Paul Krugman’s “what must be said”

Krugman: Beinart is a brave man

Krugman: Beinart is a brave man

The universal concealment of these facts,
To which my silence subordinated itself,
I sense as incriminating lies
And force–the punishment is promised
As soon as it is ignored;
The verdict of “anti-Semitism” is familiar.

Günter Grass, explaining how he will be punished for his ‘courage’ in saying “what must be said.”

This could be the stupidest conceit of today’s Israel-haters: that they are breaking the silence, speaking out in a fresh and original way, daring to say things that others may be thinking but fear to put into words because of the terrible retribution of the Zionist conspiracy, which will destroy them by branding them as antisemites.

The latest expression of this idiotic meme comes from the economist Paul Krugman, someone I have always admired despite his left-of-center politics. I will quote in full his remark, published today in the NY Times:

Something I’ve been meaning to do — and still don’t have the time to do properly — is say something about Peter Beinart’s brave book The Crisis of Zionism.

The truth is that like many liberal American Jews — and most American Jews are still liberal — I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide — and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.

But it’s only right to say something on behalf of Beinart, who has predictably run into that buzzsaw. As I said, a brave man, and he deserves better. [my emphasis]

I’m actually embarrassed for Krugman. It seems to me that the industry of bashing Israel is alive and well in many places, especially his own NY Times, home also to such ‘brave’ men as Thomas Friedman, Roger Cohen, Nicholas Kristof, etc. who face the Zionist buzzsaw without flinching week in and week out.

It’s not as much brave to pick on Israel as it is profitable. Who ever heard of Peter Beinart before he adopted the persona of Brave Jew Standing Up to Powerful Zionist Establishment?

Maybe Krugman should spend some time thinking about where Israel is going, because an honest effort to do so would require that he learn something about it. Beinart’s work of fantasy won’t be much help there.

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One Response to “Paul Krugman’s “what must be said””

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    It has now become an Industry: ” Liberal Jews who save Israel from itself” In fact along with Krugman the ‘Times’ features another such article today by one Sam Roberts. But of course this is the official line not only of Tom Friedman and Roger Cohen but ‘Times Editorial’ itself. It commissions tens of such articles every year.
    They all should be ashamed of themselves. They are fools who put their heads in the sand about Palestinian Arab intentions and actions. Their one- sided blaming of Israel when it really deserves one- sided praise is as you say ‘self- serving’ Shame shame on them all.

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