Big Rock Candy Mountain

The official voice of the Deseret Liberation Organization

Michelle Goldberg still alive, writing

The Liberal Agitprop has been without Michelle Goldberg’s blog at the Huffington Post for nearly a year, though its college-student ranks have been able to read her more easily, as Kingdom Coming is now in paperback. Naturally I was shocked to see this article in The Guardian. A cutie:

The failure of the war in Iraq and the attendant discrediting of neoconservatism has opened up new space in the American conversation. With the American right dejected and weakened, there’s less pressure on the press to display the kind of boorish one-sidedness that self-congratulatory conservatives like to call “moral clarity“. Israel’s disproportionate retaliation in Gaza is increasingly recognised as both brutal and, in all likelihood, ultimately futile. In destroying Gaza, Israel is also destroying the American taboo that has ensured the country such unstintingly favourable media coverage.

I see this as a great thing. One of the most annoying taboos in American dialogue is finally being destroyed by reality. People are beginning to see that you can support Israel while still having grave concerns over its policies. People are realizing that not all people who speak of IDF war crimes are leftists or cryptofascists. J Street is certainly a sign of the changes, and I hope the Obama administration can seize this zeitgeist to finally bring peace to the Holy Land.

No doubt, some of Israel’s most aggressive partisans are going to be alarmed by this sudden shift in the American discourse. They’re used to dismissing the world’s criticism of Israel as the mutterings of antisemites and bien-pensant third-worldists. The US has been a cocoon that protects Israel and its advocates from facing harsh judgments. But Israel has been ill served by America’s endless indulgence. What is happening in Gaza endangers, first and foremost, the benighted people who live there and who are dying by the hundreds. It also endangers Israel itself, pushing already elusive prospects for peace ever more out of reach.

An American media that turned a blind eye to Israeli expansionism and human rights abuses ultimately made the Jewish state less, not more, secure. Without the US putting pressure on Israel to dismantle the settlements and loosen the blockade in Gaza, leaders there had neither the incentive nor the political cover to do so. Now that the American press is displaying a bit of courage in facing an unfolding catastrophe abetted by American leadership, perhaps our politicians will have room to do the same.


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