Making Friends, Making Enemies

Andrew Sullivan’s response to Wieseltier is here (It’s already old news; the world has moved on.) I haven’t read it all through, partially because I’m not getting paid by anyone to read and write, unlike the folks at the heart of this dispute. That I can find time to read or write anything amazes me to no end.

Andrew is punching with big fluffy gloves on this time. The vitriol is gone. It’s time to make amends, if they can be made. The rest is commentary. But, like I said, it’s yesterday’s news.

Their tiff reminds me so much of what happens whenever Israel is at the center of some public dispute. Like a global civil war, it tears friendships and families apart. There are people who no longer speak to me on account of my views on the Israeli-Arab conflict (perhaps they weren’t friends to begin with, one must conclude), and I’ve even been called a “Nazi”. Which is exactly what happened to Jeffrey Goldberg the other day, only he was called a “Goebbels” – but by a Zionist! Which goes to show you can’t please all the people all the time.

I wish only to point out that, for whatever reason, passions run amok when Israel is in the question. I don’t think even religion (the other half of the Sullivan-Wieseltier debate) comes close to being this volatile. It makes me wonder what stake most people have in this debate, myself included. Or is it just an overgrown meme gone crazy?

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