Goldberg Variations



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Katherine says:

    In the comparison to the Iraq War debate Goldberg’s closer to those accusing war opponents of being unpatriotic and un-American than those who were accused. This isn’t because of Gaza – he has a history of labelling anyone who criticizes Israel as an anti-Semite (Walt, Mearshiemer and Freemen, to name a few). It’s a tool to shut off debate and ignore the fact that much of the violence coming from Palestine is because Israeli policies drove them to a point where they had no reason to believe anything other than violence could work.

    Twenty years ago the Palestinians were holding protests and throwing rocks. After two decades of constant misery and no progress, it’s hard to be surprised they’ve moved to shooting rockets. That change certainly doesn’t give Israel the right to shoot them indiscriminately, or the international community to treat wholesale slaughter as acceptable.Report

  2. Avatar Will says:

    Goldberg’s politics are a bit more nuanced than that, I think. He has pretty liberal views on the settlements and the Palestinian issue in general. That he would be sensitive to accusations of anti-Semitism or particularly concerned about Hamas’s latest rocket barrage is not terribly surprising. My larger point was that his knee-jerk defensive posture is pretty understandable.Report

  3. Avatar Katherine says:

    On the settlements, yes. On Palestine generally, no. And he has been accusing people of anti-Semitism since before the recent Gaza conflict.

    I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy for people who went along with the Iraq War for fear of being labelled anti-American, and I feel the same about Goldberg. That’s he’s doing his best to smear anyone who does make criticisms just makes that worse.Report

  4. Avatar Will says:

    As I said above, I have a lot of sympathy for anti-war commentators who tried to disassociate themselves with the radical anti-war left for fear of being labeled “anti-American.” In much the same way, I’m sympathetic to Goldberg’s conundrum – he’s a guy with generally liberal views on the settlement issue who tries to over-compensate by being hyper-sensitive to any hint of anti-Semitism.Report

  5. Avatar Max says:

    Goldberg may be too quick to react, but the notion that he is attempting to ‘shut off debate’ is beyond laughable, and well illustrates the (not surprising) fact that Katherine has not actually read any of Goldberg’s writing on the subject. Accusations of anti-Semitism as a tool to shut off debate? At what point do accusations of accusations of anti-Semitism become the same thing for the other side?

    As for your pathetic apology for violence against civilians, Katherine, it speaks for itself.Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I like Goldberg, but I do see Freddie’s point. I don’t know. It’s such a hot, contentious topic. It’s so easy to get things muddled up, to misunderstand or misrepresent opinions and intentions…Report

  7. Avatar Joseph FM says:

    It’s really hard for me to deal with these issues, becuase I would not exist as a person without Israel and Zionism –my mother is Israeli, born in Tel Aviv to Polish and Slovak Jewish refugees who joined the Haganah and fought the British in ’48. I have a  second cousin who served in the IDF in the 2006 Lebanon war. I see Goldberg’s attitude in in my cousin Dan as well.  But my views are closer to Matt and Ezra’s, and – perhaps more pointedly, given the accusations against us from the likes of Peretz – Douglas Rushkoff’s.
    It makes it hard to talk about, sometimes, for sure, and I absolutely understand the temptation to nullify that sort of criticism with a self-defensivly accusatory posture towards critics of Israeli policy without this personal baggage.

    (Which reminds me, as soon as I’m done with grad-school applications I need to do a writeup on how Rushkoff’s upcoming book parallels ED and Scott’s visions of society. I started a new blog then never used it. Bad Joey!)Report

  8. Avatar Katherine says:

    Max – I’ve been reading Goldberg’s blog intermittently for months. I gave up on him when he backed the Gaza invasion and went after anyone who opposed it or thought killing a thousand people was excessive.

    Will – As I’m one of the “radical anti-war left,” it’s no surprise we disagree here. “Radical anti-war left” here meaning someone who thinks counties shouldn’t go to war unless they’re attacked, should avoid occupying foreign countries, and should do their best to avoid killing civilians; which is not, in fact, “anti-war” but rather opposition to aggression and to indiscriminate violence.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    This is some of the most f-d up, up-is-down, black-is-white s**t I have read in a very, very long time.Report

  10. Avatar Freddie says:

    This is some of the most f-d up, up-is-down, black-is-white s**t I have read in a very, very long time.

    Uh, feel like telling us why, Michael?Report