Around this time last year, Matt Taibbi included a little snippet in his mailbag that stuck with me, and seems especially relevant when talking about Peter Beinart’s new book, The Crisis of Zionism.
Three things I try to avoid talking about publicly: Immigration, the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the CMKM Diamond penny-stock case. The instant you open your mouth about any of those things, you’re fucked, almost no matter what you say.
To wit, Beinart, who has faced a fury of criticism from the right and left and center in the last month or so. Daniel Greenfield thinks The Crisis of Zionism is proof of Beinart’s anti-Zionist, leftist Islamist motives. Mark LeVine, a professor at UC-Irvine, criticized Beinart’s “liberal Zionist fantasy,” accusing him of historical ignorance and naivete regarding the imperialist roots of Zionism. And Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic believes Beinart’s idea to boycott goods and services produced in occupied territories (i.e., the settlements) won’t work and, further, “for historical reasons,” is “pretty unpleasant.”
When it comes to writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as with all hugely divisive topics, it’s likely that you won’t please anyone.
Or as Taibbi put it, you’re fucked. Continue reading