How Israel Can Stop Alienating Its Jewish Supporters

Last week, we had a bit of a victory here at Goldblog news headquarters, when the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, decided to pull those archaic guilt-inducing ads directed at Israelis in America. As I write in my Bloomberg View column this week, I only wish he would turn to more important issues -- issues that truly could alienate American Jews from the Jewish state:

There are three issues the Netanyahu government must address quickly to prevent the bonds between Israel and its American Jewish supporters from fraying further.

The first is an unprecedented campaign by right-wing members of the Knesset, including some in Netanyahu's Likud Party, to curtail aspects of Israeli democracy. This has included attempting to restrict the activities and fundraising abilities of human-rights organizations critical of government policy; proposing laws limiting free speech in a dispute over boycotts of products made in West Bank settlements; and waging a campaign to delegitimize Israel's independent Supreme Court by giving the Knesset, instead of an independent panel, the power to appoint justices.

For the other two issues, you can continue to read here.


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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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