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Jeffrey Goldberg: Leon Wieseltier, Andrew Sullivan and Anti-Semitism – The Atlantic

Posted By Jacob Laksin On February 11, 2010 @ 11:54 am In Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Here are a couple of observations about Leon and Andrew, based on a more careful reading of Leon’s piece, and a look back at some of Andrew's greatest hits.

1 I don’t mean this as a cop-out, but Chait says much of what I would say, but better.

2 Like Chait, I don’t believe that Andrew is an anti-Semite. I have no doubt that if Andrew happened to come upon a Jewish person being harassed or otherwise tormented, he would ride his ridiculous bicycle into the fray and beat back the anti-Semites with a stick. And he certainly passes the Anne Frank Attic Test.

3 But: His evolution from wild-eyed Zionist to vitriolic Israel-basher is one of the more painful things I’ve witnessed recently, and not only because we are friends, or were friends. In the old days — meaning last year, and before — Andrew was an intemperate defender of the Jews. I remember one exchange in the run-up to the Iraq War in which he told me that seeing the movie “The Pianist” made him even “more pro-war.” Now he has flipped, to the other extreme.

4 The question of whether Andrew is or is not personally anti-Semitic isn't entirely relevant. What is relevant is that he sometimes uses his blog to disseminate calumnies that can cause hatred of Jews, and of Israel. I know this from personal experience, because the anti-Semites who e-mail him copy me. Andrew's posts on Israel and on Jewish political power in America have lately given comfort to some very repulsive people. This doesn't mean, of course, that the role of AIPAC shouldn't be debated openly, but it should be done without prejudice; without the axiomatic assumption that American Jews who love Israel are disloyal to America; and without the Judeocentrism of the neo-Lindbergh set.

via Leon Wieseltier, Andrew Sullivan and Anti-Semitism – Jeffrey Goldberg.


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