I've gotten a fair number of hostile e-mails for stating that Andrew, in my understanding, is a Zionist. Here's Andrew on his own understanding of what "pro-Israel," or "Zionist," means:

My own definition of pro-Israel would simply be, I think: support for the existence of a secure Jewish state in Palestine. That's my position, and it is as deeply held as it is open to all sorts of arguments about what is best for its security and the interests of the US. I think it should easily be enough to earn one's credentials as a Zionist, as I proudly and passionately remain.

I would make only two points about this. One is small (but actually consequential); the word "Palestine" was invented by the Romans as a deliberate attempt to erase the word "Judea" from the map. So I wouldn't say that Israel is a Jewish home in Palestine; if anything, the future state of Palestine could be called the Arab state in Judea. I know this sounds like a nitpick, but names matter, and chronology matters.

The second, larger point: Zionists generally hold Israel to the same standard they hold every other country. People who don't like Israel very much hold it to a special standard, created for one scapegoated country alone. On this count -- and only this count, so far as I can tell -- Andrew sometimes fails the test. There are times lately when he seems to single out Israel for special excoriation, and times when he holds Israel to a double-standard. By the way, this doesn't make him an anti-Semite, as some marginal figures claim he is. It makes him, if anything, normal. Most of the world holds Israel to a higher standard than it does other countries. Many Jews do, as well. One of our specialties is self-criticism. But even when it comes from Jews, it isn't fair. Context is everything. I'll continue with these profound thoughts on Andrew later on. 

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