Thursday, July 22, 2010

The problem with judging a blog by its commenters

By Stephen M. Walt

".....Why do they use such ugly tactics? The answer is simple: the case they are defending is so weak that they cannot rely on facts, logic, and claims of justice to win the day. To be perfectly clear, I am not talking about the case for Israel's existence inside its pre-1967 borders, which I wholeheartedly support. Rather, I am talking about the case for defending many of Israel's policies, including its actions in the Occupied Territories, and its recent wars against Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008-2009). I am talking about the case for giving Israel unconditional and uncritical backing no matter what it does, which is not in either America's or Israel's interest. Those cases cannot stand up to scrutiny, which is why Smith and Goldberg have to rely on name-calling and character assassination instead of facts, logic, and rational discussion.

One final point is in order about the lobby's efforts to marginalize individuals who criticize Israel. Smith's attack is obviously designed to try to convince the people who run Foreign Policy to drop me from its site. Why else would Smith make a pointed reference to the "owners of the Washington Post" and to the "advertising staff" there?...."

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