Jeffrey Goldberg, the usually liberal Atlantic journalist and one-time IDF soldier, has increasingly been defending more conservative positions on Israel. So when he opened last night's discussion with Jeremy Ben-Ami, the J Street founder and former Clinton aide, with the interrogation-like question -- "Are you or have you ever been a Zionist?" -- you might have expected the night to end in a brawl.
There was a time when Jews trusted “the world’s” good sense. Former Israel Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, a child in the Holocaust, remembered Jews — and the Germans, too — wondering, on the eve of the Final Solution, “What will the world say,” and finding out — not much at all.
When the New Israel Fund sent an action alert to protest gender-segregated buses in Israel, we got an enthusiastic response.
When we and the human rights groups we fund were attacked in Israel, viciously and dishonestly, we asked for signatures to a petition to Prime Minister Netanyahu in support of democratic dissent, and we got a very enthusiastic response.
But the immediate reaction we got to a brief, carefully-balanced letter we sent about the...well, let's call it the disastrous incident of the Gaza flotilla... now that was a response.
We've established previously that Peter Beinart lied about Netanyahu not supporting the Oslo accords, when he did support the Oslo accords, and that Beinart, when not lying is distorting, such as claiming that Netanyahu opposed a Palestinian state -- which he did oppose in 1993, without Beinart adding the all-important fact that Netanyahu supports a Palestinian state today.
No humanitarian aid to Shalit, and no story either.
Even before the facts were clear about the battle between Israeli commandos and the pro-Hamas flotilla, we were told by The New York Times website, and dozens of other online media, that Israel was being “condemned.” Indeed it was.
The world splits roughly between those who denounce Israel from a religious or ideological base, and those who denounce Israel because they are tired of defending Western civilization to which they are heir but aren’t sure why they should care (and those who bash Israel as a cover for their own anti-Semitism). The tired and the impatient might be slightly moved by better PR on Israel’s part, and OK, why not? But the others don’t care, and those are the ones Israel fights.
Israeli leaders, facing the predictable criticism in response to the predictable eruption of violence on the high seas when their forces confronted the Gaza flotilla, are busy explaining why they were justified in taking the action they took.
What they don't want to address, for obvious reasons: was it smart?
“This morning between 10:00 and 10:15 AM CDT, the President spoke by phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said he understood the Prime Minister's decision to return immediately to Israel to deal with today's events. They agreed to reschedule their meeting at the first opportunity. The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals.
I'm fine with any critique of the Jewish establishment from serious Jews and serious journalists, people who deeply love Israel and disagree with its policies. Not acceptable, though, are the assimilationists and anti-Israel -- yes, let's call them that -- leftists who piggy-back on the legitimate Jewish left as a beard to cover their loathing of all things Jewish and Israeli. They are the ones who say they can't attend even the harmless. non-political Salute to Israel Parade or show the flag or even allow Ambassador Oren to speak, because of the mean ol' Israeli government.
Annual Fifth Avenue ‘Salute’ attracts ‘hundreds of thousands,’ but questions about unity linger.
Special To The Jewish Week
Standing at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, near G.M. Plaza and the start of the annual Salute to Israel Parade, Marilyn Chandler apologized Sunday for being a little disoriented by all the hoopla around her.
“I just got off the plane from Greensboro, N.C., and it’s overwhelming to see all the blue and white,” the colors of the Israeli flag, said Chandler, executive director of the Greensboro Jewish Federation.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.