Economist editor questions the morality of American Jews who support Israel

The Economist published a column in the magazine’s Democracy in America blog criticizing a colleague who wrote a post criticising the one-state solution advocacy of US campus BDS movement.  The column (Tribal Loyalties, May 15) was written by “M.S.”, almost certainly deputy editor Matt Steinglass.  


Though Steinglass agrees that “the one-state solution is hopelessly implausible”, he believes that the two-state solution is also increasingly “fantastical”.

After 20 years of negotiations, political support for a plausible peace deal has evaporated on both sides. Israelis continue every year to add more settlers to the hundreds of thousands already living on the West Bank, rendering any potential Palestinian state in this territory geographically non-viable. The Palestinians, meanwhile, still cling to their demand for a “right of return” of the 1948 refugees to Israel proper. The political realities and demographic trends (as both sides’ religious extremists out-recruit and out-breed their moderates) grow worse every year, not better.

Steinglass later asks if Americans can continue to “support a Jewish state that rules over a conquered people and denies them the rights of citizens, permanently?”

His answer:

The answer is: yes, of course. In any conflict, when the possibility of a neutral peace breaks down, everyone is forced by rational self-interest to side with their own. It is senseless (and dangerous) to be the last person arguing for compromise and dialogue when the knives are out and blood is in the streets. As the peace process melts away, Americans will side with the faction they identify with. Certainly, Jewish Americans will find ways to defer moral compunctions and continue to support the Jewish state. For many, it is a matter of solidarity with Israeli family and friends. Some have ties to the secular, non-militaristic part of Israeli society, which they consider innocent of the occupation. Others agree with various versions of the religious-nationalist ideologies that lie behind the settler movement.

So, for Steinglass, it’s inconceivable that Jewish Americans who support Israel are acting out of moral principle in defending a progressive democracy under siege by reactionary terrorist movements and struggling to solve a complex territorial dispute stemming from decades of Arab aggression and terror. Rather, Jews who defend the world’s only Jewish state, it seems, are necessarily putting moral concerns aside, and acting out of obtuse tribal or familial loyalties. 

Steinglass (aka, M.S.) has a history of analyzing the moral behavior of Jews.  

As some may recall, Steinglass (M.S.) was the author of the odious “Auschwitz Complex” article in 2012. Though The Economist later revised the headline (and apologised to readers), the article itself was no less offensive in its attempt to psycho-analyze Jewish Israeli behavior. He argued that Israel was paranoid and guilty about refusing to give up their West Bank ‘empire’, and so developed a defence mechanism to protect themselves from their suffocating guilt. Israelis, argued Steinglass, have “psychologically displaced the source of their anxiety onto a more distant target: Iran.” This, The Economist author concluded, fits “into a familiar ideological trope from the Jewish national playbook: the eliminationist anti-Semite.”  

Steinglass further accused Netanyahu of adopting a “ghetto mentality”.

Of course, it never occurred to the ‘sophisticated’ Economist editor that Israeli fears over an Islamist regime committed to its destruction are sincere and quite rational, just as he’s unable to conceive of an American Jewish community whose solidarity with Israel is based on moral considerations.

Though The Economist fancies itself a centrist publication, Steinglass’s appalling imperiousness in judging Jewish behavior, as with his incredulity in the face of those who don’t accept the Palestinian narrative, represents further evidence of the British magazine’s slouch towards the Guardian’s view of the conflict.

29 replies »

    • Hmmmm… The Economist = Lefty Rag.

      Let’s think about that. Not the Environmentalist. Not the Humanitarian. Not the Peace Seeking Hippie.

      But the Economist. Equals Lefty Rag. Interesting.

        • Really, Leah, you and the others have got me thinking. If I’m going to show off my Lefty Raggedyness, I’m going to first incorporate myself, and then I’m going to choose the term Economy as the inspiration to unhinge myself upon others. Unknowingly, of course.

          Because that’s how Lefties work.

          You’re on this like white on rice, Toots.

            • No change there, says the one who blames all things on the same ragtag group of Lefitsts as she always does, much like how those Palestinians always seem to blame everything on the Jews and Israel. NBC news are lefties! The Economist is liberal rag! The bottom line, boobie, is you sound a lot like them. And who are they? Dictatorships. War mongers. Hate mongers. And whackadoodles. As often as you want to insist that all of these guys are really Leftists, some ignorant, smug, git (huh?) is going to point out how hypocritical and (dare I say I suggest) batshit you really are.

              But you know all this. It’s the same cycle oft repeated. Now you go and be smart!

              • “the one who blames all things on the same ragtag group of Lefitsts” – I do not and never have done, you sad, reading comprehension-challenged pillock.

                • Uhhh…. Well…. The first message? When you took the words of the Economist and attributed to Lefties? Uhh….. I k now you’re into your reading and stuff, because you’re so fucking smart and stuff, but all my posts, are directly connected to your moronic breakdown.

                  Wow. I mean, if you want to insult people and insinuate how smart you are, MAYBE FIGURE WHAT AND WHY THEY’RE SAYING BEFORE OPENING THAT SAD FLAP-TRAP OF YOURS?

                  Just a thought, Pookie. You know, you can always shut the fuck up. No one is forcing you. Maybe think about that?

                  • koufaxmitzfah,

                    I don’t think anyone is saying that. Everyone is aware of the extreme right’s history of anti-Semitism. But the progressive left’s distancing itself from a defense of Israel to the demonization of that country based on bad facts and ideology is extremely dismaying.

                    • The point here, Jeff, is that Leah blamed Leftists for something written in the Economist. How is the Economist a left wing thing? Kind of like Obama a Socialist. He really isn’t. Bernie Sanders is. And Bernie supports Israel.

                      This has been going on for years. The GOP in America just can’t understand how the Jewish citizens continue to vote more for Democrats than the GOP. And Leah simply personifies this lame bewilderment.

                      And I do think I know what Leah is saying. She says it all the time.

                    • Oh, look, the illiterate child is back.
                      The day when I ‘shut the fuck up’ to please an ignorant, spluttering, shrieking, spittle-flecked, bile-dripping, pompous git like you, will be a freezing-cold day in hell.

  1. Steinglass later asks if Americans can continue to “support a Jewish state that rules over a conquered people and denies them the rights of citizens, permanently?”

    Well, in fact, the USA has been doing this at a minimum since the end of British rule in what is today the USA. Ask any Native American.

      • What about the American colonies of Guam, American Samoa, American Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico? They do not have the right to vote and some require visas to enter the Continental US. They have been US citizens for over 100 years but still not allowed to vote

  2. Yes, they do have citizenship and reservations to live on. And casinos.

    Like they one the WB Arabs had in Jericho before the first intifada.

    So really, the WB Arabs are almost exactly like the Native Americans, Inuits, First People, Aborigines, Maoris, Mayans, and many others.

    What is “M.S.” complaining about? Israel has even offered them a chance to have their own state, unlike all the above, who have had to settle for second-class citizenship in someone else’s country.

    • The Arabs are citizens of JORDAN. Why should foreign citizens have any rights in Israel? They don’t in America either – funny that.

      Nor are the Arabs the natives. Arabs are from ARABIA. Jews are from JUDEA. Making the situation absolutely nothing remotely close to your moronic rant

  3. “Israelis continue every year to add more settlers to the hundreds of thousands already living on the West Bank, rendering any potential Palestinian state in this territory geographically non-viable.”

    Oh, not this b.s. again! At the rate that Israel is “gobbling up all that land” it would take something like 600 years to get it all. What makes a “Palestinian” State unviable is the “Palestinians” themselves, i.e., their culture, their politics, their end game, and that’s about it. This geography argument is an excuse coming from the Arab head and Euro-prog rear end of a pantomime horse. It’s a way of avoiding altogether the real issue of why there isn’t a so-called “Palestinian” state and that reason hasn’t changed much in 67 years.

  4. ” Certainly, Jewish Americans will find ways to defer moral compunctions and continue to support the Jewish state.”

    Oh yes, yes, I certainly see his point here. How could American Jews possibly maintain the lofty moral standards set out by a British mainstream press which continually skews facts and lies by omission in regard to the long Arab war on the Jews? Would the author ever question the “moral compunctions” of the British media?
    Is it an attempt to help them subdue their restive Muslim population or are there other more native prejudices at play?

  5. I am beginning to think that the BDS campaign will not actually achieve any effect. Other than no more West Bank rosemary in North Oxford supermarkets. The BDS movement appears to follow an alterier motive. Israel will rapidly gain in Asia what it loses in the EU and North America. The Chinese and Indian investors are coming to Israel. It looks like there are enough musicians to keep Israel entertained.
    So what is BDS up to ?

  6. Remember the LSE Gender Studies Ladies. One of them also wrote for The Econ. Nothing surprises me anymore.
    If the UK leaves the EU it will be left disjointed from EU policy. Further weakening the UK in the diplomatic realm. A future Labour No. 10 would then be left outside the EU discourse on Israel.
    Israel is also investing in Africa and doing well there.