Me and Jeremy Ben-Ami, Down by the Schoolyard (UPDATED)

So I had that little encounter with Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder of the liberal group J Street, last evening at Ethical Culture here in NYC, where Team Goldblog has relocated for another 22 hours. I have no idea what I said (this is always the case when I speak in public, which is why I won't be running for office anytime soon) but Jeremy impressed me as a straightforward liberal Zionist. This is not to say I wasn't troubled by some of his policy prescriptions for the Middle East. He seems to think that Barack Obama can impose a solution on the Israelis and the Palestinians (and impose NATO troops on Israel's eastern border) and that will be that. I tried to explain that very few Israelis would agree, at this moment, to an evacuation of the hills overlooking Tel Aviv, but Jeremy seems to believe that American guarantees could overcome Israeli doubts.

Also, he thinks that nothing good will happen until the Palestinians reconcile with themselves, and he talked about Hamas-Fatah rapprochement, again, as something in the realm of the possible.

But more later. I have to go and function as a working journalist, which means no blogging, because, of course, blogging isn't work.

UPDATE: The Vice-President for Humor-Eradication of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Bloggers has written to Goldblog protesting my assertion that "blogging isn't work," and further accusing me of having "contempt" for my fellow, full-time bloggers. What I meant to say, of course, is that "blogging isn't work because it's too much fun to be considered work. I hope this clarifcation soothes any hurt feelings experienced by my fellow bloggers, who, in any case, and to borrow a formulation originated by Andrew Sullivan, have only scar tissue where their hearts used to be on account of all the abuse hurled at members of our noble profession.   

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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