The Follies and Illusions of Peter Beinart

The fact that the Israeli ambassador felt the need to answer an op-ed shows the importance Beinart’s article has for mobilizing Israel’s enemies here in the United States. Fortunately, even his Daily Beast colleague David Frum saw fit to challenge Beinart as well. Frum wrote,

The solution Peter offers to this dilemma [is to] punish Israelis in order to change the Palestinians. It's not a very good plan. If the Israeli-Palestinian dispute were a dispute over borders, it would have been settled long ago. The dispute never has been about borders, and it is not about borders now. The spread of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is not a cause of Palestinian rejectionism. It is a consequence of Palestinian rejectionism.

Frum, who challenges Beinart as a friend whom he says he likes, thinks that Beinart knows the history of Arab rejectionism of Israeli peace offers as well as he does. I doubt that is true. If it were, Beinart could not write what he does. Or if he once knew it, he has conveniently forgot the past, since looking at it honestly would force him to reevaluate his current position. And in his last sentence, Frum accuses Beinart of actually joining in a new version of the old left-wing Popular Front; i.e., joining with “illiberal radicals” who will quickly use a naïve liberal to attain their own revolutionary ends. The problem, of course, is that Beinart is not a naïve liberal. Indeed, when he wrote his first liberal hawk manifesto in the pages of The New Republic, he put himself in the line of those hardline Cold War liberals who broke with the Communists and fought the Popular Front.

So, others today have joined in blasting Beinart. The authors who should be singled out, and whose writings and observations on Beinart should be passed along to everyone you know, include the following.