Formerly Anti-Fascist NYRB Tries to Shmeiss Paul Berman

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Sol Stern takes on Malise Ruthven, who took on Paul Berman in the pages of the New York Review of Books, an animating purpose of which seems to be to discredit the idea that Israel, or the Jews as a whole, might just have the slightest traces of truth and/or justice on their side. Ruthven is particularly interested in disproving the now-proven notion that the founders of modern Islamism were disproportionately influenced by European fascism:

Ruthven cannot allow himself to deal forthrightly with this issue of Islamic fascism, a central theme of Berman's book. He insists defensively on Hassan al-Banna's "stated belief that Nazi racial theories were incompatible with Islam." Why, then, did al-Banna arrange--as Herf and other historians have documented--for the translation and distribution to the Arab world of Mein Kampf? Even Ruthven once admitted--in The New York Review--that Nazi doctrines about the Jews had infected Muslim Brotherhood offshoots like Hamas. "Imported European anti-Semitism is now embedded in the charter of Hamas, whose thirty-second article explicitly cites the Protocols as 'proof' of Israeli conduct," Ruthven wrote in 2008. "As Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian philosopher and former PLO representative in Jerusalem, has observed, Hamas's charter 'sounds as if it were copied out from the pages of Der Stürmer.'" 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/10/formerly-anti-fascist-nyrb-tries-to-shmeiss-paul-berman/65073/