American foreign policy American Jews Iran Iraq Israel Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg breaks major taboo: says interests of U.S. and Israel might diverge

There is a ridiculous canard that American Jews who speak out against Israel are “courageous.” These days, it requires no bravery to say almost anything you want to say about Israel in a public forum (unless, of course, you are a politician, or an official in a mainstream Jewish organization). But what Jeffrey Goldberg just said on Shalom T.V. is extraordinarily gutsy. He said it to a nationwide Jewish audience, most of them –from what I can gather from the general run of programs on Shalom TV– leaning to the right.

Sometimes Goldberg is a darling of the neocons. Not this time. Here are some snippets:

We’re moving toward a very huge crisis, not just in the Middle East, but in American-Israel relations because responses to the same threat might diverge to some degree. The main thing holding back Israel (in the future) from attacking Iran or Iranian nuclear sites would be America’s unwillingness to see this happen….You have 130,000 American troops in Iraq, right next door to Iran. Their lives would be in danger if Israel attacked Iran.
…The $64,000 question is: Would he [Bibi Netanyahu] risk the relationship with the United States of America in order to deal with the existential threat from Iran?

For years, we in the American Jewish community have been able to say to ourselves [that] Israel’s interests and America’s interests overlap so much that we never have an internal conflict. If you’re being intellectually honest with yourself, you have to say that what’s good for Israel in this case might not be the best thing in the world for America. You have to be open to that discussion…

I’ve decided in my life that I’m an American Jew. I love Israel, I want Israel protected and I want it safe. [But] do I want America to do things that possibly endangers its own national interest in order to protect Israel? I don’t think so. Israel hasn’t faced a situation in its 62-year history in which an avowed enemy that–rhetorically, at least–seeks its destruction has been a nuclear power. That poses a set of unique challenges to Israel and it poses real questions to American policy makers and the American public [since] the level of threat to each country is different. And that’s why we’re heading into a very difficult moment when interests might diverge.

I hereby admit that I have been thinking these same thoughts. So, I am sure, have other American Jews. I also admit that I have been afraid to write them, afraid of the implications, afraid of how this rhetoric could be snatched up and emblazoned over the Web by those who want America to desert Israel entirely. But this cat is out of the bag now. It was allowed to escape by someone whose views on Israel’s critics –Charles Freedman, Walt/Mearsheimer–are welcomed by the gang at the New Republic. It has already scampered around the Shalom TV studios in Fort Lee, and it is too late to bring it back.

What an amazing, scary, confusing moment!

40 thoughts on “Jeffrey Goldberg breaks major taboo: says interests of U.S. and Israel might diverge

  1. Iran is a dilemma for both Israel and the US.

    And although not identical dilemma, more similar than different.

  2. According to this commentator Jeremey Sharon, if the international community (not just the US) don’t want Israel taking matters into its own hands, then a viable solution would be sanctions on Iranian oil interests.

    Sounds like an idea.

    The only thing we’re trying to avoid is armed conflict with Iran. It’s not in our interest to engage.

    Guess it depends on the international community’s true desire to see Israel and Iran avoid a war. A war would certainly drive up oil prices, right?

  3. There is nothing new in Goldberg’s dilemma.
    During the 1930’s, Jews were accused by Goebbels of trying to drag the US into a war for their own benefit. American Jews, with only a few exceptions, didn’t raise their voices during the Holocaust because they didn’t want it seem that the US was in the war for “Jewish” reasons, and, anyway, the Jews under threat were largely Haredim, or Marxist/socialists, or even Communists, and all these things didn’t jibe with how American Jews viewed themselves, as comfortable, middle-class, bourgoise, patriotic Americans. So its their problem.
    Today, it is the same. This time “they”, i.e. Israelis are Zionists (i.e. “ethnically exclusivist, tribalist, racists” in the view of many “progressives”), there are a lot of religious nationalists among them, the majority are Russians and Sefardim who don’t even speak English, “so how can we American Jews relate to them anyway”?.

    Of course, it turned out that the “Jewish problem” that the Germans decided to take care of could not be isolated and the Germans decided to take on everyone else. Now we can ask also, is the Iranian bomb, and the general radical Islamist threat merely the “Jew’s problem and not something to concern us here in the US”.

    Many accusation can be made about MJ Rosenberg, but he was very honest in his blog at TMPCafe. He said that Israel is threatening his safety and the safety of his children in the US. He also stated American Jews who support Israel’s current policies, particularly Orthodox Jews were unpatriotic Americans and threatening to his own interests.
    So Goldberg is saying much the same thing. Fine. If you feel that insecure, try to convince the US government to cut us here in Israel loose. It seems Obama is moving in that direction anyway. If you really think you will be safer, if yoy really think a weakened, isolated Israel will pacify Arab aggression rather than aggravating it, well, all I can say is “good luck”!

  4. You exhibit an “absence of skill”, both moral and political, in defining any question solely in terms of military strength/aggressiveness vs appeasement to Naziism.

    There are only few parallels between the nazi period of mid-30’s and current relative to Iran, and those are also common to ANY political relationship between growing and contending powers.

    Obama spoke in Cairo this morning.

    He said two critical defining points not subject to compromise.

    1. The United States has an undeniable and permanent relationship with Israel, including supporting Israel’s right to exist in peace and security.

    2. The United States has an undeniable and permanent relationship with the Islamic world.

    You could derive paranoia from any statement of sympathy with concerns articulated by Muslims, including political limits on Israel’s behaviors. Or, you could derive confidence from the honest and unequivocal statement of support for Israel’s existence and security TO the Muslim world.

  5. Richard-
    Military strength is the ONLY thing Israel can depend on for its survival (I, of course, am speaking in the “pragmatic” sense-we, of course, must trust in G-d as well-the weapons we use are merely the tools he gives us). I just heard Obama’s speech and he claims he is for a world without nuclear weapons. Do you really think the US should disarm from nuclear weapons? Is that a good idea? Do you think that even if every country got rid of nuclear weapons, the technology that developed them would suddenly disappear or be forgotten? What planet is Obama living in? The US can NOT give up its nuclear weapons, and Israel’s survival is dependent on its military strength. Without that we would be gone in a moment.

    Regarding the comparison with the 1930’s-there are similarities and there are differences. One similarity is the level of genocidal Judeophobic propaganda is the same today as it was then. The two top countries dissemenating it are the countries that Obama visited yesterday (S. Arabia) and today (Egypt). He didn’t mention this fact directly.
    The difference is that Nazi Germany was an idustrially and technologically advanced state. The Arab/Muslim countries are very backwards. But in my mind, the genocidal drive against the Jewish people is no less today than it was then, maybe even more.

  6. You’d have to test that assumption.

    Two things you’d have to test:

    1. Is it in fact true?
    2. Is it conditional or unconditional. If hatred is unconditional, then it is in fact potentially genocidal, as no action that Israel could do would change the attitudes.

    If it is in fact conditional, then the opposite is true, that there ARE things that Israel can do (besides arms and expropriation by force of contested land).

    You think that you’re tongue and your integrity are any less God’s tools, than rifles, drones, helicopters?

  7. So what’s the point. that Israel should take an atom bomb for the team. So that a guy like Richard ( I love it when little jewish girls get their heads crushed ) Silverstein can sip his lattes out in seattle. I don’t get it.

  8. Not to change the subject here too much…but perhaps it’s time to start examining this issue through the prism of global warming.

    I don’t know if any US folks caught ABC’s Earth 2100 (as in 2100 CE)–but the program presented one possible–and highly horrific– forecast of the next 100 years based on empirical data.

    In a nutshell, civilization is close to the tipping point of going kaput.

    Even if only 2% of it occurs…this petty land squabbling is going to be a luxury and a mere memory of opportunity lost.

    There are many scientists who would agree that the current I/P argument has a shelf life of about 15-20 years–and then Nature is going to dictate the debate.

    We’re talking disease, flooding, unsustainable land, mass exodus etc all at the global level.

    Our relationship with oil and fossil fuels is going to change. That alone changes the world’s relationship with the ME.

    I feel pretty certain that, if not today, you WILL be arguing in this context within the next 5 years.

    Just sayin’…

  9. Dual loyalty and the influence of the US zionist has been out of the bag for some years now among the public that follows foreign policy and congress.

    It exist, it’s bad for America and Americans and it is going to end.

    I don’t think this awareness on the part of the public calls for hysterics and cries of “they’re out to get the Jews” in the Jewish community.
    But it should be a wake up call for the segment of Israel fanatic Jews who have deluded themselves that the foreign country of Israel and America are one and the same….and that Americans will forever tolarate a minority of our population who are loyalist to a foreign country controling our congress and policy that affects all Americans.

    Not all Jews fall in the dual loyalty catgory but those that are abusing their “right to representation” ..which doesn’t include the right to put another country before America to benefit a foreign “true homeland”… need to put themselves through a reality check. This is America, this isn’t Israel.

    In fairness the Jews are not alone, we have for a long time had our Cuban policy made by Cuban exiles who sole purpose in America is to get us to invade Cuba for them so they can return to their former Batista regime glory. That has ended this week with the US not voting against Cuba being included into the Latin American council.

    Change is coming. Obama is on the right track for America. If the Israelis in our US congress stand in his way they will regret it in the next election.

  10. “American”-
    The US sent boys to die for Britain (twice), France (twice), Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and a host of other countries. The US also sent boys to die for Korea and Vietnam. The US also sent boys to die for Kuwait and later for Iraq and Afghanistan. Please spare us your “concern” that Israel, who is NOT asking for American boys to die for it, but only for the right to defend itself, is putting American Jews in a bad light in the US.

  11. Richard-
    Although you are an intelligent and sensitive person and I respect that, I can’t believe you haven’t absorbed what I and others have been telling you for a long time.
    Fact-the genocidal Judeophobic propaganda I referred to is universal throught the Arab world and much of the broader Islamic world. Different groups like MEMRI and Palestine Media Watch and other monitor this and make it available to the broader public. This propaganda comes out of countries “at peace” with Israel (i.e. Egypt and Jordan) no less than others who have not signed peace agreements. For heaven’s sake, you see it yourself at TMPCafe and Mondoweiss, as well.

    Regarding your question as to whether this hatred is “conditional”, I will repeat what I said before: It long predates Israel’s conquest of Judea/Samaria. It goes back to the beginning of Zionist settlement in Eretz Israel (say, 1917). There was a major pogrom of Jews in Fez, Morocco in 1912, in Baghdad (the Farhud) in 1941. These things have nothing to do with Zionism, even, just hatred of Jews which has been pervasive in the Muslim countries, just as it was in Europe. I am not saying that all people there want to kill Jews, or that things were bad all the time, but when governments get organized to persecute or kill Jews, the situation gets very dangerous.

    I again repeat, I believe and modus-vivendi with the Arab world IS possible, but only AFTER Israel makes it clear it is not giving up settlements in Judea/Samaria nor “outposts”. Only after the radical political Islamist movement is shown to be a failure and a dead-end for the Arab world will this happen, and we haven’t gotten to this yet. With Obama in, they will only be further encouraged.

    As to whether

  12. frankly we non jewish americans believe israel causes terrorism against america by killing arab children and their illegal occupation, and we know jews are loyal to israel first,jews who undermine america working in the press and government will have to be dealt with eventually,y6ou cant be loyal to a foreign country and have influential positions in america,it endangers all of us.

  13. @
    Y. Ben-David Says:
    June 4th, 2009 at 10:34 am
    The US sent boys to die for Britain (twice), France (twice), Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and a host of other countries. The US also sent boys to die for Korea and Vietnam. The US also sent boys to die for Kuwait and later for Iraq and Afghanistan. Please spare us your “concern” that Israel, who is NOT asking for American boys to die for it, but only for the right to defend itself, is putting American Jews in a bad light in the US.”

    Well that babble has nothing to do with what I said.

    And this:…”The US can NOT give up its nuclear weapons, and Israel’s survival is dependent on its military strength. Without that we would be gone in a moment.

    And this:…”The Arab/Muslim countries are very backwards. But in my mind, the genocidal drive against the Jewish people is no less today than it was then, maybe even more.”

    Shows you need mental help. That Lukid koolaide will get you killed instead of saving you. If people hate you it’s for what you DO not that you’re a jew.
    But go ahead if you must. ..Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes….

  14. By the by Y. Ben-David …

    It is not question of Israel defending itself.

    Israel is the aggressor, the land confiscator, the breaker of all international laws re it’s occupation of Palestine.

    Israel is also not a self sufficent country…see the congressional 2005 report (library of congress)..that says…”Israeli is not self supporting and cannot exist without aid.”

    Since Israel is a client welfare state of the US our support implicates the US in it’s illegal actions and crimes against humanity in Palestine.

    The US support of Israel is not because it is of any value to the US in any way. The US also has zero responsibility for what happened to the Jews and the other 5.5 million Non jews who died in German camps. Americans do not “owe” the jews anything, the only people who owe the Jews are long dead nazis.

    America support for jews began as a moral good deed for displaced,homeless people has now morphed into a political scheme to suck all it can out of America and Americans for a rouge foreing country that is a threat to American interest.

    Nothing personal but zionist fanatics like you would probably be diagnosed as soicopathic paranoids by a mental health professional.

    However it is time for your condition to be your problem, not the rest of the world’s and certainly not America’s, we have done enough for the Jews and Israel. The zionist cult is for themselves only, they are no friends to any one, least of all to the US people.

    So I agree with those who say cut Israel and their zionist fanatics loose. Their get out of jail free holocuast card has been canceled…you have over drawn on it one too many times.

  15. So-called “American”-
    Your statement that Israel can’t exist without aid is totally false. IT is true about the Palestinians, the biggest per-capita recipients of aid in the world (I would call it jizya-dhimma tax that the West pays). The aid covers the majority of the operating budget of the Palestinian Authority. For Israel, the aid is a drop in the bucket of the GDP and the national budget. It is given for political reasons. The US would be doing Israel a favor if it ended the aid.
    The reason I call the aid to the PA as “jizya” is because in Islamic states prior to the modern era (i.e. middle of the 19th century when Western influence began to penetrate the Middle East) if a dhimmi didn’t pay the tax, he would be arrested, beaten, killed or expelled. Same thing today…the PA will say “if you don’t pony up the cash we will ‘lose control’ of our people (wink, wink) and they will riot and attack your interests in the Middle East and around the world”. Dhimmi tax in a modern dress.

  16. I’m getting a kick at how the Israel haters are salivating gleefully cuz they think Obama is about to grill them up some juicy red steak.

    They’ve been going through this quasi-rapture for about 15 years now.

    It reminds me of Charlie Brown, Lucy…and that football.

  17. DF first states: “There is a ridiculous canard that American Jews who speak out against Israel are“courageous.””

    He goes on to inform us: “I hereby admit that I have been thinking these same thoughts. So, I am sure, have other American Jews. I also admit that I have been afraid to write them, afraid of the implications, afraid of how this rhetoric could be snatched up and emblazoned over the Web by those who want America to desert Israel entirely.”

    How curious: is that a contradiction I spot? It is all very confusing…

    Is the inevitable cost of being a “liberal zionist” chronic cognitive dissonance?

  18. Shoot and cry:
    I was referring to the notion that it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to right-wing American Jews. While they obviously have the ability to muzzle people (especially politicians), it is over-rated.

    My fears were not sparked by those people. They were and are sparked by some of the people who joined the thread here. Take, “Fred,” for example. He wrote: “We know jews are loyal to israel first,jews who undermine america working in the press and government will have to be dealt with eventually…” Yeah, I’m a little afraid that many more Freds will come out of the woodwork. There ought to be a way to have a calm, candid conversation about the nature of American Jewish ties to Israel. It’s hard to do when there are so many Freds lurking in the blogosphere, who could provoke those with diseased minds to “deal with” me, and you, too. I am not going to dignify his foul statement by answering it, but that’s my answer to you.

  19. Is the inevitable cost of being a “liberal zionist” chronic cognitive dissonance?

    Clearly, yes. You cannot support the concept of human rights and believe in “Jewish rights” that supersede them. You cannot believe that Israel is a member of the community of nations and ignore its failure to comply with the requirements enumerated in UN Resolution 273, recognizing Israel’s membership in the U.N.

    Now that WWII has been over for more than half a century, the U.S. for its part needs to get out of the war-profiteering business. But the Zionist powers-that-be will never allow that to happen without a fight.

    Liberal Zionists instead await the coming of the peace fairy to magically convince these Zionist war-mongering billionaires to give up their racket without any fuss.

  20. Ahh, good old pogromophobia: Dan’s got it bad.

    Why oh why would anyone be calling for the traitorous, manipulative Zionist power elite to be “dealt with,” one wonders. Truly one of the great mysteries of the universe.

  21. They’ve come out of the woodwork, Dan. The same crowd that lurks on MondoWeiss. I’ve enjoyed your blog but if this keeps up, I will look elsewhere.

  22. @
    “will have to be dealt with..”

    I don’t think ‘dealt with’ implies “extermination of the jews”, so that is an overblown fear. In my part of the country I know many jews who are not attached to Israel one way or another and Judism for them is a religion, not a country.

    The US Israelis influence in our policy does have to be “dealt with”….politically.
    As many other undue “special interest’ influences need to be dealt with.

    When you have a minority interest causing policies that the majority see as against their collective interest you are gonna have an eventual blowback against that minority interest..whether it’s WS bankers or the Jewish Lobby.

    So we’re gonnna have a knock down drag out political fight over it. Those US Jews who think they are “entitled” due to their historical victim role, to demand that all Americans financially and militarly support Israel and it’s actions and have the US act in Israel’s interest regardless of our own interest can make their case in public.

    And those of us who oppose the Jews/zionist,however you want to label or seperate the Jewish community, agenda in controling US policy in the ME can make our case to our fellow Americans.

    Let the truth win.

  23. Dan Fleshler Says:
    June 4th, 2009 at 2:07 pm
    Shoot and cry:
    I was referring to the notion that it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to right-wing American Jews. While they obviously have the ability to muzzle people (especially politicians), it is over-rated.>>>>>>

    Well I agree with that. I have been calling a spade a spade on I-P for a long time and had the anti semite slur hurled at me too many times to remember. However it was water off a duck’s back, didn’t cow me into not giving my opinion…to anyone, especially my congressman and senator. Of course I am fortunately not in a position where the rabid zionist can harm me professionally or financially as they have done to many US academics.
    And frankly all the sluring and character attacks on non jews and attacks on ‘self hating jews’ has backfired as I knew it would.

    The case against unconditional support for Israel is now self evident to most Americans…Lebanon helped it on but Gaza really was the last straw for the US public.

    I live in a East Coast conserative religious area between two Marine bases and our local paper front paged pictures (twice) of dead Gaza children with a blistering editoral against Israel and the US congress. More people read their local hometown papers than read or listen to the MSM and now that Israel has hit Main Street US, the game has changed.

  24. ditto Teddy–there’s a full spectrum of opinion here…but can we disqualify the Jew haters?

    If I want to read their bile, I’ll go to LocoWeiss.

  25. I’m surprised people still read half of their stuff, let alone get miffed by it. I mean, I don’t even try to read Y.Ben-David’s comments as they’re all the same thing, and his insistence that MEMRI, the Saudi kingship mouthpiece is his spectrum for Arabic press really is shameful. It’s as if he has no trouble with his total contempt with the Arabs and Muslims in general. Everything can be epitomised with this:

    “Military strength is the ONLY thing Israel can depend on for its survival…”

    60+ years and 42+ years of occupation and this is where Israel has come to for the Y.Ben-David’s of this world. Since he concludes with this, how then can he calculate that withholding “aid” (whatever that term is meant to mean) won’t be detrimental but yet he insists that it’s the military that keeps this machine going… One doesn’t need to be Einstein (yes I meant that thanks to the recent publication) to figure out the solution.

    Dan, I know you’re quite high on Jeffrey and you want the narrowness of the attacks against him to be fuller with all of his advocacies BUT Jeffrey here does not really stray far from the so-called “neoconservative” camp, if he did at all. My analysis of this is that Jeffrey still believes (insists) that Iran is a nuclear power and bent on Israel’s “destruction”; that even with an unproven nuclear weapon that a strike would be benefitial for Israel AND America if the US were not embroiled in two quagmires (one of which Goldberg trumpeted non-stop as “overlapping interests”); that Iran is an existential threat to Israel with or without a nuclear weapon and yet he even iterates that “rhetorically” is the hurdle here, significantly omitting the great studies that Trita Parsi has done with Israeli-Iranian relations as well as the fact that Ahmedinejad could be on his way out soon enough (which deals with the “rhetorical” problem). Lastly, since when was concern for the troops ever mattered; they were sent into Iraq, they are neglected in Iraq and they are still in Iraq and last I heard Iraq is not exactly chocolate and roses for the US and that’s not even talking about Afghanistan. Lives are already being taken and now Goldberg has the conscience to consult their lives now because Iran could make things worse? So if no American or Israeli lives could be endangered then all of this would be “overlapping interests”?

  26. Joshua,

    Mostly, I was marvelling at the fact that he was willing to discuss a topic that is almost never discussed by pro-Israel American Jews in public forums, or even amongst themselves. Also, he is openly questioning the wisdom of any military attack on Iran. I agree that much is left out of his analysis but those two points are worth noting. I don’t disagree with much of what you wrote about his questionable assumptions. But, in this case, I am mostly concerned with the evolution of rhetoric and the wearing away of tired old paradigms. In that context, I think his interview was intriguing

  27. Looks like Dan’s Jewish read-vertisers are threatening to cancel their patronage if these unsavory types and their opinions aren’t summarily disappeared.

    Since Dan has taken a rightward turn into the Jeffrey Goldberg Zionist dead-ender camp (“my spiritual homeland right or wrong”), I think I will 86 myself for the time being and let young Teddy and grandpa Witty please themselves with their courageous finger-wagging against their bloodthirsty and simply too-well-funded kinfolk.

    Adios, amigos!

  28. Let me get this straight:

    Here we have Teddy, Suzanne and even Dan himself raising eyebrows with a couple of commenters who are regulars on Phil’s blog (MM, American and a third who I cannot even bother to identify right now) because of some things are objectionable in their comments with regards to “dual loyalty” and Judaism in particular BUT… and I want to emphasise this… Y.Ben-David and Bill Pearlman don’t get anywhere near the condemnations as the rest of the anti-Semites out there. Pearlman has laid down the death epithets on Silverstein and Weiss so often that it’s hard picturing a comment of his without another slander on the “self-hating Jew”.

    Do we want this to resemble Phil’s comments section? Certainly not but once again, I seem to be the only one who sees that the curve is leaning towards one end for (proposed) censorship here.

  29. Joshua,

    People here argue vociferously and passionately with Y-BD and Pearlman all the time. Dan banned an obsessive right wing Jew who kept condemning him for letting MM go on and on with his invective against American Jews and Israel. He hasn’t banned MM. I don’t know how much “condemnation” of right wing, settler supporters would satisfy you. But when those people are commenting, AND we have the Mondo Weiss crowd commenting, there is, as Richard said, too much “noise” and not enough light.

    That said, yes, I suppose I am a bit more upset by people who would worship Father Coughlin and Henry Ford if either of them were still alive. It’s a visceral sensation. As Dan noted, you can’t argue with what people feel. You have no call to demand that I have equal antipathy for two kinds of haters. I don’t know what to suggest. I don’t believe in censorship and if you thought I was calling for that, I apologize for not communicating with enough precision. I was just expressing that my discomfort was so pronounced that I would not be able to hang out here forever if the Jew-bashers kept on yammering.

  30. It seems to me that Dan has largely strived to limit the debate here to constructive criticism of Israeli policies.

    By defining the parameters, the dialog is on a different plane than at Weiss et ilk. It’s a deeper conversation, and in my opinion more realistic.

    I’m learning a lot.

    Sometimes you have to be discerning in order to have meaningful debate. Without parameters, Phil has managed to attract paranoid schizophrenics and other borderline personalities. Thus the noise.

  31. I don’t know what happened because I tried posting a comment earlier but it was wiped so this is my second and much shorter attempt.

    Teddy, I in no way called or “demanded” you do anything. I merely observed what you determined yourself and that was an instinctive bias towards one “side”. I do not endorse any form of control here as there are many reasons why but the main one is that this site has far less traffic than Phil’s, hence the less percentage for crazies to fill this place up with garbage.

    But what I find startling (and that is what I limit it to and not any advocacy to moderate anyone or change anyone at all) is how just the mere hint of one gets the rest all in a tizz. The example of Phil’s blog is perfect since I believe that most who get jaded there are always too quick to blame the commenters and Phil himself (how preposterous to blame Phil) about the state of his comments section. It’s almost as if they want to completely miss the rest who are allowed to comment there too and that seems to get a free pass with ones like Richard, who does an awful lot of arguing back and forth with Y.Ben-David (and that should be commended but also who has the time to do that over and over? 80% of the comments are by those two alone.), so it’s not as if he is totally not on the spectrum to the defense of the Palestinians humility here BUT I don’t recall himself ever expressing regret about the state of the site because of the Joachim Martillos, rykarts and the others AS WELL AS the Thoms, the Sword of Gideons and the Chris Berels over there (gee, I seem to forget that those trolls get their say too). Nah, it’s those who are willing to bring in the age-old canard of Jewish domination who we gripe with over Phil’s blog but not those who want to depict Arabs as backward and unworthy of anything because they are so uncivilised. In fact, Suzanne even applauds their snarky, offensive and flippant comments which could mimick an IDF shirt celebrating the “2 kills” of a Palestinian. Yipee. I bet Suzanne even gives them a pass she wants to roll her eyes over the anti-Semites over there right now and those are the ones who she pinpoints as the “paranoid schizophrenics and other borderline personalities.” (If she denies this and wants to add the other “side”, I have many reservations about the authenticity of it.)

  32. At Phil’s site, and to the extent that it rolls over to here, the presence of anti-semitic comments ARE partially the responsibility of the editors, as the editorial decisions made are hot with very negative innuendo.

    Selection of material to be published, how an article is headlined, how it is written. Those are withing Phil’s, Adam’s and others’ control.

    They rarely post an original post that conflicts fundamentally with the anti-Zionist thesis of their audience, including the dissenting audience that does not post comments, but does confront Phil and others when they imply any deviation from prior editorial framing.

  33. Richard, I agree…Phil has set the tone over there with his choice of content–including his exhibitionist rejection of Jewish identity.

    It’s clear that Dan & Phil have different agendas…and it’s reflected in the content and nature of debate.

  34. My sense is that Phil believes that it is necessary to be confrontational in some respect to achieve improvement in the Palestinian status.

    There’s truth in that.

    For implications for Israel, one of my arguments that supports the creation of Israel is that it was necessary. At the time, there were 800,000 – 1,000,000 very traumatized Jewish refugees from the death and slave camps, that were not invited to resettle anywhere. (The US, Great Britain, France all had immigration quotas still in place, and enforced.) Those that returned to Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Russia were harrassed. Israel was the only place that accepted them, absorbed them, found a home for them.

    Ahmenidijad stated, “IF the holocaust happened in Europe, why did Palestinians have to bear the cost of that?” Its a good question, that motivates the relative urge for reform and healing.

    Sadly, he (Ahmenidijad) and MANY others don’t ask that question for the purpose of healing, fixing what is broken, but for breaking further for some ideological or opportunist urge.

  35. The point of that last post is that Phil’s stated motives for suggesting boycott or other coercive measures in support of Palestinian rights, is that he describes it as necessary, the same language that I and others use to describe the formation of the state of Israel.

  36. Is it in fact necessary? Are there other options than boycott, divestement, sanctions?

    YES, clearly. And it is horribly ironic that many of the same people that opposed sanctions on Iraq or Iran currently, are the same ones proposing sanctions on Israel.

  37. Rich:
    Your buddy Phil is an advocate of the destruction of Israel and takes pleasure in the deaths of Jews. There is no question about it.

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