Last year, a new Middle East lobby called J Street was formed to push American Jewish opinion in a more conciliatory direction. "What we're responding to," wrote J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami last year, "is that for too long there's been an alliance between the neo-cons, the radical right of the Christian Zionist movement and the far-right portions of the Jewish community that has really locked up what it means to be pro-Israel." Israel's supporters do have a distressing tendency to define their position in maximalist terms.
There are so many things that make The Wall Street Journal editorial page a source of personal fascination--the undying faith in voodoo economics, the staunch defense of executive privilege and disdain for independent counsels during Republican presidencies alternating with disdain for executive privilege and staunch defense of independent counsels during Democratic presidencies--but perhaps the most intriguing is the wildly promiscuous use of quotation marks. Over the years, it's become an obsession of mine. Like most of us, the Journal uses scare quotes to signify that a term is misleading.