As I mentioned earlier, in my rejoinder to Andrew Sullivan, who accused me of posting on Rosh Hashanah, in violation of the Torah's ban on blogging during holy days, I've been away from the Internet for a while -- I'm on the road right now in Colorado, enjoying the delightful weather as well as the company of various upstanding Coloradans of all political stripes. But I've had a chance to catch up on various interrelated controversies, including an accusation by the "Big Journalism" site of Breitbart.com that I am a "court Jew" for President Obama, for whom, a Breitbart scribe alleges, I "bend over." (The original headline on the post was tuchus-themed as well: "Jeffrey Goldberg -- Asshole," and though it was later changed to "Jeffrey Goldberg Undermines Israel on 'Meet the Press;" the url remains "http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/09/17/Jeffrey-goldberg-ahole." My feelings are very hurt, but I will survive.)
Here's the Breitbart understanding of my understanding of Middle East politics:
Jeffrey Goldberg, court Jew par excellence, was on Meet the Press Sunday in order to pontificate, Thomas Friedman-style, and bash Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. Goldberg has never made a secret of his undermining of Israel's security. He even supports J Street, the George Soros and Arab-financed organization, participating in conversations about Israel.
First, it is axiomatic that Jews, such as Tom and yours truly, can't pontificate. Second, this is what I told David Gregory on Meet the Press about the Netanyahu controversy -- specifically, Netanyahu's decision to make his criticism of the Obama Administration public -- that made the Breitbart writer so emotional:
Well, there's two issues. One is a legitimate issue, which is this debate over red lines. This is the debate that Obama and Netanyahu should have, a discussion, in private. And that's legitimate for Netanyahu to raise. What's illegitimate, and let me just put this as bluntly as I can, I've been watching the relationship between the U.S. and Israel for 20 years, more than 20 years, very seriously. And I've never seen an Israeli prime minister mismanage the relationship with the United States, with the administration, the way this prime minister has. Obama's not blameless. The first year, the peace process was a disaster. But, you know, one person here is the senior partner, and one is the junior partner. And Netanyahu's turned this into a story about himself and Obama.
The Goldblog in-box was soon filled with invective, from right-wingers who thought I was selling out the Jewish people (these are critics who, in addition to conflating the settlement proejct with Israel itself, also conflate the prime minister of Israel with Israel itself) and from left-wingers who thought I was wrong to suggest that Netanyahu had any right at all to ask President Obama what his "red lines" concerning the Iranian nuclear program might be.
I also received some thoughtful responses, and read some in the media, including one, in Haaretz, from Chemi Shalev who wrote the following: "In the discussion that followed Netanyahu's appearance on Meet the Press, it was instructive to hear Atlantic magazine and Bloomberg blogger Jeffery (sic) Goldberg - whom right wingers consider to be a leftie, left-wingers view as a rightie and most Jews embrace as a voice in the middle - say that 'I have never seen a prime minister who has mismanaged Israeli-US relations like Netanyahu.' And while Goldberg's stature may be light years away from that of the legendary Walter Cronkite, my immediate association was to the oft-told but never-proven account of Lyndon Johnson's reaction to Cronkite's assertion in early 1968 that the Vietnam War was unwinnable: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."