@ John Taylor:
Thanks for the tip. If the book was available at a reasonable price, or if I was certain it was essential reading, I'd order it today. When I consider that in 1882, we in the United States were still consolidating our own expropriation of North America, and just beginning to plot new adventures in the world, it's hard for me to judge the Zionists too harshly. In any event, I'm not sure what my moral or historical assessment of Zionism on its own terms must imply about my understanding of the Holocaust or its use and misuse, or my assessment about where we should go from here.

@ John Taylor:
Point taken, Mr. Taylor. I accepted the attribution used by the confessedly ignorant Mr. Friedersdorf, and the manner in which "signatures" to the letter were formatted at the magazine site - crammed together in a block - makes it easy to overlook your name.

In my view, the Holocaust has a much more complex function both as idea and as set of very real historical events. In the battle between ideal/traditional Judaism and Zionism, it created some overwhelming "facts," and even more overwhelming absences, on the ground. People like yourself and your co-author give the impression of overcompensating - over-correcting for the "Holocaust Industry" by minimizing the Holocaust and the events of which it was a part.

Whether or not the Holocaust did or could justify the "Zionist Enterprise" morally, in some absolute sense, it prepared the way for it practically, reduced the perceived moral force of the arguments against it, and still puts questions and challenges before us as human beings.

@ miguel cervantes:
Yeah, so?

It was amusing to read that interview while being fed a daffy-happy ad take a free trip to Israel.

@ fuster:
Yeah, I sawr dat in da Wikipedier.

@ miguel cervantes:
What has Giraldi said or done that makes him "ugly" compared to Buchanan? He believes that the alliance with Israel is on balance harmful to the U.S., and will lay out his reasons. Is that a thought crime? Why should it be? Especially when you consider how convincing Caroline Glick has been in describing the impossibility of Israel's predicament, wouldn't we be well advised to follow Giraldi's advice and seek a "clean break"? Yes, I know, Glick is a raging anti-semite, and also has a tendency to exaggerate or build on unproven assumptions, but I thought you found her analysis on balance persuasive.

Albert Shanker means virtually nothing to me, sorry. Too much a New York reference, I think. I've also been around the block, all around it, several times - so I don't usually take very seriously what someone with a nonsense name on the internet says about... anything... unless it's compelling on its own terms.

Anyway, didn't really mean to defend MW's commenters as a group, as though it's my new club or something, but I do enjoy the effort over there, for all of the static it brings with it, to envision a different Middle East.

@ fuster:
There you go again. One commenter thought it was "spot on," and the other said it didn't seem anywhere near as extreme today as it did 10 years ago.

What none of them attempts is merely to engage the ideas without prejudice, as the great analyst George Michael, if not Norman Finklestein, might have demanded.

In my view, Girardi and his fan or fans do the same thing that certain members of the Commentariat do: "Why should we treat this country/people different from all other people?" they ask, never asking why they happen to find that question so interesting.

I am more of the view than ever that the Holocaust was an event of unique historical significance, not because of how many Jews (among others) were slaughtered, but because of its transformation in the concept of particular nation or people and humankind, a question of fundamental cultural and philosophical significance, in a sense the basis of all history, which prior to the Holocaust the "Jewish problem" or "Jewish question" centrally stood for, not just as a kind of shorthand. (Where neither has been an issue, there has been no "history.")

The conversion of the Jewish question into the Israeli question is much more than a change of terminology, especially since key values in the larger equation have been reversed.