Left wing journalist Eric Alterman, now a journalism professor at the City University of New York, launches a particularly mean-spirited attack on Marin Peretz, long the owner of The New Republic, as new ownership takes over.
Alterman is the creator of the list that outed people who were "reflexively pro-Israel". MSNBC seems to have deleted that particular column of Alterman's that originally ran on its website, but it is still available on the website of David Irving and many other places. Alterman also wrote an earlier piece in The Nation insulting Peretz and other supporters of Israel in the media. Cathy Young, of Reason Magazine and the Boston Globe, earlier noted Alterman's apparent problems with Jews and Jewishness: I read a stunning recent commentary by author and pundit Eric Alterman on the British Muslim Council's decision to boycott the ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The reason given for the boycott was that the commemoration of Nazi death camp victims did not include the Palestinian victims of Israeli "genocide." On his blog at MSNBC.com, Alterman sneered at critics of the boycott. "I'm a Jew, but I don't expect Arabs to pay tribute to my people's suffering while Jews, in the form of Israel and its supporters-and in this I include myself-are causing much of theirs," he wrote, suggesting that one might as well expect gays to honor "the suffering of gay bashing bigots." Alterman noted that "the Palestinians have also suffered because of the Holocaust. They lost their homeland as the world-in the form of the United Nations-reacted to European crimes by awarding half of Palestine to the Zionists... To ask Arabs to participate in a ceremony that does not recognize their own suffering but implicitly endorses the view that caused their catastrophe is morally idiotic."
One hardly knows where to begin. There is, for instance, the way Alterman not-so-deftly conflates Muslims with Arabs and Arabs with dispossessed Palestinians, and then declares Jews responsible for "much" of the suffering of Muslims everywhere. Not the brutal theocracies such as the Taliban, which have tried to impose a medieval form of Islam through terror; not the equally brutal secular dictators of the Arab world such as Iraq's now-deposed Saddam Hussein, or the corrupt monarchies. No, it's the Jews-all lumped together, including long-dead Holocaust victims.
By Alterman's logic, every Muslim is justified in viewing every Jew as the enemy. Alterman frets that his words will be "twisted beyond recognition," but it's hard to see how they can be twisted into something more indecent than they already are. (While he counts himself among Israel's supporters, he seems to regard the creation of Israel itself-not just the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza-as an Arab "catastrophe.")
Call it self-hatred or something less psychoanalytic; the bottom line is, this is the kind of rhetoric that, coming from a non-Jew, would be clearly seen as anti-Semitic.
I wonder what he is teaching his students at his taxpayer-funded university? How to develop blacklists of Jews and their fellow-travelers?