Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marty Peretz, "Ahmadinejad At The Lebanese-Israeli Border—Another Obama Debacle," 10/15/10:
For some time, the Obama administration feigned support for the Sunni center dominated by the Hariri many-billions kleptocracy which allied itself with the mostly Maronite Christians and the Druze. But Christians, including those associated with a neo-fascistic general Michel Aoun, also defected to the Shi’a, as did the congenitally untrustworthy Druze, always ready to make a deal they will break.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marty Peretz, "An Apology," 9/13/10:
"Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims." This is a statement of fact, not value.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marty Peretz, "The Dovish Editor At More-Than-Dovish Ha'aretz Praises Bibi Netanyahu, And Very Deservedly," 9/8/10:
It's a joke to think that any of this [Jerusalem] will be given up or, for that matter, those other parts of the holy city (the "third holiest city of Islam," bullshit) which the Jordanians had treated as a mule town and which Shi'a Islam barely noticed. [...]

The defeat of the Arabs of Palestine and the five warrior Arab states in 1948, 1967 and 1973 made a fictional people into a political force. We do not yet know whether this political force will mature into a real people. Or nation. My bet is "no." I believe it will be more like a mini-Pakistan.
Marty Peretz, "The New York Times Laments 'A Sadly Wary Misunderstanding of Muslim-Americans.' But Really Is It "Sadly Wary" Or A 'Misunderstanding' At All?" 9/4/10:
But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

UPDATE: Peretz apologized for part of this:
The embarrassing sentence is: "I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse." I wrote that, but I do not believe that. I do not think that any group or class of persons in the United States should be denied the protections of the First Amendment, not now, not ever. When I insist upon a sober recognition of the threats to our security, domestic threats included, I do not mean to suggest that the Constitution and its order of rights should in any way be abrogated. I would abhor such a prospect. I do not wish upon Muslim Americans the sorts of calumnies that were endured by Italian Americans in connection with Sacco and Vanzetti and Jewish Americans in connection with communism. My recent comments on the twisted Koran-hating reverend in Gainesville will give evidence of that. So I apologize for my sentence, not least because it misrepresents me.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Marty Peretz, "Hillary Gets It," 7/11/07:
"The Palestinians may not be the Palestinian nation. But they are who they are. It is not Washington that makes them fantasists.”
Marty Peretz, "Tony's Tragic Blind Spot" 6/28/07:
"I think the conflict between the Arabs of Palestine and the Jewish state is of less import than the one between India and Pakistan, which like Palestine, is also not a country and the Pakistanis, also like the Palestinians, are not a nation. Oh, yes: why is this of such valence? Because Pakistan has the bomb.”
Marty Peretz, "The Palestinians' Pathetic Human Tragedy," 6/17/07:
"But nowhere is the war-torn and war-ravaged picture of the Arabs more clear than among the Palestinians, those who were always pointed to as the best educated and most civilized of the Arabs. When Fatah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all of the dozens of minor gangster grouplets were just killing Jews, Israelis, there was the excuse of the Naqba, the refugees, the settlements. On and on over six decades, and really a century. But now they are killing each other. The cause that was imagined to unite all Islam--against the United States and Israel and the West--was more fractious, more bloody, more hand-to-hand brutal and as cruel as their cousins as in other lands. And more primitive.”
Marty Peretz, "Four Friends," 5/31/07:
"So there remains the Palestinian question. This is what agitates the far left, the far right, and the sensitive souls in north and south Tel Aviv. But the general population, not so seduced by extreme ideologies or extravagant hopes, appears to take it as a given that the fratricide and the hysteria in the Palestinian orbit make it very unlikely that there will be an opportunity for peace any time soon. I take it as a given, too. When election comes, win or lose, Netanyahu will not be judged by Palestinian politics. In a certain sense, the Palestinians are irrelevant to the normal life of Israel. It goes on without them. And, when they kill too many Jews ... well, we shall see.”
Marty Peretz, "A Scientific Titan,” 5/25/07:
"Physics is now the lead science--I suppose with mathematics. I myself don't understand why it's so. But it is characteristic of the Arabs, who have almost no physicists to speak of, and of Brit low-level academics, to make their politics a shabby substitute for science.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marty Peretz, “The Palestinian Civil War,” 5/17/07:
“The Palestinian death toll from Palestinian killing rose to 17 on Wednesday. Any bets on high it will go on Thursday?”
Marty Peretz, “Gangsters,” 5/17/07:
"Why are men wearing ski masks on the streets of Gaza? So that they will all look alike, and people will think that this proves the unity of the Palestinian people.”
Marty Peretz, “Gaza’s Desperate Situation,” 5/17/07:
"There were no Palestinians until there were Israelis. And there will be no Palestine until Israel imposes it. Then it will be a nation-state like most of the other non-nation-states in the Middle East. Yes, a fraudulent nation-state.”
Marty Peretz, “Chaos in Gaza,” 5/17/07:
"Let's face facts. Only if you are "Eyeless in Gaza" can you believe that these people are a "nation."
Marty Peretz, “The Gunmen of Gaza,” 5/15/07:
"Yes, Palestine is an utter fiction."
Marty Peretz, “The Kurdish Example for Palestine,” 5/1/07:
"But let's face it: the state of Palestine simply does not exist. There is even a question as to whether the Palestinian people really exists, except in the realm of conflicted ideology. That is not enough. I'll wager a bet. The Kurds will be represented as a state in international councils long before the people of Palestine stop killing each other."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ignoring the Deaths of Arabs

Marty Peretz, 4/28/07:
The first dispatch from Reuters was that 10 people has been killed in a car bombing in Karbala. Ah, insignificant. Why do they even bother telling us? Then, according to the AP, the casualties rose to 30. Just a few minuted ago, Reuters reported that there were "at least" 40 among the dead. Who knows how many injured and maimed. And, to tell you the truth, does anyone really care?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Honor Killings

Marty Peretz, 2/22/07:
Arab society is, well--how do I say this?--hidebound and backward.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Useless Document

Marty Peretz, 2/8/07:
The Gaza Palestinians celebrated the Hamas-Fatah ceasefire with rifle fire for over an hour. Can these people do anything without gunshots?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

More Palestinian Recriminations

Marty Peretz, 2/4/07:
The rhetoric now shows itself to be empty, the rhetoric--Edward Said's rhetoric--about the nobility, the delicacy of "the children of stones." The Palestinians were so more civilized than the other Arabs. So much more advanced. But how much can you prove by sending the one pathetic, sad Sari Nusseibeh--his pathos being his cachet--around to Harvard and Oxford to show that the thugs have their betters?

This is cold comfort to the Israelis. Their enemies can still maim and kill. It is entirely preferable for the Palestinians to have their rump and run it as they will or can. But, please, enough about how civilized they are. They are on their way to being Iraqis.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Failed Experiment

Marty Peretz, 9/29/06:
Now you have a new paradigm in many Western countries. Muslim immigrants arrive--some because they are needed to make up population deficits among the indigenous people caused by "planned parenthood;" some because they want to abandon the stifling controls of the Islamic world. In the end, they add to the numbers of unemployed, causing an enormous drain on the social budget and exacerbating the strains on strapped societies. In the end, too, they don't want to abandon the suppressive habits of their old homes. They desire instead to have these quaint and lovable customs--like arranged marriages, suppressed women, disdain for the other--survive and flourish. They certainly don't intend to adapt to the habits of the West, in which offense to religions-Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Jewish--is just another aspect of the First Amendment that also guarantees freedom to these faiths.

Who Needs Recognition?

Marty Peretz, 9/29/06:
According to a Reuters dispatch in Haaretz online today, Hamas massed a huge rally in Gaza earlier today to "denounce the state of Israel and declare that they would never recognise its right to exist." So what else is new? "We ask God to punish the so-called Israel and the allies of Israel ... We vow to God that we will never recognize Israel even if we would be all killed." In the case of the last contingency, of course, no one would care. This is the rhetoric of nutcases, although I know that since their passions emerge from Muslim religious belief I should treat them with respect. I can't. OK, why don't you try?


In any event, this demonstration was not really against Israel. What does Israel care if thousands of Gazans scream themselves hoarse? So long as they're not firing Qassam rockets into Israel! Actually, the Friday mobilization was mounted against Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas's party, which has been holding protests against the Hamas government. And why against the Hamas government? Because it is has not been acting like a government at all. Actually, there has been no functioning government in Gaza (or, for that matter, in the West Bank either) for eons.

At any rate, who is recognizing whom? Israel doesn't need Hamas' recognition. It--thank God, or whatever power you thank for these sorts of things--is a real nation, unlike most Arab peoples, whether they have a state or not. It has its army, and its liberties and its social services, and its independent courts, and its intellectually open universities, and its dazzling sciences, and a truly functioning advanced economy. ...

Make Love Not War

Marty Peretz, 9/29/06:
Ramadan is the Muslim daytime fasting month. Among other obligations for believers is that during this period they must make particular efforts to abjure violence.

Oops! There was plenty of evidence in The New York Times this morning and in many other news outlets that the Sunni and Shia communities in Iraq are ignoring the injunction. At least 60 Iraqis--or, more precisely, their bodies--were found dead, murdered in Baghdad, members of both religious sects, "many of them shot in the head at close range and bearing signs of torture." And who knows how many were shanghaied and killed in other locales!

Let's face it. There is a deep and bloody cleft in Islam. In Iraq, the Sunnis hate the Shia more than they hate us, the Americans. And the Shia hate the Sunnis, also more than they hate us. In Lebanon, the Sunnis certainly hate the Shia more than they hate the Jews. With the Lebanese Shia of the Nasrallah camp maybe their rage is evenly split. In most places where Sunni and Shia confront each other, the Jews and even the Israelis are an abstraction. But not the other Muslims, they are very real and considered vile.

By the way, happy Ramadan. You can eat--and make love--as soon as the sun goes down.

Historical Agents

Marty Peretz, 10/02/06:
Khalidi is still making the case that there was no real war between the Zionists and the Arabs--and that this is a myth created by the victors to obfuscate and disguise their overwhelming force. Actually, 6,000 Jews were killed in the War of Independence. This was fully 1 percent of the Jewish population of Palestine at the time. Were they fighting phantoms? Or were the Jews a real functioning nation and the Palestinians (like many of their Arab cousins) still mired in more backward social formations, of which the brutal internecine warfare among the populations in Gaza and the West Bank remain devastating exemplars?

There is something pathetic in Khalidi's blaming the Jews for the absence of a reliable record of Palestinian Arab history. My God, the Jews kept records and made archives of their very extermination by the Nazis. These serious and definitive collections dot the world: Jerusalem, New York, Warsaw, Germany, and on and on. "There is no central depository of Palestinian records," whines Khalidi, and this has prevented a real national myth from having been written. Mind you, what he wants is not true history--as far as truth is determinable in complex circumstances--but what he calls official history. "The production of a standard 'official' Palestinian narrative was never really possible." Now, Khalidi himself has written such a volume--not "the" narrative but a part of the "official" narrative. It is Under Siege: PLO Decision-making in the 1982 War. Is it to be trusted? If this is Khalidi's ambition and intent, one cannot know.

If Khalidi wants a state he'd do better to try to grasp their instinct for fratricide than blame the Israelis for having "carried off" Arab archival materials to which, in any case, scholars have free and unfettered access. There is no sin here about which the Jews need atone.

Church and State

Marty Peretz, 9/21/06:
Some 2 percent of the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza are Christians. Not so long ago they were roughly 15 percent of the Arab population. The rest are Muslims, all Sunnis. What explains the decline? Birth rates, of course. Christians are better educated than Muslims (all over the Middle East), and they know that if you want to raise a productive, truly loving, and educated family, you'd be wise to raise fewer children and give them all more attention.

The other reason that so many Christians have gradually abandoned Palestine is that their living among Muslims was a frightful experience. (Christians began decades back in deserting Iraq, too--at least, those who were not slaughtered.) Now, many Christian clergy have lined up against Israel, because they know that the Jews will not harm them. Moreover, they don't want to and have no reason to. The Christian authorities in the territories (and in Jerusalem) try to pacify the Muslims by joining the ugly chorus against Israel. Although they have been playing this appeasement game for nearly a century, it has done them no good.

My own response to this is here.

Is "Islamofascism" Apt?

Marty Peretz, 9/14/06:
Senator Russ Feingold (quite predictably; he is after all the most politically-correct person in the Senate) thinks "Islamic fascists" is offensive to Muslims. But that is not the question. The real issue is whether Islamic thought is now suffused with fascist characteristics and whether it has been open to these all along. It is not a matter of whether the phrase hurts anyone's feelings. "Fascist ideology doesn't have anything to do with the way global terrorist networks think or operate," says Feingold. Has he not even watched the TV clips of Hezbollah fighters marching? But it's not just goose-stepping feet. Militant Islam captures an adherent's life, children, thought, associations, views of good and evil, and empowers him or her to kill with a sense of righteousness. If that isn't fascistic, I don't know what is.

War Over Words

Marty Peretz, 9/17/06:
It's really quite amazing to see so many Muslims having a temper fit about the Pope locating a propensity toward violence in Islam and then watching as its militants proceed to firebomb Christian churches in revenge. As of Sunday a.m., at least seven churches had been firebombed in what's called Palestine alone. Five of these were not even Catholic, which reflects Islam's sloppy and undiscerning conception of the other. A non-believer is a non-believer. You don't have to know anything else. (The other churches were Greek Orthodox and Anglican, and the fact that the episcopates of these churches habitually dissembled--no, lied--for the Arab cause did not protect them at all.) Is there anything the Palestinians don't like to which they fail to react with violence, as if violence refutes the Pope's words? But the outrage about Bendict XVI was not at all limited to feverish Palestine. In fact, its incoherent frenzy quickly went round the world, from Pakistan and Indonesia to Morocco and Turkey and Egypt. And, of course, also into Iraq from where the Mujahadeen Army (a Sunni terrorist group) addressed the Vicar of Christ as "you dog of Rome." Even if the Pope had been totally in error in his remarks and given what high Muslims habitually say about Christians and Jews, doesn't this hatred aimed at him and his religion somehow confirm that he is right?

Vox Populi

Marty Peretz, 9/19/06:
That the Palestinians are not quite rational in their political thinking has been obvious for years. But this schizophrenia takes the irrationality more than a few steps beyond the accustomed norm. The poor Europeans: They will have to make all this logical.

Regarding the Pain of Others

Marty Peretz, 11/19/06:
I actually believe that Arabs are feigning outrage when they protest what they call American (or Israeli) "atrocities." They are not shocked at all by what in truth must seem to them not atrocious at all. It is routine in their cultures. That comparison shouldn't comfort us as Americans. We have higher standards of civilization than they do. But the mutilation of bodies and beheadings of people picked up at random in Iraq does not scandalize the people of Iraq unless victims are believers in their own sect or members of their own clan. And the truth is that we are less and less shocked by the mass death-happenings in the world of Islam. Yes, that's the bitter truth. Frankly, even I--cynic that I am--was shocked in the beginning by the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq. But I am no longer surprised. And neither are you.

Note: Peretz, or more likely one of his minders, later pulled the post off of his blog.

Another Miserable State

Marty Peretz, 7/5/05:
What vision of a good society do the ideologists of Palestine proffer to their boosters all over the world? Really nothing, except another miserable state like the others in the Arab Middle East. The new fellow travelers lack even the feeble extenuations of the old ones.

Indeed, anyone who envisions a future Palestinian polity must wrestle with the grim and ongoing realities of a stagnant class structure, unproductive economic habits, an uncurious and increasingly reactionary culture, deeply cruel relationships between the sexes and toward gays, no notion of an independent judiciary, and a primitive religious mentality that gains prestige in society even as it emphasizes the promise of sexual rewards in paradise for martyrs — a crude myth that has served successfully as an incentive for suicide bombings not only in Israel but also in Iraq and throughout the Arab world. And no real challenge to any of these backward actualities has arisen in all of the turmoil the movement has sown.

Ignore James Baker

Marty Peretz, 11/21/06:
What [Bush] did not grasp--and what, for that matter, Baker and those for whom he speaks also do not grasp--is the sheer and relentless butchery of which both Sunni and Shia are capable. The fiendish barbarism of decapitated heads and mutilated bodies is now a reflex of the warriors and nothing exceptional, a commonplace. Even the bare rudiments of civilization will not soon come back to the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates.

Yglesias has comments.

Iraq's Paradise Lost

Marty Peretz, 10/17/06:
Iraq has never been a kind place, though Baghdad was for nearly two millennia a truly cosmopolitan city. Until 1949, the Jews were a plurality in Baghdad. It was mostly there that the Babylonian Talmud was created some 1700 years ago. Now, the Jews are gone (mostly to Israel). And the Chaldeans and Assyrians, mostly murdered or, as Pat Moynihan once observed, living in Chicago. Aside from some 800,000 Christians, what is left are the Muslims, slaughtering each other day after day, divided by what occurred in what was not yet Iraq thirteen centuries before our time. An example of "the one Arab people," split asunder, not by nation because there aren't any, but by sect and sectarian hatred.


Glenn Greenwald has a couple of great posts on Peretz.

Marty Peretz and anti-Muslim Stereotypes

The Meaning of Marty Peretz

The Perpetually Perfervid Martin Peretz

Jack Shafer, writing in Slate, 1/9/06:
Peretz's view from space is easily summarized. The Arabs are an undifferentiated mass, consumed by antique tribal hatreds, fated to fratricide, torn asunder by their religious sectarianism. The "general afflictions of Arab politics," he wrote March 14, 1988, are "the principal resistance to compromise, the intoxicating effects of language, the endless patience for vengeance." How about that for a MacNeil/Lehrer conversation-stopper? "[The Lebanese] fight simply because they live. And the culture from which they come scarcely thinks this is odd. Their men fight on and on, and the women and children bleed" (March 19, 1990). Has a guest slot opened up on Washington Week in Review? The moderate Arab "is a figment of the imagination" (May 7, 1984). Has Oprah called yet?

One definite Peretz theme that clangs in column after column is that there are no Arab nations. The partisan of Zion hasn't staked this position for the convenience it lends in delegitimizing the call for a Palestinian state. Nor has he adopted it to make it easier to repel the arguments of those who would paint the nation of Israel as a counterfeit creation of Western imperialism. Peretz actually believes what is in his clips.

"There are many Arab countries, but there is hardly an Arab nation-state," he wrote September 3, 1990. By that he means the Arab polities have not aspired "to the kind of solidarity that goes beyond political difference" and results in what he calls "nation-building." "[T]here is no Lebanese nation...there is no Iraqi nation....Not that Kuwait or Saudi Arabia is a nation either." This definite idea grows so definite as to become self-parody: "The problem with Saudi Arabia is that there are no Saudi Arabians. Most of its people live in remote mountains by the rules of their clan or of their tribe; they don't even know what a nation is."

"By the way," Peretz added on January 18 of this year, "Syria is no more a nation-state than Iraq."

And on. And on. "The Kuwaitis and the Saudis are not historical peoples the way, say, the Poles are—or, to put things in perspective, the Jews, who first gave meaning to the very notion of peoplehood nearly four millennia ago," he wrote on October 8, 1990. That's right. Thousands of miles of rock and sand and fig trees and palms and only one nation-state. Only one historical people.

In time, most writers publish a paragraph or two they should yank back. Peretz's came in a particularly windy "Diarist" in the March 10, 1986, New Republic. The column started out about Palm Beach charities, segued to strategic minerals, skipped off to the subject of Cory Aquino, and then settled once again on those nationless, violent Arabs. "[N]onviolence is foreign to the political culture of Arabs generally and of the Palestinians particularly," Peretz wrote. "It is a failure of the collective imagination for which no one is to blame." Peretz's chief nemesis, the Nation's Alexander Cockburn, pounced on the column a week later, calling Peretz a racist and insisting that the Palestinians had shown remarkable restraint under occupation. Vanity Fair's James Wolcott homed in on the same Peretzism in 1988, deriding the New Republican's approach to Israeli-Arab relations as iron-fisted and ugly.

It's On

Inspired by this couple of posts over at Matt Yglesias's blog, I decided to compile some examples of TNR-owner and editor-in-chief Marty Peretz's bigotry and anti-Arab racism, as well as some of the commentary on Peretz.

My intention here is not to embarrass Peretz, which I think is probably impossible. My intention is to expose Peretz's racism against Arabs, especially the Palestinian people, and to place his writing in the context of a career spent scorning, smearing, and sneering at Arab and Islamic cultures, so that American liberals can no longer pretend not to know that the owner and editor-in-chief of one of America's most prominent liberal magazines is an enthusiastic bigot.

There are a number of liberal writers and bloggers, Yglesias, Eric Alterman, Glenn Greenwald, and the crew at Lawyers, Guns and Money among them, who have consistently been willing to call Peretz on his racism. Hopefully, this number will grow.