APN, Commentary, that star in the east-UPDATE


How often are Americans for Peace Now and Commentary’s "Contentions" crowd on the same (virtual) page?

Noam Shelef, on APN’s blog, and Max Boot at Commentary come to the same conclusion about Gen. David Petraeus’ analysis of the role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in carrying out his mission directing U.S. Central Command (which covers the Middle East):

It’s been overblown.

Noam takes on the ADL, and Boot takes on Media Matters; each organization has argued that Petraeus’ testimony in the Senate this week cast the conflict as a central, dangerous obstruction to U.S. interests in the region. Of course, each group had vastly different reasons for doing so: The ADL wants to bury that notion, while Media Matters has become its evangelist. (Here’s our brief on the ADL’s statement, here’s the ADL statement,  here’s Media Matters, and here’s our original brief on Petraeus’ testimony. And here’s his testimony, 56 pages in PDF.)

Not so fast, say inadvertent buddies Noam and Max. Here’s Noam:

[Petraeus] didn’t say that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would solve all the problems of the region. It’s not a silver bullet. He simply said that it’s one in a series of items that influence the strategic environment in which America operates in the Middle East and South Asia.

And here’s Boot:

[Petraeus] didn’t say that all settlements had to be stopped or that Israel is to blame for the lack of progress in negotiations. And he definitely didn’t say that the administration should engineer a crisis in Israeli-U.S. relations in order to end the construction of new housing for Jews in East Jerusalem. In fact, his view, as I mentioned in my earlier post, is that settlements are only “one of many issues, among which also is the unwillingness to recognize Israel and the unwillingness to confront the extremists who threaten Israelis.”

UPDATE: The redoubtable Andrew Silow Carrol of the New Jersey Jewish News points me (in comments) to his own dismantling of the ADL release:

Instead of criticizing Petraeus for telling the truth, the ADL should have applauded  him for correctly prioritizing America’s (and Israel’s) challenges: militant Islam, support for terrorism, and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

And maybe Andrew Sullivan can start a new "Sully Award" for most disingenuous cut-to-the-jump for a blog post. He posts ADL’s statement, he posts Matthew Yglesias’ curiosity (which I share) about how neoconservatives will react to the ADL release, and then as if by answer he posts this single line on his blog page:

By glossing over it. Max Boot:

And then, only if you bother to jump, you read Max’s argument which a) is well reasoned b) hardly a "gloss" and c) has nothing to say about the ADL release — because it was released after Max posted his comment.

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