Why Jeffrey Goldberg is easy for The Dish to use and abuse

Because he prioritizes writing post like this, entitled  “General Petraeus Was Right,” in which Goldberg implies that Petraeus’ remarks about the Israel-Palestinian conflict were controversial once the blogosphere settled down and acknowledged that Petraeus was only rehashing an obvious assessment of moderate Arab governments that is broadly accepted among American Jews. The post itself doesn’t bother me much. What bothers me is that today he wrote to belatedly remind us that “General Petraeus Was Right” without writing at least one post examining whether the Israelis have in fact conceded to a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem.

Trying to shore up his oft-disputed leftish credentials only gets Goldblog quoted to its author’s dismay. He then overreacts in the opposite direction, with a reply that most American conservatives could support, and subsequently he gets accused of being a crypto-neocon. Then Goldberg complains how stressed it gets him that he’s in the middle of different viewpoints on the conflict and the world won’t accept him there.

Kadima is now accusing Netanyahu of going through with the freeze the Americans wanted and pretending he didn’t to his own people. Seems like a big deal. Goldberg has nothing to say about it, with all the accusations of intransigence that have been thrown around lately, including by one prominent colleague at The Atlantic. Not even, “I’m still thinking about it, making phone calls, trying to figure out what may be happening.”

Sullivan has called him “a joke, mostly.” Of course, that was a cruel and pretty content-less put-down, unless you factor in that Sullivan often accuses Goldberg of putting up a pro-peace front while sharing the “neocon line” on Israel. Sullivan just as often quotes Goldblog’s criticisms of Israeli policy in order to say, “See, I must be right. Even this neoconish dude thinks Israel is doing wrong. (In fact, I’ll make him look more extreme by nominating him for a Yglessias award).”

I hope I’m being kinder and more constructive than Andrew when I say that Goldberg is a valuable thinker playing the same joke on himself over and over.


One Response

  1. […] hasn’t really come to that conclusion. This is the start of how he painfully positions himself, by cuing different sides to come at him with abuse, in the […]

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