Peter Beinart hopes to convince mainstream American Jews that Israel is primarily to blame for the impasse in the peace process, and he calls on the Jewish community to boycott the settlements. And with allies like Andrew Sullivan, how can he fail?
Andrew, who consistently grants the regime in Iran the benefit of the doubt on the nuclear issue while simultaneously assuming the worst about Israel's government, has posted a long attack on me, which is nothing new, but usually he keeps himself informed about what I've written before he attacks. Not so this time. Here, Andrew, you should probably read this, and then revise accordingly.
What happens is this: When I get new information, I revisit my analysis. So, on the issue of whether Israel is bluffing or not about a preemptive strike, I try to conduct interviews, both in Israel and in Washington, to in order to understand the nature of the Israeli position. Right now, I take the same position as Leon Panetta, which is that Israel isn't bluffing. If I get information to suggest that I am wrong, I'll write about it.
Andrew, however, seems impervious to the influence of new information. Also, he's more and more incapable of expressing nuanced understanding of Middle East politics, and he's oblivious to the existence of anti-Semitism. (Peter's book, alas, downplays the global hate campaign directed against Israel and Jews as well). All I can suggest to Peter is that he needs to find more allies who are not widely considered to be irrationally hostile to Israel. What he doesn't need is people who fly into rages about Israel and its dark manipulation of world politics.