A Sad Thing

Nicholas Kristof's column this morning reminded me of one of the sadder things about Israel today. It is that Glenn Beck is emerging as one of its most prominent American defenders. And not only prominent -- he is emerging as the Israeli right's favorite American friend. In other words, a man considered too extreme and unstable to appear on Fox News is invited to speak at the Knesset, and hold rallies in Jerusalem. I realize the expression "jump the shark" has itself jumped the shark, but nevertheless, I fear that Beck's August 24 rally in Jerusalem might mark the moment when the cause of Israel itself jumps the shark.

This is not to say that there aren't still liberal, and centrist, supporters of Israel in the U.S. Nor does Beck's adoption of Israel as a pet cause reflect the only reality about Zionism today (I would argue that Zionism today is also on display in the call for social justice made by affordable housing protesters across Israel; in people who fight for a Jewish homeland while criticizing the expansion of settlements; in Haiti and other developing-world countries, where Israeli technology and medicine are helping poor people, and so on). But: The Israeli government's budding alliance with a conspiracy-mongering cable-television extremist does not fill me with hope.

Presented by

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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

From This Author

Just In