newt Gingrich referred to the Palestinians as an imaginary people, his cash register drawer shot open, and Sheldon dutifully dropped his donation.
Even if Likudniks do not always win the policy debates, as in the case with recent overtures to Iran, they set the terms for acceptable debate about Israel. There are a few outliers, such as Fareed Zakaria or Chris Hayes – who simply treat Israel and its politicians as just an ordinary country, not a fragile object.
I do find it amusing that some defenders of Israeli intransigence are citing the concerns of Saudi Arabia, in order to say, “See, it’s not just Israel.” For a country that sells itself as the lone Jewish democratic state in the Middle East, saying that a corrupt, Mafia-run operation like the Saudi royal family does not help your cause.
If anything, I’d say the corrupt, bandit, house of Saud’s primary concern is that more Iranian oil trading on the international market will drag down the price of crude overall.
I keep coming back to the idea that for a substantial chunk of the US media, it’s still the day after the Reagan Revolution, and they’re still reeling at how they got everything wrong, and bending over backwards to accommodate the amazing new conservative order that has just taken over America and promised a new dawn of optimism. (And the hostages came home from Iran! All we had to do, seemingly, was elect a movie cowboy.)
Except that was 32, 33 years ago.
@Matt McIrvin: “And the hostages came home from Iran!”
I say if the Iranians are good enough to buy missiles from Ronald Reagan and Ollie North, they are good enough to negotiate with Barack Obama.
José Arcadío Buendía
OK, so you know fights within the family are nastier than normal ones sometimes right?
Corey Robin is a brilliant scholar on a lot of things, but it’s hard for me to take his position on Israel any more seriously than I take the Satmarer or Neuteri Karta position or to think that just because he’s somewhat observant that means he gets a pass. No, it doesn’t mean we can declare him not a Jew (which isn’t what Goldberg did exactly, but I’ll grant the point), just like we can’t declare the Satmarers non-Jews either. But we can seriously wonder whether his “non-Zionist” position isn’t just to get along with his The Nation-reading colleagues or whether he has a serious alternative for the 6+ million Jews living in Israel at the moment.
There aren’t just Likud-Zionists and Anti-Zionists. Read Gershom Gorenberg. My views are pretty close to his, and I’ve even met him at his synagogue in Jerusalem, not that he’d remember me.
The issue isn’t that being a religious Jew requires Likudnik ideas (in fact, Likud is a secular party) or that you can’t be a Jew without it. It’s partly that some of us wonder why our fellow Jew appears to be on the other team and partly that we think it gives license to non-Jews like some of the authors on this blog to become anti-Israel (which it does) when really they just don’t like Netanyahu.
Most liberals hate Stephen Harper. He’s doing a lot of non-liberal shit in Canada. But we’re not freaking out of Canada right?
tl;dr quoting Corey Robin is like saying “even the liberal New Republic”
Rob in CT
I’ve read Goldberg and I think he’s mostly fooling himself. He claims he’s in favor of peace (a 2-state solution). But whenever he writes something up that considers the whithertoos and whyfores of that solution, he waffles and balks at actually doing the sorts of things that would be required to make peace. And he’s obviously very sensitive to being labeled anti-Israel by right wingers, so he “hippy punches” people to his left.
Israel is a US client state that doesn’t act like a client state. It’s more like the relationship between an abuser and an enabler. To my recollection, only 2 US presidents in my lifetime have even attempted to alter this dynamic: Bush the Elder and Obama. Both were smacked down. Congress wouldn’t stand for it. This I found depressing on multiple levels. While I distrust blind patriotism, I am patriotic. I do love this country, and Israeli government behavior, coupled with the behavior of our own representatives, often pisses me off. Despite this, I don’t want bad things to happen to Israel. But all I can see as a result of Likud rule is disaster. Either for the Palestinians (ethnic cleansing), Israelis, or both. Quite possibly both, given Israel’s formidable military (including nukes), vs. Palestinian demographic advantages. Israel will have to, disenfranchise, expel or slaughter large numbers of Palestinians, or Israel will cease to be “the Jewish State” at some point. It’s quite obvious that the Israeli right wing understands this, and they’ve selected their solution (apartheid with possible cleansing later if needed). I think that this is: a) doomed to fail eventually; and b) morally repulsive.
@GregB: rank and vile
New name for the body of Tea Party footsoldiers!
Rob in CT
@José Arcadío Buendía:
If the government of Canada started doing something that pissed Americans off and they did it no matter which party ruled Canada, people might stop caring which party was in power and just be pissed at Canada. Even lefty Israel governments of Israel pushed the settlement policy. No matter who ruled Israel, the settlements expanded.
But the core of this whole discussion is this:
The other team? Which team is that, exactly?
Do Americans of Polish descent give two shits about what Polish politicians are up to? Or do Polish politicians try to tilt the scales on American elections, and, in the event that they did, would anyone in America give two or fewer shits about that? It really is warped that this one country plays this kind of role in American politics. And I say that as a person with Jewish heritage, albeit one whose family has as far as I know never been observant, at least not in the past century or so.
This was one of the classic arguments against Zionism back in its infancy when its place in Jewish belief was still up in the air — that Zionism replaces a religious basis for identity with one based on fealty to a nation. Once that happens, anything done in the name of preservation of that state becomes “Jewish.” I think this explains a lot of Goldberg’s point of view.
For example, Israel was made possible by a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing in the ’48 war — if you think the future demographics look bad, imagine what Ben-Gurion and crew thought looking at the numbers within the U.N established boundaries (even worse in the larger boundaries they sought to establish in the war) when the nation was first established. The policies in the West Bank since ’67 has been a slower version of the same. And yet being Jewish requires belief in the founding myth of Israel (we didn’t force the Palestinians to flee!”).
So when Lieberman palled around with him that was all kinds of sick.
Surprise your friend with a Norman Finklestein book and watch his head [email protected]Warren Terra: I’ve been reading Corey Robin’s blog for a couple years now- not ‘religiously’, so I may have missed a post or two. However, I can’t remember him writing anything that suggests he’d “be happy to see the Jews driven into the sea”, which is essentially the same as calling him ‘self-hating’. Would you please provide some examples to justify your [email protected]José Arcadío Buendía: I actually read the post that that DougJ linked to at Corey Robin’s blog several days ago. He subsequently showed up in the comment section (as he frequently does) to engage with one of his readers. I’d encourage you to head over there right now and “wonder whether his “non-Zionist” position isn’t just to get along with his The Nation-reading colleagues or whether he has a serious alternative for the 6+ million Jews living in Israel at the moment”.
@José Arcadío Buendía:
What on earth makes you think the people who protest Israeli actions do so because “really they just don’t like Netanyahu”? Netanyahu is a unique snowflake, this is true — but on some dimensions it is difficult to tell his policies and actions apart from those of, say, many Labor Party politicians.