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Mazal tov to Rick Richman for summarily dispatching the most recent libel of the Zionist genius, Zev Jabotinsky -- as it appears in Peter Beinart's forthcoming book, The Crisis of Zionism, published by Times Books (a partnership between The New York Times and Henry Holt & Co.).
After confirming that "the errors and omissions in Beinart's 196-page text could fill a book," Richman painstakingly deconstructs a singular example. Apparently Beinart used in his argument two sentences from a secondary source concerning one of Jabotinsky's (more readily accessible) essays, misinterpreted that quote and "egregiously misstated the theme of the essay" itself -- which, obviously, he had never read. Himself an associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York, one wonders if Mr. Beinart tolerates equally shoddy research in the work of his students. (Most likely, everyone gets a trophy.)
Here we have another case of liberal Academic Malpractice, not terribly unlike the one that Rick uncovered six years ago -- almost to the day. I'll save the discussion of similarities and differences for another day, but for one. Unlike Walt and Mearsheimer, Beinart is a Jew.
I haven't yet read his book, and I may not, but I do know enough about Jabotinsky to risk saying that he would likely not be surprised to see that three-quarters of a century after his death, leftist Jews are resurrecting his work in order to libel him all over again. Nor would he be especially dismayed. When, during his life, the pace of attacks against him would pick up, he would take the acceleration to mean that his message must be getting through. We hope it is.
To this day, Jabotinsky is a hero -- not because he was a man of character "beyond reproach," a great orator, writer and linguist, and not even because he was man of extraordinary vision, some would say prophetic - but a hero in the most basic terms, because he sacrificed of himself to save his fellow Jews. His career, finances, family, his safety and security as well as theirs, all were subordinated to the monumental task he set for himself, to re-establish the dignity and sovereignty of the Jewish people in a nation of their own with an army to protect them.
Libeling Jabotinsky is nothing new; he has been called a fascist by better men than Peter Beinart. Beinart is just the latest in a long chain of Jewish non-heroes whose distinction lies in their willingness to sacrifice fellow Jews in order to save themselves. This historic pattern has been described, illustrated and explained by writers and thinkers far more distinguished than myself. See for instance, If I Am Not For Myself... The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews by Ruth Wisse (published when Peter Beinart was a 21-year-old undergrad).
... in the present as in the past, when actual Jew-hatred challenges the principles of liberal faith, the inconvenient Jewish variable is always in danger of being sacrificed to the purity of liberal ideals.
Pp. 35 and 34:
... Jews are the only American minority whose members do not as a matter of course support the land of their people, and some of whose members join in the political effort against it. The banner under which they manifest this aberrrant political activity is liberalism, or the Left.
* * *
The more unpopular the Arabs were able to make Israel, the more Jews outside Israel tried to win back their own popularity by proving their innocence.
The paradoxical behavior of American Jews could in fact much more accurately be described as the desire to disassociate onself from a people under attack by advertising one's own goodness.
And finally, from p. 38:
Liberalism... and leftism among intellectuals are the Jew's attempt to parry or deflect the forces of hatred. As his enemies try to drive a wedge between the Jews and all the others, he tries to demonstrate his attachment to the others by proving his independence from the Jews.
Hence, Peter Beinart advertises his own goodness to his fellow liberals by disrespecting and distorting Zionist history, and proves his independence by calling for a boycott of those who live 'on the other side of the Green Line,' in Judea and Samaria -- on the "west bank" of the Jordan River.
And thus will our Poster Boy for the Liberal Betrayal of the Jews launch his new book tonight at a plenary session of the annual J-Street Conference. And starting the next day he will take it on the road, to all those places where liberal Jews congregate to congratulate themselves on their liberalism, their great tolerance and open-mindedness. No doubt these audiences will find young Beinart to be brilliantly fascinating and his book, "ground-breaking."
Outside the sphere of Beinart's Lucrative Crisis, however, we are grateful that there is an entire world of true Zionists and honest scholars who recognize that "there is nothing new under the sun" -- at least, not since Jabotinsky.