NYT’s Bob Herbert Runs for the Moral Daylight

Bob Herbert had a breathtaking column in the Times today, condemning Israel for going overboard in its (just) retaliation for the Hezbollah strike, and faulting the U.S. for allowing it. “Neither Israel nor the United States can kill enough Muslims to win the struggle against terror,” he writes, and says the United States should have been a friend to Israel and told it “the carnage has to cease.”

The piece echoes other critiques of Israel-U.S. relations in the last few months: the Walt-Mearsheimer bombshell on the Israel lobby, and Tony Judt’s attack in Haaretz on “The Country That Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

Like many adolescents Israel is convinced – and makes a point of aggressively and repeatedly asserting – that it can do as it wishes, that its actions carry no consequences and that it is immortal.

The shock is that Bob Herbert is now saying something along these lines on the Times Op-Ed page, a place given to Tom Friedman’s explanations of all Israel’s choices and David Brooks’s construction of camouflaged bunkers for fleeing neoconservatives. I admire Herbert’s courage and hope he stays on message. Many Americans are confused and disturbed right now, and share his instincts. Herbert has done what a columnist should do, and told them how to think.