I know I should stop, but I can't seem to help myself.
Originally Posted by ledocs
Here it is, Israel on the road to apartheid, according to noted anti-Semite Thomas Friedman.
I think you are mischaracterizing the argument here. No one, certainly not Walter in the diavlog we've been talking about, has suggested that being critical of Israel makes one an anti-semite. Indeed, it's common these days for people generally seen as extremely pro Israel (like Jeffrey Goldberg, like many who would be placed in the "Israel Lobby" by W&M, which may well include Thomas Friedman himself) to make the kinds of points Friedman is here. That's because American opinon has moved so far and so irrationally on these issues in recent years in some camps, at least, which I think can be seen in the love-in for Bibi and the campaign in the current Republican race to be seen as Bibi's bestest friend ever, as well as in the bizarre reaction to Obama's speech that you've mentioned here.
My view continues to be that in understanding this change we have to look beyond the traditional support of groups like AIPAC.
I just want to point out that the ground has shifted on "the Israel lobby," primarily because of Walt and Mearsheimer...
Not primarily because of W&M, IMO. Because the debate has moved so that people like Jeffrey Goldberg can be seen as on the left in some ways for taking positions that seem just common sense about what would be in the best interest of Israel, as well as the US.
We've been talking about Gingrich's comments in another thread, and even though he made them originally to some Jewish network, I think they make more sense if considered in light of the kind of candidate he is trying to portray himself as and whose support he really needs. Sure, donations from some Jewish Republican donors are nice, but it hardly explains why the Republicans are saying things that people like Joe Lieberman find over the top, going well beyond what the Dems -- who get more money from Jewish donors, one assumes -- would say (especially at the risk of worrying the establishment types). The better explanation is Evangelicals. In her diavlog, Amy Sullivan brought up the fact that Newt has been presenting himself as a champion of Christian Conservatives by playing up the Christians as a put-upon group in the US, and a certain segment of Christian Zionists -- much more than Jews in the US, IMO -- see the Palestinians as interlopers in the region, the kind of thing Newt's language was meant to show sympathy with.