Some of the usual suspects have been e-mailing -- and some of the non-usual suspects as well -- about my criticism of the Tony Judt interview, posted on this site. I'll try to answer two questions now:
Hey, Goldberg, why don't you man-up and criticize someone who is alive, not dead like the great Tony Judt? That would be brave, instead of cowardly.
A strange question, given that I criticize live people fairly frequently (Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer come to mind, as well as Mr. Netanyahu, on the other side). Also, I don't think there is a rule against criticizing the ideas and comments of people who have died. I am certainly not under the impression that Tony Judt lived by that rule.
What is your proof that Judt is dishonest?
Here's one proof. Judt states the following:
What you are really asking is whether I think the Palestinians would immediately set out to rape, pillage and murder the Jews? I don't see why they would want to -- there is no historical record suggesting that this is what Palestinians do for fun, whereas we have all too much evidence that Israelis persecute Palestinians for no good reason.
What I should have written is that Judt is being both demagogic and dishonest. Who ever suggested that Palestinians kill Jews "for fun"? I don't think Palestinians have ever killed Jews "for fun," and I don't think Israelis worry that the destruction of their state would cause Palestinians to kill them "for fun." Which doesn't mean that Israelis wouldn't be worried that some Palestinians might try to kill them, should the Israeli state dissapear. The historic record is filled with incidents, dating back to 1929 and earlier, of Palestinians -- motivated by hatred or politics or theology -- killing Jews. It is impossible to believe that a scholar of Judt's stature would not know this. Do I have really have to make a list of the incidents in which Palestinians have murdered Israelis because they are Israeli? I will if Goldblog readers demand it, though it will take some time, because the list will be quite long.