A Certain Kind of Sickness (Updated)

By Jeffrey Goldberg

From Richard Landes, in reference to criticism of the Netanyahu government's settlement policy from, among others, yours truly:

Alas, the majority of liberal Jewish journalists and writers like Thomas Friedman, David Remnick and Jeffrey Goldberg  don't have the fortitude, conviction and integrity of their elders. Instead of having independent minds, they have shown themselves to be self-hating.

This is sickening rhetoric. People like Landes -- who conflate support for Israel with support for settlements -- are creating conditions that will ultimately lead to Israel's disappearance. These types of people are not new in Jewish life. Extremists like Bar-Kochba and the Zealots have always been with us, people who would rather see Jerusalem burn than even consider compromise with those they consider evil. Last week, the Goldblogs went hiking in Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea, and we talked about the infamous raid conducted on the Jewish community there by the Zealots who had sequestered themselves just up the road at Masada. These Zealots slaughtered 700 Jews -- not Romans, Jews -- and stole their provisions in this horrible raid. And yet, we still commemorate, even celebrate, the "heroism" of the defenders of Masada today. How misguided! And how misguided is Richard Landes, to argue that Thomas Friedman, David Remnick and Goldblog are "self-hating" because we have differing opinions about the best way to secure Israel's future. The only hatred of Jews I see in this episode is Richard Landes's.

UPDATE: Richad Landes responds to the above post here.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/01/a-certain-kind-of-sickness-updated/68834/