Philip Weiss, king of the non-sequitur


I appeared the other day on NPR’s All Things Considered, hosted by the venerable Robert Siegel.

We discussed the fallout among Jews over differences on Israel policy between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At Mondoweiss, Phil Weiss is upset:

Now here is Robert Siegel and Ron Kampeas of JTA talking about the same issue on NPR the other day. Note that Kampeas, who is a settler in occupied East Jerusalem, owns property there, is halfway honest about the money issue. But Siegel immediately makes it about voters. This is a lie, and Siegel knows it. Jewish voters can swing one state maybe, Florida. As the Wall Street Journal noted the other day, this is about money…

First, Florida ain’t bupkiss. (Maybe Weiss, who says he did "a lot of weird stuff in the ’70s" slept through 2000 as a delayed aftereffect.) Then, there’s also Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada …

Second, the two issues are not discrete. Jewish donors like to think — for the most part, I’ve found, although not in every case — that they are reflecting the Jewish will. This is why it was so important last election cycle for the Republican Jewish Coalition to argue — and to pay lots of money for pollsters to come up with evidence — that not just Jewish donors but Jewish voters swung to a degree away from the Dems. 

But third…

Here in the writing biz, we  — at least those of us out of middle school — try to construct sentences where clauses flow into one another, where one thought reinforces the subsequent thought. "Biff Von Radiccio, known from his Yale days for having perfected the upperclassman sneer, tugged his lips back ever so slightly but meaningfully." "Larissa Belcher, trained at Julliard as a mezzosoprano, runs through arpeggios each afternoon before calling out the races at Boca Hound Heaven."

Phil and some of his pals have something of a jones about the apartment I own in East Talpiot, but this does not sufficiently explain the above sentence. East Talpiot, as I’ve noted, was a no man’s land pre-1967. Would I be more honest if I owned an apartment in Ramot? Would I be a pillar of rectitude if I had a place in Hebron?

I’m not sure I get it … or maybe it’s just another ’70s aftereffect.

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