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Beinart’s Buddy: Chait’s Rebuttal on

Beinart’s Buddy: Chait’s Rebuttal on

Nothing like the satisfaction of being right. Yesterday, in a blog post, I predicted Peter Beinart’s piece in The New York Review of Books would ignite a much needed debate. And by this morning, dozens of media outlooks were linking to it: here, at Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic blog, on Ezra Klein’s Washington Post blog, and so on.

But the most worthwhile critique came from Beinart’s former colleague at The New Republic, Jonathan Chait. In his blog, Chait generally agreed that liberal Israel supporters are increasingly embattled–in "a pincer campaign," he calls it. Right-wing Israel supporters make "Zionism" look like another name for being a conservative American hawk, while left-wing critics make it seem as if support for Israel is one-in-the-same with right-wingery. Liberals who support Israel — who both call out its flaws and its threats — need a stronger voice, Chait writes. His main beef with Beinart then is that places too much blame on the American Jewish right-wing, and not enough on the left.

(For what it’s worth, I should add that several years ago, I interned at The New Republic when Peter was the editor, and Jonathan a senior writer. I was, and remain, a big admirer of both–though I doubt either would recognize me if they happened to be in a room with me today. No fault of their own; just a fact of intern-hood.)

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