Jeffrey Goldberg’s Prison

Norman Finkelstein in CounterPunch:

Editors’ Note: In his hatchet job for the New Republic on Mearsheimer and Walt’s new book The Israel Lobby, Jeffrey Goldberg dismisses their depiction of the Israel-Palestine conflict as “simply unrecognizable to anyone halfway fair and halfway learned about the Middle East,” and he recommends instead his own book on the “moral failings of israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.” It happens that Norman Finkelstein, who is more than halfway fair and halfway learned about the Middle East, has plowed through Goldberg’s book. Here is his entirely irrefutable and absolutely devastating report. AC / JSC

Finkelstein_2Jeffrey Goldberg is the recipient of numerous journalism awards and currently writes on the Middle East for The New Yorker magazine. On its surface his book Prisoners: A Muslim & A Jew Across The Middle East Divide interweaves the memoir of an American Jew’s enchantment and subsequent disappointment with Israel, on the one hand, and the reportage of a knowing journalist covering the Israel-Palestine beat, on the other. Its main interest, however, is as a sophisticated work of ideology, one meriting more than passing attention. On a political level it registers the limits of what is currently permissible to acknowledge in enlightened liberal sectors of American Jewry, while on a personal level it registers the limits of what an enlightened believer in the faith can admit to himself. More broadly it signals the eclipse of liberal American Jewry’s love affair with the Jewish state, itself integral of the beginnings of a larger American estrangement from Israel.

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