Peter Beinart, columnist at The Daily Beast (Newsweek’s online presence) and author of The Icarus Syndrome and the up-coming The Crisis of Zionism (and, not incidentally, of a cri de couer entitled “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment” that set the American Jewish world on its ear when the New York Review of Books ran it in June 2010, in that it told the truth that no one wanted to talk about) is launching a new group blog, called Zion Square, to be hosted on The Daily Beast.
I’m one of the columnists.
This is very cool. This is very, very cool, and in many ways, is the very thing I’ve been trying to achieve since I started writing op/eds in 2002, post-graduate school.
And I was hardly even talking about it, though it’s been in the works for a month or so, because as an old school reporter, I know that your story isn’t safe until it’s on someone’s doorstep (or, in this case, computer monitor) and why on earth would I want to jinx this? So, you know: Mum = the word!
But Tablet Magazine ran a piece about the project today, and, well – if it’s online, it must be true, right? Here’s what they said:
I’m honestly at a loss to understand just what Israel is trying to achieve these days.
I think the coalition believes itself to be working for a safer Israel, but it’s so painfully obvious that what they’re actually doing is hounding people, literally across the globe, for disagreeing with them, while also turning the clock back on bedrock democratic principles, that I go right back to scratching my head.
Exhibit A: This Wednesday, the Knesset held an inquiry into the allegedly anti-Israel policies of the avowedly pro-Israel American-Jewish organization J Street.
Now, reasonable people may reasonably argue that J Street is wrong-headed. Reasonable people may reasonably say that there are more effective ways to work for peace and security (for Israel and/or the region) than pursuing a two-state solution as facilitated by the American government.
Reasonable people, on the right and left, make this argument all the time, in fact. I happen to disagree with them, but that’s the way the democratic cookie crumbles: People get to say what they think, and disagree with what you think. Yay democracy!
But Israel’s current government appears to have zoomed right past “reasonable” to “bat-guano crazy.”