Bad Defense

Here’s how Jamie Kirchick explains away getting caught making shit up:

I ought to have been more precise with the first policy prescription, “Israeli negotiations with Iran.” To my knowledge, J Street, as an organization, has not advocated such negotiations, though it does support high-level American-Iranian negotiations without preconditions and falsely claims that a non-binding House resolution strengthening sanctions on Iran is actually a declaration of war. J Street’s fervent support of Israeli negotiations with Hamas — an Iranian proxy group — is a distinction without much difference.

But the larger question here — the thing that seems to vex Yglesias and Alterman — is one of ideological association. Saying that I’m imputing views to him which he doesn’t hold, Alterman says I am “simply making that up.” But if Alterman and Yglesias now wish to disown large parts of J Street’s agenda (i.e., its support for the Arab Peace Initiative) then perhaps they should exercise more discretion in the groups they join and vocally support.

Did you catch that? Yglesias and Alterman are associated with J Street, who wants Israel to talk to Iran. Except they don’t, as Kirchick admits. But they do want the US to talk to Iran, and Israel to talk to Hamas. So I suppose if we pretend that the US is Israel and Hamas is Iran, then J Street wants Israel to talk to Iran. See? It doesn’t get much better from there on out. To sum it up, Jamie argues that since Matt, Ezra, and Alterman were on J Street’s advisory board, we can assume they agree with all of J Street’s positions. Even putting aside the logical fallacy that’s apparent to any half sentient human being for a second, there’s still the problem that J Street doesn’t actually advocate for Israeli-Iranian negotiations or the Palestinian right of return.

Jamie, just admit you got caught.