Jeffrey Goldberg catches Andrew Sullivan making egregiously erroneous statements about Israel’s history, this time by publishing at his site a series of maps that purport to show that Israel has no claim to most land she now holds:
The first map in the series of four is most egregious. It suggests that, in 1946, nearly all of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean was “Palestinian.” Land designated as “Jewish” in this map constitutes maybe five percent of the total. This map is ridiculous, not only because the term “Palestinian” in 1946 referred, generally speaking, to the Jews who lived in Palestine, not the Arabs, but because there was no Palestine in 1946 (nor was there an Israel.) There was only the British Mandate. Jews lived throughout the territory then occupied by the British, including, by the way, on land that today constitutes the West Bank (though in 1946 Jews did not live in Hebron; they were expelled in 1929, after an Arab massacre of Jewish religious scholars). The intent of this propaganda map is to suggest that an Arab country called “Palestine” existed in 1946 and was driven from existence by Jewish imperialists. Not only was there no such country as “Palestine” in 1946, there has never been a country called Palestine. Before the British conquered Jerusalem, Palestine was a sub-province of the Ottoman Empire. (And after the British left, of course, Jordan and Egypt moved in to occupy Gaza and the West Bank.)
You can read the rest here.
Goldberg wraps up his post by commenting about Sullivan’s shifting Middle Eastern politics:
I dont know why Andrew refuses to admit that Middle East history is complicated. Once, he was rabidly pro-Israel, and refused to acknowledge legitimate Palestinian Arab claims and grievances. Now, he is rabidly pro-Palestinian and refuses to acknowledge Israel’s legitimate claims and grievances. Perhaps it is malevolence that motivates his campaign to demonize the world’s only Jewish country. On the other hand, as our colleague Clive Crook noted earlier this week, “Andrew has so many opinions to ventilate, and so little time to think about them,” that the publication of this absurd map on his blog could simply have been a mistake.
My own sense isn’t that Sullivan isn’t just a “rabidly” pro-Israeli person who is now “rabidly” pro-Palestinian. Instead, after watching Sullivan in action for the past couple of years, I think he is, simply, globally rabid. Something made Andrew very, very angry (“mad dog!”) and he hasn’t come down from that yet. He is therefore allying himself, at home and abroad, with the angriest organizations and ideologies that he can find. And that’s where he lives. I only wish that The Atlantic didn’t give him such a prominent bully pulpt for all that venom.