Matt Yglesias is Very Upset


A friend of mine e-mailed me this weekend me to say that I upset Matt Yglesias by nominating him for one of Andrew Sullivan's Yglesias Awards. I had praised Yglesias for recognizing that J Street's conference attracted a certain number of anti-Zionists (or "un-Zionists" in J.J. Goldberg's phrase), and I think Yglesias didn't appreciate such praise by an ultra-Zionist wolf such as myself (and God knows what this post, from Marty Peretz, did to him).

In any case, an answer, of sorts, from Yglesias wasn't long in coming, in the form of this post, attacking me for arguing that Trita Parsi does "leg-work" for the Iranian regime in Washington. I think it's fair to say that Parsi's organization, the National Iranian American Council, functions as a kind of AIPAC for Iran, but this was too much for Yglesias, who calls me shifty and contemptible, etc. etc. All par for the course, including his criticism of me for supporting a war he also initially supported. But then he does something dishonest in his piece, lumping me in with a group of people who support a military strike against Iran:

"Some people, also known as people who know what they're talking about, think an unprovoked US or Israeli preventive military strike on Iran would be a huge gift to the Iranian government and a crushing blow to the opposition. Others, who I hope are liars rather than fools, claim to believe that this is wrong. Parsi is, I know, in the former camp. So it's worth revisiting Jeffrey Goldberg's record as a prognosticator on this sort of question."

Yglesias surely knows that I'm opposed to a military strike on Iran by either the U.S. or Israel for a whole range of reasons. I've been publicly and vocally opposed to a strike for some time. My opposition to military action against Iran can be learned by reading this and this and this, just for starters. I've spoken to Jewish groups inclined to support such an attack and told them why it's a bad idea. I've argued with Israeli cabinet officials about a strike. I suppose that next I could take an ad out on Yglesias's blog trumpeting my opposition to a strike. I'm going to e-mail Yglesias to ask him to acknowledge in his post that I am, in fact, in the Parsi camp(!) when it comes to attacking Iran. It's fine to attack me for things I believe, but this particular bit of criticism by Yglesias is ridiculous.

UPDATE: Yglesias has graciously updated his post to include the previously-mentioned relevant information.