Try this just for fun: Stand on the street and yell: "Death to Israel. Death to America." No doubt that even in the middle of Kansas on the Fourth of July you'll find a lot of people cheering you on. But dare whisper to no one but yourself: "Stop building mosques at Ground Zero. Mohammed was a paedophile warlord," and see if you don't get into a fist fight, maybe go to jail for causing it. Pollack writes of Mr. Daring Beinart Leftard:
As the astonishingly polite reaction to his article over the past week has demonstrated, there are few postures today from which it is more comfortable and advantageous to call out one's anguish and concern than as a Jewish critic of Israel. The ranks are full of people who have made careers out of being contemporary prophets, traveling the land to warn the Israelites that their arrogance and sin is inviting catastrophe. The key difference is that the biblical prophets were often despised and persecuted figures, whereas the prophets of today enjoy the embrace of a vast array of institutions, foundations, and publications.[My emphasis.]
How hard it must be for Beinart to ally with his employer, the New America Foundation, and Haaretz, Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum, the New York Review of Books, the Nation magazine, the New York Times editorial and op-ed pages, Time magazine, the American Conservative, the American Prospect, Mother Jones, the entirety of the British and European media, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B'tselem, J Street, J Call, the New Israel Fund, Richard Goldstone, the UN Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly, the European Union, the British Foreign Office, the European Council, scores of NGOs, Walt and Mearsheimer, Tom Segev, Avi Shlaim, Tony Judt, Tel Aviv University, every Middle East Studies department, George Soros, the Ford Foundation, Brent Scowcroft, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter, Andrew Sullivan, Noam Chomsky, Mondoweiss, and ... well, you get the picture.
The sad truth is that Peter Beinart isn't any kind of trailblazer or whistleblower, and he most certainly has not earned himself any trouble by coming out as an Israel-basher. He is someone who has rather belatedly fallen completely and predictably into line with the demands his ideological compatriots make for orthodoxy when it comes to their increasingly passionate interest in assaulting Israel and championing the Palestinian cause. In Beinart's work, we are not witnessing an act of courage but rather a spectacle of conformity.
Full essay at Powerline.
I call these wankers Conformity Hippies. They ain't daring. It's not courageous to proclaim your sympathy with the violent majority. Conformity Hippies. They suck.
Then, mere moments later, I found this:
Beinart claims that he is engaging in an act of courage[update: Beinart, via email, says that this is a misinterpretation of what he meant when he said that he found the piece hard to write, and he has explicitly disclaimed the idea that he was exhibiting courage. Fair enough.] by criticizing Israel and the American Jewish establishment, but nothing is more trite, and better for one’s career in left-wing circles, than to be a Jewish liberal/left intellectual publicly attacking Israel. Exactly how many pro-Israel left-leaning organizations and periodicals are there right now, beyond the New Republic? Even back in 1987, a journalist friend of mine was turned down for a job from The NationVillage Voice because it wouldn’t hire anyone who was sympathetic to Israel, especially anyone Jewish. Things have only deteriorated dramatically since. Fact is, Israel has become a liberal-conservative issue in the U.S., with conservatives overwhelmingly supporting Israel, liberals much less so, and liberal intellectuals often hostile. If you’re someone in Beinart’s shoes, writing an essay like his is, as Pollak puts it, “a spectacle of conformity,” not a profile in courage. [UPDATE: Okay, Beinert didn’t claim to be a profile in courage. But the fact remains, even if we grant that Beinert is sincere and not a careerist, if you’re Jewish it’s hard to stay in good graces with the intellectual left, here and abroad, unless you write the obligatory hand-wringing piece criticizing Israel.
Does it change a thing? No. Conformity Hippies still suck. It's all a pose, and they are not anything but scabs. They still suck. They will always suck.
Another up-date. This story is everywhere that counts.
There's more to this story.
It's not likely that readers today will recall Joe Slovo, leader of the South African Communist Party, a Stalinist hack who toed the Soviet line regardless of its evils. One criticism we can't make of Slovo is calling him a hippie. He wasn't. He was a stolid party hack. He and his mates would twist anything at all to fit the Party line, and then twist it again in contradiction of moments before if they found deviation from the current Party line. You had to have known these people to grasp how committed they were to their religious ideology. They were barely human. They weren't clownish, they were boring and metallic, brittle and hollow. I raise this because Peter Beinart claims that Joe Slovo was his hero.
Dear Reader: You have to imagine for yourself what Beinart says when he says that Joe Slovo was his hero. Imagine proclaiming that one adores a phoney and violent robot-man who would on orders exterminate the world's population for the sake of ideological purity. Slovo was a mad-man. But no, not mad, just filled with boring and evil conformity to his masters. Beinart adores him. Here's more, an excerpt from Ron Radosh at Pajamas Media:
Way before it was popular among today’s liberals, Communists like Slovo who followed the Soviet line on Israel called it an apartheid state and condemned it leaders as racists. Now, their line is being echoed by today’s liberals like Beinart. The Beinart article is just the latest example in a new chorus of Israel bashing. As Noah Pollak says, Beinart has “fallen completely and predictably into line with the demands of his ideological compatriots.”What Leftist heights? That part confuses me. That Beinart would like Joe Slovo is not surprising, being too typical of a sucking leftard Conformity Hippie.
And given that we now know one of his heroes was Joe Slovo, Stalinist leader of the SACP, why should we all be so surprised? Liberal Zionism is becoming an endangered species, as its once proud members like Beinart have become comrades in arms with the Joe Slovos of the world. By choosing Slovo as his one hero, Peter Beinart has helped us understand his comfort level with joining the Israel bashers. He has also shown us how far liberalism has fallen from its once admired heights.