Monday, November 09, 2009

Is Sullivan an Anti-Zionist? Part 2

As I asked below, here, Sullivan's swipes against Israel have been getting more frequent and irritating. It's like he's gone enough to the left because of Bush-Cheney that he now has to hate Israel like a J-Streeter.

So thank goodness Jeff Goldberg has been on top of the case. First here in August 2008 he gives Sullivan some pro-Zion backing:
I know Andrew as a supporter of Israel, a Zionist, even,
Fine, but just a few days later he notices the glimmering of a problem:
But "unregistered Israeli lobbyist"? This is vile, like Pat Buchanan-vile. Robert Wexler is pro-Israel, too. Is he an unregistered Israeli lobbyist? What about Rahm Emanuel, and Barbara Boxer, and Frank Lautenberg, and Henry Waxman, and Howard Berman? Are they dual-loyalists as well? Or is their tribal-based treason excused because they're Obama supporters? I wish Andrew would go back to bashing the Jew-baiters, rather than reveling in their smears.
I'd say that it's one of the early signs that Sullivan is equating the GOP with Israel (a problem that I warned about back in 2001 with the stupid frummie love of the evil GWBush) and thus to repudiate the GOP (like Sullivan's been doing) means also attacking Israel.

But in the year since, Sullivan has gotten worse. 'Goldblog' is still defending him, be in doing so we brings up some disturbing counter-proof:
I've gotten a fair number of hostile e-mails for stating that Andrew, in my understanding, is a Zionist. Here's Andrew on his own understanding of what "pro-Israel," or "Zionist," means:
My own definition of pro-Israel would simply be, I think: support for the existence of a secure Jewish state in Palestine. That's my position, and it is as deeply held as it is open to all sorts of arguments about what is best for its security and the interests of the US. I think it should easily be enough to earn one's credentials as a Zionist, as I proudly and passionately remain.
I would make only two points about this. One is small (but actually consequential); the word "Palestine" was invented by the Romans as a deliberate attempt to erase the word "Judea" from the map. So I wouldn't say that Israel is a Jewish home in Palestine; if anything, the future state of Palestine could be called the Arab state in Judea. I know this sounds like a nitpick, but names matter, and chronology matters.

The second, larger point: Zionists generally hold Israel to the same standard they hold every other country. People who don't like Israel very much hold it to a special standard, created for one scapegoated country alone. On this count -- and only this count, so far as I can tell -- Andrew sometimes fails the test. There are times lately when he seems to single out Israel for special excoriation, and times when he holds Israel to a double-standard. By the way, this doesn't make him an anti-Semite, as some marginal figures claim he is. It makes him, if anything, normal. Most of the world holds Israel to a higher standard than it does other countries. Many Jews do, as well. One of our specialties is self-criticism. But even when it comes from Jews, it isn't fair. Context is everything. I'll continue with these profound thoughts on Andrew later on.
I'm not as charitable as Jeff here. Just off-the-bat anybody who casually uses 'Palestine' like Sullivan does is the first strike (he also does a related strike by constantly referring to an 'Israel Lobby' as if it exists as the bogeyman the Looney Left desires it to be). Sullivan's well-known friendship with the scummy anti-Semite Christopher Hitchens is strike two.

And while I have growing respect for Goldberg, I definitely break with him about self-hating Jewish anti-Zionism (J-streetism, for now, until they redeem themselves). Jstreeters hate Israel because it makes them look bad to their imagined goyish friends and neighbors. It's not OK when they do it and definitely not when it's done by goyim.

I'll take this up more later, but there's just something very British about Sullivan's take on Israel - it's a combined paternalism and moral hauteur, as if the Europeans (any of them) have taken the proper moral path on anything.

Backpost finished 2009-12-02.

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