This morning Ilene Cohen passed along an insight that John Roberts, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, has entered a political no-man’s-land since he sided with the Obama administration on health care, to the rage of conservatives. In an interview with Nina Totenberg on NPR, Judge Richard Posner (no liberal) suggested that the fallout could have longer-term effects on Roberts:
I wrote to Cohen:
Isn’t the Totenberg quote exactly applicable to Peter Beinart? He is being spat out by even liberal Zionists now for a centrist position. I believe religious adhesion is deeper than liberal/conservative adhesion, but really — who are Beinart’s friends? the pack of lunatics?
Cohen wrote back:
Absolutely. I think that Brad Burston, in Israel, is close to falling, whereas Carlo Strenger is moving deeper into the apologetics. Did you see the latest, amazing and very weird piece by Eric Yoffie–that had the Presbyterians been voting a week later (after release of the Edmond Levy report), they’d have voted to divest. Yoffie:
“after about 3 years [of dialogue with Presbyterians five years ago] , our conversations petered out, in some measure because statements on matters of theology and politics being prepared elsewhere in the Church were far less reasonable and measured than what we were hearing; we had a sense that one-sided, pro-Palestinian voices were setting the tone in other forums and that our conversations were carrying little weight. As a result, I thought it likely that in the long term, prospects for avoiding a Presbyterian divestment resolution were bleak.”
Of course, Yoffie cares only about how Israel looks, but it’s interesting to see how aware he is that the landscape is shifting big time. Even Jeffrey Goldberg has a problem (not so much that he’s troubled, but he knows that trouble lies ahead). Only the very right wing Shmuel Rosner thinks that (or at least argues that) the latest Jewish polls are all good news, that kids are with Israel like never before.
With everything going on with little Israel these days–very negative PR overseas, social protest heating up, coalition woes, haredi draft problems, BDS, the Levy committee concluding that there is no occupation, the reports criticizing the 2006 Lebanon War and the attack on the Mavi Marmara (have I left anything out?)–I’m sure that Netanyahu is shvitzing.