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Beinart’s book has created waves. A New York Times book review accused him of “Manichaean simplicities” and employing “several formulations favored by anti-Semites.”

Jeffrey Goldberg, an influential American commentator and frequent critic of Israel, also accused Beinart of playing down Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

Peter was faced with a couple of choices with this book. He could make himself feel good about his moral superiority or he could devise ways to get Israel to do what he wants, and I think he went more with the former than the latter,” Goldberg recently told New York magazine.

Beinart was in Israel this week for an annual conference sponsored by President Shimon Peres, where he appeared on a panel about the country’s relationship with world Jewry.

Several panelists challenged Beinart’s claims. “My Zionism is not in crisis because my Zionism is not conditioned on an idealized view of what I’d like Israel to be,” Abe Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a panel discussion with Beinart.

Danny Danon, an Israeli lawmaker in Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said he “welcomes any debate” about Israel’s future but rejects Beinart’s views. “I would invite him to see with his own eyes what is really happening in Judea and Samaria, rather than just criticizing and delegitimizing the Jewish people who live in our homeland,” said Danon, using the biblical terms for the West Bank.