In calling Peter Beinart “a brave man” for speaking critically about Israel and the American Jewish establishment’s reluctance to publicly disapprove of anything the Israeli government does, Krugman explains why he doesn’t talk about Israeli politics:
The truth is that like many liberal American Jews — and most American Jews are still liberal — I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide — and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.
I mentioned last month that Beinart’s latest idea—boycotting the West Bank—united the left and right against him.
But I agree with Beinart’s overaching perspective: “Love Israel? Criticize it.” As I wrote in an op-ed for JTA back in 2009: “It’s a Jew’s duty to be critical of Israel, but it’s also an unforgivable sin to be critical of Israel.”