The Complexities Of Jeffrey Goldberg

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 21 2012 @ 4:24pm

I'm going to respond to Goldblog's unhinged, thin-skinned rants against me in due course, but it's worth noting how he conducts debate. He resorts either to authoritah – my critics are too uninformed and dumb to engage – or to marginalization of his opponents. So in just a few days, he has cited "the dean of American Jewish journalism, Gary Rosenblatt," Sol Stern, Yehudah Mirsky, and even Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, to argue against a Beinart proposal that might – just might – change the doomed dynamic that Greater Israel is now trapped in.

Then – surprise! – someone Goldblog frequently cites admiringly, Hussein Ibish, publicly agrees with Peter. Money quote:

Others, such as Jeffrey Goldberg, have expressed queasiness about the idea because of the bitter history of anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic boycotts in the past. The argument is essentially a tribalist one, that Jews should not be pitted against other Jews. However, everyone interested in peace will need to see beyond bitter histories and be prepared to pay serious prices to end the conflict. Indeed, Jews need to confront other Jews, as Arabs need to confront other Arabs, to stop policies, actions and rhetoric that are making peace unattainable. Refusing to do so on the basis of ethnic solidarity is an unprincipled copout.

Moreover, in a 2011 New York Times op-ed I co-authored with Goldberg, we argued that, "It is understandable that Palestinians are supporting boycotts of products made in settlements… since the settlements are illegitimate and must not be legitimized." Why, then, would it not be equally understandable for Jewish Americans to take the same position?

Goldblog tweets in response:

Screen shot 2012-03-21 at 3.59.10 PM

But why? Is it really just "ethnic solidarity" rather than advancing US interests? Or is it an "unprincipled copout?" Or is there some other distinction Jeffrey will now draw?