An explanation for the backlash against Peter’s book from the “center-left” American Jews:
More than anything, it’s the spirit of Beinart’s criticism that many of his critics find off-putting. The American-Israeli rabbi David Hartman is fond of telling American Jews that when they criticize Israel, they should do so like a mother rather than a mother-in-law. In other words, they should do so out of love, not to belittle. To many of Beinart’s detractors, he sounds like a mother-in-law. “I came to the book as a friend of Peter’s and as someone wanting to see it succeed and see it have a major impact on people’s thinking,” says Peter Joseph, a prominent liberal Jewish philanthropist who gave Beinart money to help launch the Open Zion blog, “but unfortunately what I’ve seen is the book has led to greater polarization, and that doesn’t serve Israel’s best interests.” Beinart’s critics on the center-left don’t actually seem to disagree with him much; his biggest sin has been in not choosing to talk about Israel the way they expect Israel to be talked about.