It was one thing when almost all of the initial responses to Peter Beinart’s big essay (reminder: He sat for a Tablet interview) were from supporters. Since then, several “liberal Zionists” have weighed in to differentiate themselves from Beinart’s take. But, with the exceptions of Tablet Magazine contributor David P. Goldman’s take and that (below) of Ross Douthat, where are the genuinely right-wing rebuttals? There has been not so much as a mention of teh essay on the Weekly Standard or National Review sites; there has been not so much as a peep from AIPAC, which Beinart explicitly attacks. (Marty Peretz, another logical combatant, gets a pass because he used to be Beinart’s boss.) What gives? Do these outlets feel they have no persuasive rebuttal to make? Do they want to keep their readers ignorant of the essay? I doubt it is the former; I hope it is not the latter.
• Leapfrogging off of Goldman’s post, Ross Douthat wonders if Zionism was destined to become a less preeminent commitment for American Jews regardless of the behavior of the Israeli government and the American Jewish establishment. [Evaluations]
• Contributing editor Jeffrey Goldberg says of Beinart, “I think his message, flawed and somewhat ahistorical though it is, deserves a hearing.” And boy is he giving it one! Those two have entered Part III of an email dialogue. [Jeffrey Goldberg]
• Jonathan Chait has much sympathy for the piece, but also thinks Beinart’s need to show “tough love” led him to drastically overreach in much of his criticism. [TNR]
• Beinart defends himself. [The Daily Beast]
• Chait responds to the response, arguing that Beinart’s apparent anger is proof positive that these things must be discussed with a calm temperament. [TNR]
• And, last but most certainly not least, Wieseltier weighs in. [TNR]