The Debate Over Israel

I haven't written much about the Walt-Mearesheimer book because it's long and I haven't had time to read it. (There's a concept: a blogger not posting about something he knows nothing about.) But it is interesting, it seems to me, that the debate about the Middle East does indeed feel freer in Israel than in the US, where some American Jews have a defensiveness and anger that makes calm debate very difficult. (I guess I should add that my impression of the Walt-Mearesheimer book - I did read the original article - is that it's shoddy enough to merit Jewish defensiveness and anger. Sigh.) Here's an interesting piece on the press debate in Israel and the US. Matt comments here. Megan offers her suggested reasons for the discrepancy between the much better-informed and more diverse debate in Israel. Money quote:

1) No one in Israel is worried about being called anti-semitic.

2) Ethnic groups in safe exile tend to be more committed to territorial possession than the people back home who actually have to get shot at in order to obtain or retain the land. This is certainly true of the Irish.

3) Being correct about Israel/Palestine matters a lot more in Israel than it does in America. People expressing views here (or in Europe) are more often staking out ethnic or political solidarity with a cause. People in Israel have a certain level of solidarity assumed, and are in a high-stakes battle for the lowest cost solution, which permits and even demands a wider breadth of views.

4)  Newspapers in Israel are just better than newspapers here.

I'll take the first three.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

Just In