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It seems that Barack Obama must remain forever in purgatory as far as Commentary's concerned since he once -- shudder -- called for an "even-handed approach" to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Needless to say, it was a similar formulation that got Howard Dean in so much trouble back during the 2004 cycle.

I also have to say that this strikes me as a curiously nonsensical red line for Israel's false friends to be drawing. After all, supporting an "even-handed approach" sounds like exactly the sort of line someone not utterly steeped in the latest talking points might cross by accident. But on top of that, no matter how much you may believe deep in your heart that Arabs are less human than Jews and therefore less worthy of our consideration, it seems like for tactical purposes you ought to at least pretend to favor an even-handed approach and then just proclaim whichever approach you favor to be the even-handed one. That's just common sense.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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