Here's a note from Jonathan Randal, who for a long time was the Washington Post's top correspondent for the Middle East, now retired in Paris. He's a veteran expert on the area. Jon's views tend to confirm our impression that the Bob Simon interview with Charlie Rose and the 60 Minutes program were planned and conducted with full awareness that they would raise a storm. I believe that says a lot about the increasing willingness of Americans in general (and some influential members of the Jewish community in particular) to tolerate (even welcome) a new and much more open discourse on crucial issues involving Israel. And the timing suggests, as well, that it could not have been only the very recent events in Gaza that prompted this reaction. The climate change must have already become evident to professionals like Bob Simon and his colleagues at 60 Minutes. [The reaction from the AIPAC community will be immediate and vigorous. Ask John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt!]
J Street should feel very proud that they have contributed significantly to this shift in attitudes -- and in such a short time. Again, the rapid growth of their organization is itself an indicator of a measurable opening of minds among the American public. About time!
Bob Simon is an old pro. What struck me most in his Charlie Rose interview was his cool.
Bob knew perfectly well what the reaction would be. He's been around the block, especially that block, for years and years and years.