Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As you can see I've been writing quite a bit of late about the intertwined matters of the Israeli election, the Netanyahu-Boehner speech to Congress and related matters. After some early signs that Prime Minister Netanyahu might finally meet his political undoing, it now looks considerably more likely that we will see a fourth Netanyahu government after the March elections, albeit likely with a narrower and more right-leaning coalition. Still, the story is not yet fully told.

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There's another thread to the politics of moral histrionism, which I mentioned in my earlier post, which I want to take up. I read the Israeli press as closely as I can. And yesterday morning I was browsing the Times of Israel, an English language site, and found this article by Jeffrey Herf, a historian at the University of Maryland. (They have what I think is basically an open blogging forum, where individuals are selected to be able post but after that post at will without editorial vetting. They got in trouble when a contributor posted a column titled "When Genocide is Permissible" (removed after the fact) during the Gaza War. In any case, this is not meant as a criticism of the publication. We once had a similar set up.) The somewhat grand title of Herf's article is "Menendez and the Demise of Liberalism." And it caught my eye both because of the title and because it spurred a comic echo of memories from more than a decade ago.

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Well, we have the numbers. And Americans overwhelmingly oppose the Netanyahu speech stunt - 63% to 36%. More notably Democrats and to a lesser extent Independents oppose it by huge margins. Only Republicans supporting it by the narrowest of margins (52% to 45%) even makes it that close. Clearly this is a great moment for bipartisan support for the US-Israel alliance.

There's been a chorus of derision and criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu's call for a mass exodus of Europe's Jews to Israel in response to a wave of recent attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions in Western Europe. One comes from Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association, who expressed regret that "after every anti-Semitic attack in Europe, the Israeli government issues the same statements about the importance of aliyah [immigration to Israel], rather than employ every diplomatic and informational means at its disposal to strengthen the safety of Jewish life in Europe. Every such Israeli campaign severely weakens and damages the Jewish communities that have the right to live securely wherever they are."

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