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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Twitter conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg

There was an interesting Twitter discussion today between Israel's deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon and well-known writer Jeffrey Goldberg.

Ayalon had posted a popular YouTube video about the West Bank, and Goldberg wrote an article belittling it. Ayalon and Goldberg then went to Twitter to continue their argument.

It was so popular that no less than two articles have already been written about the thread, each drawing different conclusions.

I jumped in at something Goldberg wrote to Ayalon:

Keeping the WB will bring about the end of Israel as we know it.

The thread after that:

elderofziyon says:
@Goldberg3000 "Keeping the WB will bring about the end of Israel as we know it" This is an all-or-nothing fallacy. http://j.mp/q4FMIq

Goldberg3000 says:
@elderofziyon why?

elderofziyon says:
@Goldberg3000 Read the link. If Israel keeps Area C (for example) and the Pals declare state in A&B then demographic threat gone.

Goldberg3000 says:
@elderofziyon And endless war ensues. If you were Palestinian, would you accept less than 100 percent of West Bank, including land swaps?

elderofziyon says:
@Goldberg3000 If the point is independence, yes. But that isn't the point, is it? Remember Herzog's famous "size of a tablecloth" quote.
@Goldberg3000 And given the importance given to "right of return," why wouldn't endless war ensue even with 100%?

Goldberg3000 says:
@elderofziyon It very well might. I've never said there are great options on the table

elderofziyon says:
@Goldberg3000 Thanks.. Which is why to my mind the pressure should be on compromise so Israel has security and Pals have a state.

Goldberg3000 says:
@elderofziyon I believe, however, that Israel will become a pariah if the Palestinians aren't granted statehood, or the vote in Israel.

elderofziyon says:
@Goldberg3000 That is an issue, but one that probably can't be discussed effectively here. Goodwill towards Israel usually lasts a month.
I left it at that, for now.

Meanwhile, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe jumped in:

Jeff_Jacoby:
@Goldberg3000 @elderofziyon And after Pal statehood or voting rights, there'll be 6 new demands Israel must fulfill or "become a pariah."
@Goldberg3000 @elderofziyon Left-wing Zionism would be healthier if it weren't so hungry for the goodwill of Israel's foes & critics.

Goldberg3000:
@Jeff_Jacoby @elderofziyon Why do you instantly assume left-wing Zionists are left-wing because they seek approval from Israel's enemies?

Jeff_Jacoby:
@Goldberg3000 @elderofziyon I assume nothing. But left-wing Zionists do evince a strange need to win their (non-Jewish) enemies' approval.

Goldberg3000:
Examples, please.


That thread is continuing as I write this, but it is not an avenue that I think is too fruitful. The fear of Israel becoming a pariah state is an important topic, though, and one that I would like to treat fairly - which means, not on Twitter.

As soon as I find the time.