Brooke and Bob read a few of your letters and comments.
Artist: by Ty Segall
BROOKE GLADSTONE: This is On the Media. I'm Brooke Gladstone.
BOB GARFIELD: And I'm Bob Garfield with a few of your letters. We got a powerful response, not surprisingly, to our debate between Steven Rosen and Peter Beinart over whether honest criticism freely expressed ever poses a danger to a democratic nation, specifically Israel. Robert Potter of Manlius, New York disagreed with how we addressed this question. Quote, “This debate isn't about that question. It’s about whether support for Israel should be blind to Israel’s faults.” He goes on, “OTM has turned the troubling issue of the flotilla raid into ‘should we love Israel a whole lot, or should we love it utterly and completely?’”
BROOKE GLADSTONE: But Mary Kay Office of Salt Lake City wrote, quote: “Bravo for sharing this intelligent, passionate and moving debate with all of us who are devoted listeners to On the Media. A unique opportunity to hear both sides expressed eloquently and respectfully, yet in fierce opposition. Perhaps that eloquent respect, in spite of profound differences, is the pragmatic solution?” However, most of the comments centered on who won the debate, and that seemed to depend on who was listening. For instance, Marsha Kunin from Massachusetts wrote, quote, “How refreshing and unusual and wonderful to hear, on National Public Radio, Steven Rosen's brilliant characterization of the dilemma Israel faces, and his clearheaded articulation of the blindness to reality of the likes of Mr. Beinart.”
BOB GARFIELD: While Jack Smothers of San Diego wrote, quote, “Kudos to On The Media for having such a debate, and kudos to Mr. Peter Beinart for voicing the concerns of the silenced Jews who favor a more balanced approach to US-Israeli dialogue. The war hawks in Israel would have you believe that any criticism of Israel makes you anti-Israel, but there couldn't be anything further from the truth.” Thanks for your comments. Keep them coming to Onthemedia.org or, for more back and forth with OTM, follow us on Twitter or join our Facebook page.