Andrew Sullivan gets Jeffrey Goldberg to basically quit blogging about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For that, we can give Andrew a hearty round of applause. Goldberg’s level of thinking is such that he can follow a sentence like “All that happens today flows from the original Arab decision to reject totally the idea that Jews are deserving of a state in part of their historic homeland” with a sentence like “I dont know why Andrew refuses to admit that Middle East history is complicated.” Yes, the measure of complexity is saying it’s all the Arabs’ fault and every aspect of the conflict today — covering, presumably, both Hamas’ takeover of Gaza and Salam Fayyad’s West Bank statebuilding — traces inexorably backward to a foolish decision taken by the Arab World in 1947. Now that’s a supple thinker who follows the facts where they lead him, much as they once led him from a Kurdish torture chamber to a fictitious collaboration between Usama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
So on this day we in the Shtetl give thanks for Andrew Sullivan, a true friend of Israel, the Jewish people and intellectual curiosity and development. If he had only kept acknowledging the Palestinian suffering, dayenu! If he had only kept encouraging the Israelis to live up to their proudest traditions, dayenu! If he had only kept rejecting the fearful and hysterical and restrictive presentation of the conflict pushed by the same discredited malefactors who promote torture and endless war, dayenu!
Update, 10:13 p.m.: Hm, maybe my read of Goldberg’s post was too wishful itself. I took his fourth graf to mean he was taking a break from Israel-Palestine blogging — and his update suggests a wholesale reduction of output — but perhaps he just meant that he was backing away from arguing with Andrew. Either way, less-Goldberg is better-Goldberg.