Writing about Israel

I would like to take a moment to point my readers to two of the most reliable sources on Israel that I’ve discovered during my many years of blogging about Israel. There are many, many people who I read, and I approach the issues from many angles, even though (as everyone knows) I am a Zionist. I require information from all sides to make up my mind, though, and I am open to being convinced otherwise, except where the important issues of Israel’s existence are concerned.

It turns out that the two people whose judgements and opinions I trust the most are Barry Rubin and Yaacov Lozowick, who are both Israelis. What I like most about Yaacov is that he has come to his opinions in the center after having been much further to the left, and he challenges me to remember my lefty roots. What I like about Barry is that he states, plainly and in a factual manner, the truth behind the issues that the media and government ignore.

There are many other people whose work I read. But these two men write the kind of information that I agree with and try to get out to my readers. Yaacov and Barry are historians, and it shows in their informative blog posts and columns (and excellent books). They’re not pulling facts out of the air; they have solid evidence backing up their statements. As far as I know, neither of them has ever written for World News Daily. I consider that a good thing.

On a similar subject, I also read Jeffrey Goldberg, but not for the same reasons as above. I don’t dismiss him out of hand the way so many do. He has many valid points. I don’t agree with him on a number of issues (Netanyahu immediately comes to mind), but I know that he, too, has Israel’s best interests at heart—even when he’s wrong. He has a point of view that is valuable to me, because even when I completely disagree with it, it still makes me think about that particular side. I don’t see the need to vilify Goldberg. By all means, call him out when he’s wrong. But the current campaign against him is despicable. Jeffrey Goldberg is a friend of Israel. The mouth-breathers calling him all kinds of Nazi epithets need a swift kick in the ass. He is not in any way in the Tom Friedman camp, and doesn’t deserve to be put there. But then, that’s the intertubes. When you don’t have to face the person you are insulting, it becomes a whole lot easier to do. Been there, done that, got the Master of Juvenile Scorn™ for it.

You don’t have to agree with someone to read him for valuable insight. Or to think that he’s being treated unfairly.

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One Response to Writing about Israel

  1. Soccerdad says:

    I would agree, though not totally.

    Goldberg for now believes that Israel has a moral case; Friedman does not. Friedman is clearly anti-Israel.

    Goldberg will fight media bias, but he DOES have the unfortunate habit of feeding the biases that he agrees with: Settlements are the root of all evil; Bibi is a hard liner.

    That all came together after Bibi’s speech in which he cast his lot with Friedman, and Roger Cohen and the NYTimes editorial page. It’s getting harder to categorize him as pro-Israel with serious faults and easier to describe him as anti-Israel with significant virtues.

    What I don’t get is how someone as serious as Goldberg doesn’t ask himself “Would the conflict be over if Tzippi Livni had formed the government in 2009 instead of Bibi?” I think that 2000 answered that question (negatively.) But once you have that answer bashing Bibi and settlements is gratuitous.

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