Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Consider this quote:
The Jews behave like lemmings which is one reason why their cause, such as is, without ethical meaning and without solidarity among themselves, is a losing one.

You would be right to expect a chorus of condemnation if this were written in any mainstream U.S. publication. You would be right to expect Marty Peretz, among many others, to scale the summit of Mt. Indignation upon reading such a thing, but the quote actually comes from Marty Peretz, and, of course, he wasn't writing about the Jews, but about the Palestinians. Which makes the blatant bigotry

Eric Alterman points out a generally acknowledged, but too little mentioned, fact:
Marty Peretz is a racist.

I know that's not news, but it's rarely demonstrated in an unarguable fashion. But look. Peretz begins a post in The Spine, here, which has become my favorite blog (just as the phony book at the top of it is my favorite of Peretz's "books"), thusly: "The French may be soft on the Arabs in their diplomacy."

Get it? Not "soft" on Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Jordan or Hamas, but soft on a particular ethnic group that encompasses hundreds of millions of people, all across the globe. That's racism, pure and simple. Peretz is saying, for instance that the French are "soft" on Rashid Khalidi, professor at Columbia University, and soft on the Arab auto mechanic in Detroit, and the Arab doctor in Ann Arbor, and the Arab taxi driver in New York City, and on the Arab children and grandchildren of these people, all over the world. How in the world is this any different than say, an Austrian or Iranian anti-Semite complaining that an American president is "soft on the Jews?" or James Dobson complaining that Democrats are "soft on homosexuals?" Discuss.

One could respond to Peretz's "lemmings" argument by pointing out that Israelis themselves have have been frightened into supporting and electing various war-criminals and ex-terrorists throughout their short history, and that it would be wrong to present this as evidence of anything particular to the Jewish "nature," something Peretz regularly does in regard to Arabs, but that would be giving the man and his arguments, such as they are, entirely too much credit.

There is no other person that I'm aware of in contemporary American political life who exhibits the sort of obsessive loathing of another ethnic or national group that Peretz regularly expresses toward Arabs and Palestinians. The man is an offensive joke, a drunken, bellowing, bigoted party guest who you wish would just drink up and pass out already.


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