3) Another great book I want to recommend to you is Jonathan Sarna's "When General Grant Expelled the Jews," which is the subject of an admiring Janet Maslin review today in the Times. Sarna's subject is the infamous document called General Orders Number 11, which mandated the expulsion of Jews from territory captured by Grant's army during the Civil War. Maslin quotes one of many great passages:
The reaction (to the Order) of one Jewish merchant in Paducah, Cesar Kaskel, touched off a firestorm. He took off on what Mr. Sarna calls a "Paul Revere-like ride to Washington." He alerted and roused the press. And he managed, through a congressman, to gain access to Lincoln, who "turned out to have no knowledge whatsoever of the order, for it had not reached Washington." Here is an excerpt from the overblown conversation Kaskel claimed to have had with Lincoln:
Lincoln: "And so the children of Israel were driven from the happy land of Canaan?"
Kaskel: "Yes, and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham's bosom, asking protection."
Lincoln: "And this protection they shall have at once."
4) I would like to draw your attention to this Haaretz piece, in which Ari Shavit schools Roger Cohen on how to be a journalist.
5) Daniel Levy, in a pro-settlement-boycott article for the Atlantic.com, writes:
Four themes of argumentation are wielded against a settlement boycott. Let's call them the four H's: Holocaust, Happy Arabs, Hamas, and Hunker-down effect. The first three fall at the merest whiff of intellectual scrutiny. The first H was deployed, for example, by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg on twitter: "anti-Jewish boycotts? I know where this ends.". But, as Goldberg himself asked President Obama in his recent interview, "Is it possible that the prime minister of Israel has over-learned the lessons of the Holocaust?"
Always nice to find out on the Atlantic website that I've failed the intellectual scrutiny whiff-test. Of course, I never mentioned the Holocaust in this tweet, and I wasn't thinking about the Holocaust. Levy surely knows that the history of economic boycotts directed against Jews is not limited merely to the Nazi period. So where does a partial Jewish boycott (i.e. the boycott of products made over the Green Line) end? It ends, like many boycotts of Jews end, in the establishment of Jews as a pariah class. This is bad enough. I don't know why Levy has to bring up the Holocaust. Obviously, a boycott of Israel, even a total boycott of Israel, doesn't end in a Second Holocaust. How could it?
And as a bonus, Levy shamelessly mischaracterizes my interview with President Obama. Yes, I asked the President, "Is it possible that the prime minister of Israel has over-learned the lessons of the Holocaust?" But I was asking this question in reference to Iran, not to the settlement boycott. I'm sure Levy knows this, having read the interview, which was about only one thing. So, here's Levy's neat trick: First, he accuses me of invoking the Holocaust in the matter of the settlement boycott when I didn't invoke the Holocaust. Then he presents "proof" that even I think that a settlement boycott is not analogous to the Holocaust because I asked President Obama about the Holocaust. Of course, Levy could have called me, or e-mailed me, to ask me what I meant, but he didn't. Nor did his Atlantic editor apparently suggest that he do so, either.