7 thoughts on “Why We Need a Liberal Israel Lobby

  1. It’s interesting to me how Mearsheimer and Walt have become the “conspiracy theorists” against whom everyone has to define themselves to be taken seriously. I read “The Israel Lobby” and found it to be laborious and academic, but balanced and devoid of conspiracy theories. Watching these people, I have little hope for the future of American Jewish Liberalism. Gutow’s “nothing here to see” approach was particularly obnoxious. Oy vey zmir!

  2. Did Gutow have a “nothing here to see” approach in this talk?
    Was he not saying that groups like J Street are very important to a vibrant discussion in the US Jewish community….but Mr. Ben-Ami (or Mr. KFJ for that matter) might be wiser to advocate strongly for their political position on its merits…instead of beginning every conversation with something like “those who don’t agree with me are mindless zombies, following the tribal beat of the organized community”….or “mine is the only realistic position,” etc?

  3. I do not envy Mr. Ben Ami’s position and you’re probably correct in your criticism of his approach. Nevertheless, to begin to approximate a vibrant discussion in the US Jewish community, it must first be admitted that in the current political climate such discussion it not possible. One can debate the history of how we got here, but as an empirical fact, the public discourse among American Jews regarding Israel is stifled and restricted. One need only compare the range of political views represented in the Israeli press to those in the American Jewish press, to understand just how restricted the discussion is. Can you imagine the Forward running an article like Ha’aretz just did carrying the testimonies of IDF soldiers who partook in Cast Lead? This is why, Gutow’s “nothing here to see” approach is offensive. Because he would have us believe that there is no problem. That there are no institutional pressures restricting discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s shameful apologetics.

  4. I’ll have to take your word for it, as I don’t pay so much attention to the American Jewish press.

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