Sullivan vs Netanyahu on Wikileaks

The Prime Minister:

is it [sic] customary for there to be an information gap between what is said publicly to what is said privately. When it comes to Israel, the gap isn’t too big. As far as other countries are concerned, the gaps are very very big. We shall wait and see.


Exposing the U.S.-Israel relationship?

The latest Wikileaks bombshell is a bundle of diplomatic cables and documents that could allegedly make headlines

Washington has warned its ally Israel of potential embarrassment from the expected release of US diplomatic cables on whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, an Israeli newspaper said on Thursday. A senior Israeli official, quoted in Haaretz, said it has been informed that WikiLeaks plans to release hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, some of which could include confidential reports from the US embassy in Tel Aviv. “The Americans said they view the leak very seriously,” he told the paper, on condition of anonymity. “They don’t know when they will be released on the Internet and what exactly they say, but they didn’t want us to read about it in the newspapers,” the Israeli official said.

Which is the same story for all the other countries but Andrew’s …. er, focus should take a while to broaden.



Assange in a Time interview

There is simply too much volume for us to even be able to see. But looking at what we can, I can see that there is a tremendous rearrangement of viewings about many different countries. And so that will result in some new kind of harmonization [variant: harm minimization]. And we can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can.
If we are thinking about the same Netanyahu quote, then I Netanyahu wasn’t making a normative judgment as I can see.
He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran. I just noticed today Iran has agreed to nuclear talks. Maybe that’s coincidence or maybe it’s coming out of this process, but it’s certainly not being canceled by this process.


How serious is The Atlantic about antisemitism?

Atlantic boss James Bennet tweets:

Just called Goldberg a girl. Now I need to call Abe Foxman and apologize.

I may be missing some context here.  If, however, this is just an off-hand joke by Bennet, it doesn’t inspire confidence in his ability to weigh the seriousness of his magazine’s giving antisemites encouragement against the increased web hits he’ll get from curious Jews and socially conscious gentiles.

Jeffrey Goldberg looks like he’s step&fetchiting around Bennet’s dumb remark — it’s slightly embarrassing:

I think he meant “grrrrl.” Bennet has also referred to me as “Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS,” which I kind of like, though officially, I am offended, offended, offended! You know, one day, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman is going to retire, and then who will be ready to accept apologies from national figures who use the word “Nazi” inappropriately? It’s a vitally important role to play, unless of course people stop apologizing to the ADL for calling other people Nazis and actually just start apologizing to the people they’ve actually called Nazis for calling them Nazis. In any case, I want to put my name forward as the future recipient of all Nazi-related apologies. I will be dispensing absolution for these sins for free, though Yankees tickets would of course be welcome.

His blog has made a long-standing joke out of pseudo-ass-kissing his employer, but I always wondered whether the jokes were ironic in the same way as Facebook photo albums of some party scene where your acquaintances strike poses of scenesters. In other words, not so ironic underneath.

Foxman has become a target of people who believe that many accusations of antisemitism are trivial and paranoid. Andrew Sullivan even enjoyed insulting Foxman before his pre-conflate-Israel-with-neocons-and-slam-write-propogandistically-against-it-whenever-possible-in-irrational-fear-of-irrational-Muslims.

I have a different approach: When Foxman has gone too far in my eyes, I simply recognize that Foxman has gone too far in my eyes. So far, the target of his criticism can effectively argue against Foxman’s view and his reputation doesn’t suffer. For example, I don’t think Kathie Lee Gifford’s odd on-air comments about her producer’s ethnicity caused her to lose her show, after Foxman oddly weighed in on them.

It’s obvious that Foxman and his organization want to err on the side of more-wary-than-necessary, rather than letting potential antisemitism off the hook.

Somehow, he has become a common target of mockery and villification by people, Jews and Gentiles both, who profess that, in principle, society has to remain wary of antisemitism. Perhaps Foxman has become a symbol for the sense that gentiles should wear the “yoke of antisemitism” after the grievous damage antisemitism has caused the Jewish people, when many non-Jews did not commit antisemitic acts but did not stand in opposition to them either.

However, a “yoke” of responsibility is something I don’t think non-Jews should feel more than every person should feel from anti-Armenianism, anti-Kurdism, racism, etc.