Re: Why No One Defends Marty Peretz
Jonah — Not that your question needs an answer, but if one were to speculate why Marty Peretz is treated as an embarrassment and labeled that worst of all possible slurs — a racist — by the JournoList, the word “Zionist” comes to mind. Whatever his flaws (and I’m not such a fan), Peretz has never failed to defend Israel’s rights, nor to recognize and label the various sophistries and politically correct biases amassed against it for what they are (in TNR and elsewhere). He stood up to his natural allies by frequently and vigorously defending George W. Bush for the president’s pro-Israel actions over the last eight years.
The unwritten laws of current political “elective affinities” preclude staunch supporters of Israel from feeling really comfortable in the fever swamps of modern Left-liberalism — perhaps because in those precincts the Palestinians (and the jihadists) are among the causes of the era. And vice versa: This era’s most passionate liberals are deeply uncomfortable with Israel, because it has displayed a strong will to survive against its (Arab, Islamic) enemies, at a moment when strong Western cultures are expected to genuflect and make concessions to the aggrieved. So, not so many on the List share Peretz’s views on the subject.
The funny thing about Peretz is that he has actually resisted changing his affiliations and moving rightward, even though his commitment to Israel will keep him from truly belonging on the Left.