Commentary Magazine


Topic: why-can’t-all

Unloading the Arsenal of Adjectives on Sarah Palin

J Street’s condemnation of Sarah Palin for her position on Israeli settlements was predictable — it is what a pro-Obama, pro-Left organization would do. It is the vehemence of the attack on her that was perhaps noteworthy. J Street accused her of “pandering” with a “glaring ignorance” of facts and a “callous disregard” of U.S. policy on settlements.

Since J Street did not specify the nature of Palin’s “glaring” ignorance, nor explain why disagreement with the Obama administration’s obsession with settlements is “callous,” it is difficult to respond to its criticism on the merits. It may suffice to note that adjectives are not analysis.

But the adjectives were probably the point — which was to try to place Palin outside the pale of respectable thinking. This morning, in contrast, J Street responded to Abe Foxman’s strong criticism of its Palin pronouncement by issuing a “why-can’t-all-we-pro-Israel-organizations-just-get-along” type response.

In dealing with the ADL, J Street poses as just another pro-Israel organization; in dealing with Sarah Palin, it exposes its inner Robert Gibbs.

J Street’s condemnation of Sarah Palin for her position on Israeli settlements was predictable — it is what a pro-Obama, pro-Left organization would do. It is the vehemence of the attack on her that was perhaps noteworthy. J Street accused her of “pandering” with a “glaring ignorance” of facts and a “callous disregard” of U.S. policy on settlements.

Since J Street did not specify the nature of Palin’s “glaring” ignorance, nor explain why disagreement with the Obama administration’s obsession with settlements is “callous,” it is difficult to respond to its criticism on the merits. It may suffice to note that adjectives are not analysis.

But the adjectives were probably the point — which was to try to place Palin outside the pale of respectable thinking. This morning, in contrast, J Street responded to Abe Foxman’s strong criticism of its Palin pronouncement by issuing a “why-can’t-all-we-pro-Israel-organizations-just-get-along” type response.

In dealing with the ADL, J Street poses as just another pro-Israel organization; in dealing with Sarah Palin, it exposes its inner Robert Gibbs.

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