If you are familiar with Martin Peretz and you read this blog, it will come as no surprise that I agree with just about none of his racist, bigoted remarks. “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap.” “Druze people [are] congenitally untrustworthy.” “Arab society [is] hidebound and backwards.” “The fiendish barbarism of decapitated heads and mutilated bodies is now a reflex [for Sunni and Shia].” Impressive stuff. New York Magazine recently published an exposé on Peretz that pretty much solidifies his position as a racist. It also revealed that Peretz will soon retire from the racist blogging profession and move to Israel (surprise).
He’s also living and teaching in Israel, because no one in America wants to talk to him anymore.
I am delighted to see this bigot in exile for many reasons
For years it’s bothered me that a well-respected DC publication that employs a number of skilled journalists has a bigot at the top of its masthead.
And so am I, and, I assume, countless others. Yet somehow, between bursts of laughter during the New York Magazine article, I found myself agreeing with the man. Though, naturally, for different reasons. In the article Peretz gives his view of the American President:
Peretz supported Obama in the election, but he has come to see him as a foreign-policy disaster. “I think he has set his major emotional goal to make peace between America and the Muslims,” says Peretz. “I think the American conflict with the Muslims is too complicated to make peace with in a three-point program.”
[tweetmeme] I agree with Peretz’s first statement. I supported Obama and voted for him, but, like Peretz I think he has very much been a ‘foreign-policy disaster.’ Peretz thinks that he is a disaster because he is supporting a contiguous Palestinian state – “Obama has committed himself to a contiguous Palestine: Gaza and the West Bank. That means a discontiguous Israel.” I, on the other hand, see Obama as a failure in foreign policy for many reasons, of which supporting Palestine is not one.
This past Christmas, spent in Bethlehem, I had a conversation with a friend in which I was asked my opinion of his leadership. My response: ‘completely disenchanted.’ I saw the Cairo speech and saw a man who was committed to changed the US policy in the Middle East, particularly in Israel and Palestine where, undoubtedly, the US has played Israel’s lawyer for decades. Yet, as Obama’s presidency aged, the traditional US policy towards Israel and Palestine fermented. Nothing has changed, leaving my aforementioned friend to call Obama slimy.
“He promises change and continues along Bush’s path.” Despite those who say that Obama ‘is the most anti-Israel president in US history,’ the man has not deviated from Bush (or Clinton, or Bush, or Reagan…). Thanks to Wikileaks, there is proof that Obama is ‘slimy,’ to use my friend’s words. Only days after delivering the Cairo speech, in which he demanded a full halt to all Israeli settlement construction (thus putting Abbas on a limb from which he couldn’t climb down) there was a secret memo from France stating that there was a secret accord to allow for settlement growth:
MFA Middle East Director (Assistant Secretary-equivalent) Patrice Paoli informed POL Minister Counselor June 18 that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told French officials in Paris June 15 that the Israelis have a “secret accord” with the USG [US Government] to continue the “natural growth” of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
So much for that Cairo speech and the whole stopping the settlements thing. Of course, Obama’s failures in the Middle East are not new, and neither is the revelation of the secret accord. Yet, for me, my Christmas discussions have really revealed how low Obama has sunk in Middle Eastern opinions. Palestinians do not trust him to deliver on anything. Any hope that was felt after Cairo has evaporated and all the Palestinians are left with is another typical American president stringing them along.
So now, back to Peretz, the man moved to Israel because his views were just a tad too racist for the United States. He now lives in Tel Aviv where, unsurprisingly, his complete hatred of anything Arab (I’d say Palestinian, but, come on, “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.“) is actually considered liberal, as Peretz once was. Yet here I am, agreeing with the man on something. I feel a little dirty.
Photo from New York Magazine