The ‘Atlantic’ runs a rationale for war by a journalist embedded in the Israeli psychosis

I finally read Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece on the likely Israeli attack on Iran in The Atlantic, The Point of No Return, and I’m surprised. Surprised that Goldberg would put it out there, given his role in promoting the Iraq war on a dubious basis and his admission last year on Israeli TV that Zionists have an interest re Iran that conflicts with the American interest; surprised that the Atlantic would run it, given the piece’s relentless ethnocentrism and emotional appeal to Jews and the Israel lobby on behalf of the Obama hawks; and finally, surprised that more journalists have not stepped up to attack this dangerous piece as a crude manifestation of the Israel lobby in our politics.

The first surprise is I suppose easily explained. Goldberg likes attention, and he’s going to get it whatever it takes. This time he’s basically carrying the water for the Israeli political and military establishment. He states that he doesn’t quite believe their argument for war, but this is a mere clearing of the throat. The rest of the time he is carrying water. His strenuous efforts to dignify the piece as journalism– he spent seven years studying the question and has interviewed scores of people in Israel and a couple of Americans too– are belied by its crude character. It is Jerry Springer at Yad Vashem. He is holding the microphone up to Israelis to describe their fears of Iran getting the bomb.

The amount of Holocaust talk in the piece is endless and staggering. Auschwitz and annihilation are repeated over and over, Ahmadinejad is identified often as someone who wants to eliminate the Jews. Hitler makes an appearance. Goldberg goes in for his customary ugga bugga about the Islamic world hating Jews, with the usual scholarly gloss. "[T]hrough the 17th and 18th centuries Shia clerics viewed Jews variously as ‘the leprosy of creation’ and ‘the most unclean of the human race.’”…

The piece is essentially emotional, it is an expression of Jewish power. Goldberg loves Jewish power. He grew up studying the abandonment of the Jews during the Holocaust and thinking that the diaspora was dangerous for Jews, and this seems to have been the sum of his philosophical inquiry in life. As a young man he joined the Israeli army, and he still worships Israeli armor. The piece begins with a woody-producing scene of "roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft" heading east to Iran. 

At a couple of points in the article Goldberg makes clear that such an attack would not necessarily be in the U.S. interest, that it would cause havoc for U.S. military forces, but this is mere lip service. I suspect the editors asked him for a To-be-sure paragraph or two, and he supplied it. The four corners of this piece are inside the Jewish psyche. Almost everyone quoted in the piece is Jewish. You may think that I am injecting religion– I always do– but Goldberg is as concerned with Jewish power as I am and he himself injects it when he says of his meeting with Rahm Emanuel, that Emanuel is "decidedly non-goyishe." 

Why is he bringing religion into it, and in an offensive manner, aimed at signalling to non-Yiddish speakers that this is not their business? Because he is writing for Jewish readers.

And Jewish readers are powerful. The Obama administration holds a policymakers’ meeting with Goldberg because it is trying to demonstrate that it is taking a hawkish line on Iran– obviously because of its fears for midterms/reelection– and the most revealing moment in the piece is when Goldberg talks with Lester Crown, the Chicago billionaire, about his fears re Iran and disappointment with the Obama approach.

As if we ought to care about Israel lobbyist billionaires when we are making policy in the Middle East? As I say, this is Goldberg’s world.

Several writers have called the piece alarmist. The mood of the piece is pure fear. The Iranians are about to rebuild Auschwitz, we can’t take chances. The piece drives toward one paragraph that justifies American military action against Iran so that Israel doesn’t have to do it:

Based on months of interviews, I have come to believe that the administration knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program; and Obama knows—as his aides, and others in the State and Defense departments made clear to me—that a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious threat to the interests of the United States, which include his dream of a world without nuclear weapons. Earlier this year, I agreed with those, including many Israelis, Arabs—and Iranians—who believe there is no chance that Obama would ever resort to force to stop Iran; I still don’t believe there is a great chance he will take military action in the near future—for one thing, the Pentagon is notably unenthusiastic about the idea. But Obama is clearly seized by the issue. And understanding that perhaps the best way to obviate a military strike on Iran is to make the threat of a strike by the Americans seem real, the Obama administration seems to be purposefully raising the stakes.

My other surprises. I’m surprised that the Atlantic would run this piece without any counter-weight, the work of a parochialist who served in the Israeli army, over and over invoking Auschwitz as a cause for American military action? Why not an American reality check? No, the U.S. is treated as chopped liver here. "[T]he United States, with its unparalleled ability to project military force," Goldberg says. And some anonymous Israeli says, "The Americans can do this with a minimum of difficulty, by comparison." And the Atlantic puts this forward as an American argument? Not long ago Stephen Walt ran a piece responding compassionately to the big New York Times story about the American soldier who has lost his arms and legs and still carries on. Is there any room for concern about the American youth who will be sacrified to this Israeli idea?

I remind you of how emotional and Israelcentric this appeal is. I counted five annihilates or annihilation. Iran nukes are "the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people."

The Israeli national narrative, in shorthand, begins with shoah, which is Hebrew for “calamity,” and ends with tkumah, “rebirth.” Israel’s nuclear arsenal symbolizes national rebirth, and something else as well: that Jews emerged from World War II having learned at least one lesson, about the price of powerlessness…

Sneh says. “The Shoah is not some sort of psychological complex. It is an historic lesson….

“Many Israelis think the Iranians are building Auschwitz. We have to let them know that we have destroyed Auschwitz, or we have to let them know that we tried and failed.”..

The piece contains long lectures by crazed people, offered as arguments we should care  about. Netanyahu’s father Ben-Zion

also argued that the Inquisition corresponds to the axiom that anti-Semitic persecution is preceded, in all cases, by carefully scripted and lengthy dehumanization campaigns meant to ensure the efficient eventual elimination of Jews. To him, the lessons of Jewish history are plain and insistent.

Rather than step back from these arguments as the effects of "national psychosis," as Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz has described the Israeli condition, Goldberg holds up the mike. 

Other writers have pointed out that Goldberg’s piece falls apart due to a slippage, when you realize that the "existential" threat he keeps talking about may simply be a threat to Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state. If Iran gets nukes, one Israeli tells him, more Jews who can will want to live in other countries. We’re experiencing a terrible brain drain, they tell him. We’re diluting the quality of the Jews here. Iran is destroying the Zionist idea that Israel is the refuge for Jews.

Is it not the responsibility of a writer–oh I wish Tony Judt were still alive– to point out that political cultures change all the time? The South was desegregated, without revolution. The U.S. is becoming a post-racial society. Australia went from "Two Wongs Don’t Make a White" immigration policy to something more enlightened today. The Soviet Union becomes Russified. Muslims move to Europe. And we’re supposed to bomb Iran because a 120-year-old colonialst-nationalist idea is getting wobbly in an era of globalism?

Goldberg does CYA. This is a "devilish problem," and "devilish problems have sometimes caused Israel to overreach. But I see not one description of the overreach, I don’t see a word about the Gaza slaughter or the failure in Lebanon ’06, I see no acknowledgment of realist Ian Lustick’s shrewd analysis that the era of the Iron wall is over, Israel must engage with its neighbors or say sayonara.

Two larger omissions shadow this piece. The Atlantic would have its readers ignore the fact that Goldberg served up the last war on bad evidence, in his New Yorker piece tying Saddam to Al-Qaeda, and it would have us ignore the fact that Walt and Mearsheimer published a piece it killed, on the Israel lobby. The Israel lobby is embodied in this piece; it is all about Jews using political power in the United States to effect policy. It is a shame that the Atlantic’s readers are not supplied with this kind of information. No: Goldberg has said that he regards such analysis as anti-Semitic, and meantime he is trying to assure Lester Crown and other Jews that the Obama braintrust has taken nothing off the table.

The last surprise is that more journalists have not denounced this piece, denounced its Israel-centric focus and its push for war, denounced the fact that an American publication is serving as a platform for so many Jews traumatized by historical memory as a basis for policy-making. I am disappionted in Jim Fallows, who knows better; I’m waiting for Roger Cohen. So far the journalists to show up are bloggers, Paul Woodward, Steve Walt, Glenn Greenwald, Eli Clifton, Trita Parsi. But this is a national concern of the most profound character, we need reinforcements.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine

{ 33 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. MRW says:

    What a goddam great piece of writing and analysis! Just phucking superb, and I apologize to those tender ears out there who can’t take that language.

    Phil, you outdid yourself on this one. And this was priceless, priceless. It is Jerry Springer at Yad Vashem.

  2. I agree: brilliant, Phil.

    ‘The piece is essentially emotional, it is an expression of Jewish power. Goldberg loves Jewish power. He grew up studying the abandonment of the Jews during the Holocaust and thinking that the diaspora was dangerous for Jews, and this seems to have been the sum of his philosophical inquiry in life. As a young man he joined the Israeli army, and he still worships Israeli armor. The piece begins with a woody-producing scene of “roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft” heading east to Iran. ‘

    In other words, Goldberg presents Israel’s power as powerlessness.

    ‘[T]he “existential” threat he keeps talking about may simply be a threat to Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state. If Iran gets nukes, one Israeli tells him, more Jews who can will want to live in other countries. We’re experiencing a terrible brain drain, they tell him. We’re diluting the quality of the Jews here. Iran is destroying the Zionist idea that Israel is the refuge for Jews.’

    Goldberg and the Israel lobby want to trap the U.S. and its children into war, death, killing, and injury–terrible futures with dreadful memories–all rather than work for peace, humility, connection, loving empathy. “The Atlantic” as well as the rest of the U.S. corporate press refuse to report on most Palestinians’ willingness to forgive and to live kindly with generations of invaders. We need more journalism (Thanks, Phil and Adam) willing to encourage our country to do the same.

  3. Citizen says:

    So, the Shoah was the death, and Israel’s obtaining nukes was the rebirth? The history lesson therefore is the one Goering gave at Nuremberg; might makes right. For Israel, this line of thought makes Iran the builder of Auschwitz Redeux. Can’t have nuclear competition. And the US can crush Iran with less discomfort than Israel can. The stars are alligned and all is well with the heavens. GI Joe and Willie LumpLump, the taxpayer–are expendible.

  4. eljay says:

    >> In other words, Goldberg presents Israel’s power as powerlessness.

    Well, see:
    - They’re powerful, but they’re scared (“Remember the Holocaust, boyz ‘n’ gurlz!”).
    - They’re oppressors, but the resulting blowback makes them victims.
    - And because they’ve stolen so much, they have that much more to lose!

    It’s hard work for a bully to get people to believe he’s a victim while he’s smashing their faces in. If only he’d spend more time humanzing “the other” and trying to make “better wheels”…

    • munro says:

      ” And because they’ve stolen so much, they have that much more to lose!”
      They don’t fear Iranian nukes just obstacles to what they have yet to steal. They are overcome with cupidity.

  5. marc b. says:

    Goldenberg is something less than authentic. He writes poorly. He reasons poorly. He shows no signs of anything more than sub-average native intelligence (see for example his recent and painfully embarrassing interview of Christopher Hitchens). I have to ask, is this the best on offer? Is Goldenberg a sign of intellectual decline, or is he merely the cream of the flunkies willing to publicly make a case for war? And who is his audience anyway? Who reads ‘The Atlantic’ anymore, and who is going to be convinced of anything by reading Goldenberg’s article? This schmuck is disgusting from head to toe, but I can’t believe that this agitprop posing as journalism will have any affect on the decision to go to war with Iran or not.

  6. The Iranian threat is of veto power over any relations between Hezbollah or Hamas and Israel.

    If you believe that Hamas and Hezbollah are moderate organizations and that Israel is renegade, then the Iranian escalation is insignificant.

    It is destabalizing. It is revolutionary, rather than reformative, for Iran to acquire that veto power.

    Is that worth bombing Iran, and risking escalations of retaliation? I personally don’t think so, in spite of publicly stated opinions (including here) that Iran would likely NOT retaliate with full force.

    Steve Walt does not regard Iran as benign, and does identify the stated responses of Saudis and others to develop nuclear weapons in response, if Iran does.

    Its not about Israel. Its about the world, of which Israel is a part, an attacked part (relative to Hezbollah proxy armies, confirming and confirming their desire to remove Israel).

    “when you realize that the “existential” threat he keeps talking about may simply be a threat to Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state.”

    And, you consider a prospective attack, or just veto of responding to Hezbollah attacks on civilians, as not worthy of concern?

    • Shingo says:

      Predictably, Witty reflexively reaches for hyperbole about Hamas and Hezbollah, neither of which has ever been a threat to Israel.

      Iranian has no veto power, other than in Witty’s fertile imagination, and certainly no veto over relations between Hezbollah, Hamas or Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah were driven into the arms of Iran, because like Iran, the US decided to regard them as enemies, thus forcing the three to find common cause.

      “If you believe that Hamas and Hezbollah are moderate organizations and that Israel is renegade, then the Iranian escalation is insignificant.”
      Escalation? There is no Iranian escalation, though based on your thesis that not allowing yourself to be bombed and attacked is an act of escalation, then there might be Iranian escalation in the future.

      “ I personally don’t think so, in spite of publicly stated opinions (including here) that Iran would likely NOT retaliate with full force.”

      Who stated such opinions? The only people suggesting that Iran would not retaliate with full force are the necons like Bill Krystol, who are making the absurd argument that Iran poses a grave threat, but if attacked would not retaliate.

      Steve Walt does not regard Iran as a threat to Israel. The Saudis have never threatened to s to develop nuclear weapons in response to Iran, though if Iran were ever to develop nukes, it would be in response to a US/Israeli attack.

      This is entirely about Israel. Iran poses no threat to any country. Iran has neither attacked, nor invaded any other country in 270 years. Hillary Clinton has said as much.

    • Avi says:

      Israel is a part, an attacked part

      Yes. Israel is an “attacked part”.

      It was a victimless crime to kill 1300 Lebanese civilians in 2006, 1400 Palestinians in 2009 and thousands upon thousands more in the last 40 years.

      In the next few days, I’ll wax poetic about the humanity of the colonists and the colonizing state. It’s nuanced, don’t you know?

    • “the Iranian escalation is insignificant.”

      what “Iranian escalation” are you talking about, Witty?

      most recent escalation I heard about was Israel and Saudi Arabia getting Boeing and Lockheed Martin aircraft, billions of dollars worth.

      Please disclose your news source.

      PS Witty, you mentioned Steve Walt again the other day re Iran. Have you read any of Hillary Mann Leverett’s writing about Iran? She and her husband, Flynt Leverett, think US rapprochement with Iran would be a good thing for US, for Israel, and for the region.

      Phil, may I suggest you update your very fine article to acknowledge that the Leveretts were among the first to refute Goldberg’s article, in Foreign Policy: The Weak Case for War with Iran, and in their blog, RaceforIran dot com , “The Campaign to Turn Iran into an Existential Threat.”

      • I think if Iran were willing to reconcile with Israel, then rapproachment with Iran would be a good thing.

        So long as it sponsors proxy armies, that have periodically unilaterally shelled Israeli civilians from Lebanon, then it is an aggressor.

        If you want to say mutual aggressor, wonderful, but to hold the silly idea that Iran is benign or not seeking power over others, is ignorant.

        • Shingo says:

          I think if Iran were willing to reconcile with Israel, then rapproachment with Iran would be a good thing.”

          What about Israeli willingness to econcile with Iran, or are we back to your argument that it is up to Israel’s rivals to convince Israel they want peace?

          “So long as it sponsors proxy armies, that have periodically unilaterally shelled Israeli civilians from Lebanon, then it is an aggressor.”

          Why isn’t Isrel the agressor then when it routinely and unilaterally shells Gazan civilians from Israel?

          “If you want to say mutual aggressor, wonderful, but to hold the silly idea that Iran is benign or not seeking power over others, is ignorant.”

          So by your logic, Israel isn’t a legtimate actor but simply a pawn of the US, sseing as the US sponsorts Israel to maintain it’s very existence? If so, when surely you would have to argue there is no reason for Israel to exist?

  7. MHughes976 says:

    There’s more than one way of looking at the Jewish (and other) past. The first step in the process that led to the Inquisition was a deal between the Jews of Spain and the tricky King Ferdinand, who persuaded them, to their own undoing, to finance his plan – nothing less than to destroy the traditional balance in Iberia and begin construction of a world superpower – by an unprovoked attack on the Muslims. Machiavelli thought that Ferdinand was too clever for his own good but he usually came out ahead. He knew how to exploit words too – it was to his advantage that Jews were commonly known as ‘pigs’ and that his daughter Joanna, who stood in the way of his ambitions, became known to history as ‘crazy lady’.

  8. Surcouf says:

    Great analysis Mr. Weiss. Combined with the response by Trita Parsi on Salon, which provides the proper historical framing of the Iran-Israel relationship, your article exposes Goldberg for what he is : an agent provocateur.

    ”So far the journalists to show up are bloggers, …. But this is a national concern of the most profound character, we need reinforcements.”

    Agreed! Our good friend Andrew Sullivan has indicated on his blog this morning that he would be responding to Goldberg’s hasbara upon his return from holiday after Labor Day. It will interesting to see what that response will be like, especially since he is also at The Atlantic.

    • Surcouf says:

      Phil,
      Thank you for pointing out the paper by Ian S. Lustick in your article.
      I’ve just finished reading it and his comments about Iran are spot on:

      The same pattern of discussing policy options with no regard to their impact on eventual opportunities to advance prospects for peace is apparent in Israel’s reaction to the possibility that Iran could join the club of Middle Eastern nuclear powers. It also reveals the country’s
      abandonment of the Iron Wall pedagogy of coercion. The Israeli definition of the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran is existential and desperate. This is precisely the image of Iran that Ahmedinejad and his allies are seeking to create. It is also worth noting that, once defined in this manner, there is no limit on the measures Israelis can imagine are justified in taking against it. After all, when
      survival is perceived to be at stake, there is neither need nor rationale for thinking about consequences or how to calibrate the use of force to foster positive outcomes or reduce the political fallout of military action. More generally, military options to eliminate the threat can be discussed with no attention to their long-term consequences for peace in the region.

  9. munro says:

    Fallows is a court goy like Charlie Rose, Jon Meacham and others who know their place and are rewarded for it.

  10. Shingo says:

    I think this line says it all.

    “‘We’re experiencing a terrible brain drain, they tell him. We’re diluting the quality of the Jews here. Iran is destroying the Zionist idea that Israel is the refuge for Jews.”

    I woudl argue that it’s not just Israel experinecing the brain drain, but it’s supporters too.

    Diluting the quality of the Jews here? And Zionism isn’t rascism?

    If Iran is Iran is so easily “destroying the Zionist idea that Israel is the refuge for Jews”, wihout so much as lifting a finger, then the idea is obviously very weak and unsustainable.

    • potsherd says:

      The idea that Israel is a refuge for Jews was a nonstarter from the moment they had to evict the inhabitants to make room for themselves.

      Israelis scream about existential threats and being surrounded by enemies who want to exterminate them, so how can they believe they are in any kind of refuge without splitting their brains in half?

    • Tuyzentfloot says:

      But how does Iran do that? Not by threatening Tel Aviv with nukes.
      Israel is locked into a situation where there is a lot of internal reinforcements between
      - being powerful
      - being threatened
      - having a powerful military industrial complex
      - having a strong economy
      - being a comfortable place to live in(there’s a slogan along the lines of ‘living comfortable in a dangerous world’)
      - getting military support from the US
      - getting allround support from the US and other western countries
      - keeping Jews all over the world feeling threatened.
      - being a jewish state
      - getting away with crime

      Iran can upset the system: if Iran can assert itself the role of Israel in the middle east would decrease, and support for it would decrease.
      Whether this would be more or less dangerous for Israel is debatable, but it would be less comfortable. For people inclined to think in terms of domino effects this is quite threatening.

  11. RE: The piece begins with a woody-producing scene of “roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft” heading east to Iran. – Weiss
    BILL KRISTOL SPEAKING: “Hey guys, pass the lube. Hey, where’s the freakin’ lube? Stop hogging the lube, Krauthammer!”

  12. radii says:

    Iran is not benign, as most countries are not (save for maybe New Zealand, Iceland, Finland and a few others) … yet Iran has not started a war in centuries whereas israel kills every day – with banned weapons, in violation of countless UN resolutions, uses human shields, torture, ad nauseum …

    So what if Iran and every other country get nuclear weapons when so many have them already? It is the wrong direction as the world’s major nuclear powers are building down their stockpiles for an eventual phase-out … it is merely regional politics and israel is playing for more regional power with the blood and treasure of the United States … so simple

    israel is the problem and it is long past time that America fix this problem by binding israel from doing harm to others or itself

    so what if there is no racist, elitist, exceptionalist “Jewish state” … jews can and have lived everywhere and so long as they conform to their Torah and conform to the norms of their host country usually face no backlash … the nationalist incarnation of a zionist state has been the problem and everyone knows it – the experiment has failed in case you didn’t notice and a new paradigm is needed … the blood-thirsty warhawks of zionism are now an anachronism and need to be pushed aside by progressive, imaginative leadership the truly has the best interests of jews at heart

  13. my reading of Ian Lustick’s “Abandoning the Iron Wall” is different from yours, Phil.

    Here’s the point I thought Lustick was emphasizing:

    “Since the mid-1990s, Israeli leaders have increasingly
    demanded, not Arab reconciliation to the fact of Israel’s existence, but explicit Arab approval of Zionism itself via demands to recognize the right of Israel to exist in the Middle East as a Jewish state.”

    That is, Israel has ratcheted up what it demands from Arabs. Over the next 10 pages over making that assertion, Lustick cites one example after another of ways that Israel sees itself as separate from, alien to, disdainful of, disgusted with, and revolted by the mere thought of Israelis associating with Arabs. The degree of “partition and enclosure” that characterizes Israeli-Arab (and Iranian) relations is ever increasing. The the era of the Iron wall is” NOT over,” it’s increasingly more violent and more racist.
    And judging from comments Bibi made in a Fox news appearance in his most recent trip to the US, the expectation that Israel must WILL engage with its neighbors” is unlikely: Netanyahu said that not only must Arabs recognize Israel as the Jewish state, as Lustick observed, but Arabs must not even entertain in their minds the wish that Israel exist as anything other than a Jewish state, and, insisted Bibi, it was the responsibility of Palestinian leaders to educate their people to cease to harbor such “wishes” in their minds. link to c-spanvideo.org (at 55 minutes)

    “sayonara” indeed.

    • Avi says:

      Psychopathic god,

      It’s been a long time coming. If one ignores all the statements and posturing made by Israeli and American politicians over the years, and looks at the facts on the grounds and Israel’s infrastructure build-up in the occupied territories, one realizes quickly that Israel never intended for a Palestinian state to exist. In other words, for Israel to become an integral part of the Middle East, it’s going to require total and absolute disengagement from Zionism.

      But instead, Israel seeks to impose Zionism onto the people of the region.

      In expanding slightly on the points I made in my first paragraph, it would benefit many to look at topographic maps of the occupied territories, examine the water sources in the region, consider the location of the colonies and the Jewish-only roads. Such information coupled with proposal papers put forth by Israeli think tanks on matters of communication, aviation and transportation paint a grim picture. They paint a picture in which Israel does not and never intended to allow for a viable, sovereign and independent Palestinian state. No way, no how.

    • Surcouf says:

      Psychopathic god – The premise of Lustick’s paper is how can Israel, as a European colonialist fragment where the indigenous population was not completely annihilated in the course of the colonial project, avoid the same fate of South Africa, Rhodesia or Pieds-Noirs French Algeria and establish itself as a permanent feature of a non-European landscape. Upon reading Lustick, one can only conclude that the Israeli leadership has been working feverishly towards that same fate. It didn’t need to be that way.

  14. Bravo says:

    Stunning.

    That word is appropriate both for your piece and the Atlantic’s decision to run Goldberg’s idiocy.

  15. Peter in SF says:


    And some anonymous Israeli says, “The Americans can do this with a minimum of difficulty, by comparison.” And the Atlantic puts this forward as an American argument?

    In June, 2003, the Atlantic had a cover story on “The Logic of Suicide Terrorism” by Bruce Hoffman. The article focused on Palestinian terrorism against Israel. Hoffman traveled to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and talked to all sorts of Israelis, many of whom are quoted in his piece, but there is no hint of evidence that he ever spoke with a single Palestinian on his trip.


    I am disappionted in Jim Fallows, who knows better;

    The same June 2003 issue of the Atlantic had a revealing article by Fallows on “Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?”. What was revealing about it was the clear failure of Fallows to see or care about the big picture. He spent a week in Israel for the single narrow purpose of investigating the shooting of one child in a demonstration. Oh, and he concludes that there is “persuasive evidence that the fatal shots could not have come from the Israeli soldiers”; and he warns us of “the need for much more modest assumptions about the way other cultures — in particular today’s embattled Islam — will perceive our truths.”

    I had been an Atlantic subscriber for 10 years, but cancelled my subscription because of the June 2003 issue.

  16. “Israeli psychosis”

    What do you propose as an alternative view?

    • Mooser says:

      “Israeli psychosis”
      What do you propose as an alternative view?”

      Richard, seek medical attention. You just shot a hole in your own “pedal extremity” (As Fats Waller has it)
      And I’m sure we all agree with you, Richard, an alternative to the Israeli psychosis will be hard if not impossible to find.
      All I can suggest is a strait-jacket, if there’s enough to go around..

  17. Rowan says:

    Goldberg hasn’t reached the Shimon Peres level of delirium, though:

    From my point of view, a nuclear weapon in Iranian hands has only one meaning – a flying death camp.