When bloggers attack: Weiss’s war

When bloggers attack: Weiss’s war

In a fit of either bad judgment or masochism, I shared my previous posting on Joe Biden with Phil Weiss, the anti-Israel blogger whom Meretz USA and Ameinu dialogued with last year. Not surprisingly, he lashed out at the posting and lambasted Biden for basically being pro-Israel.

My point was that Biden’s views on Israel are more complex than I had realized, that he’s both sympathetic to Israel (even declaring himself a “Zionist”) and critical on the settlements issue. We at Meretz USA are probably both more knowledgeable and a little more critical than Biden is regarding Israel, but his mixture of concerned criticism and warm existential support is close to where we are at as progressive Zionists.

All that Phil and most of his commenting readers would focus on is Biden’s support for Israel – which to them is a bad thing. Phil and some of his readers point out that most of the JTA link is about Biden’s warmth toward Israel. They glide over those sections that highlight Biden’s differences with some Israeli policies:

Biden has been especially sharp in criticizing the United States and Israel in their failure to support Mahmoud Abbas in 2003, when he was the Palestinian
Authority prime minister attempting to establish a power base to challenge then-President Yasser Arafat. …

“I’ve had my shouting matches over 25 years, privately, in my office and in the offices of prime ministers,” Biden said in a March 2007 interview with the Forward. “I’ve had disagreements. Israel’s a democracy and they make mistakes.

Biden is correct that the conflict is about wrong doing and wrong-headedness on both sides. He is also right that Israel/Palestine and Iraq are totally distinct issues, that if peace suddenly broke out between Israel and all the Arabs that this would have no impact on Iraq. But we at Meretz USA believe that Israel needs to strive harder, more realistically and more justly toward the Palestinians in a sincere quest for peace.

I don’t know if Phil believes in peace in the Middle East. He clearly does not believe in peace with me or with these terrible people he calls “progressive Zionists.”

Since, to my understanding, he’s busy writing a book that’s likely to attack us as thoroughly as he can, it’s apparently in his interest to regard us as enemies. This is sad and a disservice to truth.

By | 2008-08-28T21:55:00-04:00 August 28th, 2008|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. LanceThruster August 28, 2008 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    I had someone point out at another blog that Biden’s “I am a Zionist” comment is as innocuous JFK’s “I am a Berliner” (or “jelly donut” if you prefer).

    I wish that were the case but I trust Phil when he says that condemning human rights abuses should be unequivocal rather than a nebulous, “nobody’s perfect.”

    What would be the reaction if somebody said in the day, “I am a white South African supremacist?”

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