Michele Bachmann and Israel


The New York Sun rises to the defense of Michele Bachmann, under assault from yours truly in his Bloomberg View column:

The latest person to make light of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's beliefs is one of our favorite columnists, Jeffrey Goldberg (ed. note -- thank you) of the Bloomberg View. He focuses, on the one hand, on her opposition to same-gender marriage and, on the other hand, on the fastness of her attachment to Israel. He reports that he has "devised a fail-safe way to bring her to a state of cognitive paralysis." His scheme is for her to travel to Israel for the gay pride parade at Tel Aviv. He invites his readers to imagine Mrs. Bachmann's "paralysis when confronted by the reality of Tel Aviv, which is home to the largest annual gay-pride parade in the Middle East."

Mr. Goldberg has written copiously about the Christian right and the Jewish state. He worries about the "fetish" he reckons the Christian Right has been making of Israel. Should President Obama turn out to be right in his view that Jewish settlement in the West Bank poses a problem for those who believe in a Jewish state based on a Jewish majority, this he feels would come back to haunt Israel. "How," he asks, "will the Christian right feel if Israel does, in fact, make compromises for the sake of peace by 'betraying' its biblical birthright?"

The Sun makes the point that the right, whatever you think of it, at least appears to respect the decisions of Israeli voters:

More broadly, the point that Mr. Goldberg's question illuminates is not that the right is threatening Israel's democratic foundations but that the Obama administration is unwilling to respect the democratic decisions of Israel's democracy. The view seems to be that Israel's democracy hasn't sought things through. It strikes us as an odd position. Prime Minister Netanyahu is not a Middle East strongman, after all, but the elected leader of the only Middle East democracy in the negotiations. At the moment, it seems, the only parties prepared to credit the decisions of that democracy are Mrs. Bachmann and others on the right, Christian or Jewish.

Read the whole thing.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, Goldberg also writes the magazine's advice column. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as 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.

His 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. Goldberg rthe recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism. 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. He is also the recipient of 2005's Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.

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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