BOB GARFIELD: We got a heap of e-mail from you concerning Brooke's discussion last week with J.J. Goldberg, editor of The Forward, about whether certain Jewish groups were squelching debate about Israel. Here are two that represent the range.
First, Chip Pringle had this to say. Quote, "I was really glad that you tackled the issue of Zionist bias in the U.S. media. That's the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. But your segment left me intensely disappointed. What a shame to address this topic by bringing in an apologist for Zionist media. Mr. Goldberg deserves to have his say, but if the issue is that media consistently depict that Arab-Israeli conflict through a Zionist lens, what we need to hear certainly is not more analysis from a Zionist perspective. There is a full spectrum of other perspectives on this issue. Come on, On the Media. Where are the other ones? BROOKE GLADSTONE: But David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, writes, quote, "The notion that powerful Jewish groups are squelching debate is nonsense. Discussion on Israel has been vigorous and open in the Jewish community and beyond. Just look at the extensive media Jimmy Carter has gotten since his controversial book on Israel came out.
If the American public supports Israel, as opinion polls repeatedly show, then maybe the explanation is as simple as because Americans admire a vibrant democracy in a rough-and-tumble region.
Also, the much-discussed essay by Indiana University professor Alvin Rosenfeld, published by the American Jewish Committee, came up. Mistakenly, you accused it of targeting liberal American Jews. The essay wasn't at all about liberal Jews, many of whom are our members. Rather, it was about Jews who demonize Israel and challenge its right to exist. Just because they're Jews doesn't give them an exemption from scrutiny and, yes, criticism." BOB GARFIELD: We're okay with criticism. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]