M.J. Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum, a group usually worthy of respect (and one that just asked me to plug its new and improved website), writes, in reference to Jon Chait's elegant takedown of Stephen Walt:
Chait calls Walt out for failing to note that many of the "usual suspects" Walt cites didn't only write about Freeman's views of Israel. Some wrote about his views of...China. Chait has to be joking. None of the bloggers in question had any interest in Freeman's views on China until Steve Rosen (and some of his colleagues) decided to stir up the opposition to Freeman because of his alleged lack of fidelity to the occupation. In fact, I hear that the offending China quotes were only discovered in the context of a Google Nexis/Lexis search to find incriminating material to block Freeman's appointment because of his Middle East views. China was not even an afterthought.
That should be obvious unless one believes that Rosen, Goldfarb, Goldberg, Peretz, Goldberg again and Scheonfeld suddenly developed a deep and simultaneous concern about human rights in China. The only issue that gang has in common is defending the occupation and opposing the peace process.
Yes, I'm well-known for opposing the peace process. This is what M.J. Rosenberg wrote about my views before the evacuation of settlements from Gaza:
Sharon is taking on the most dangerous segment of the Israeli population. In the May 31 issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg -- an American Jewish reporter who served in the Israeli army -- describes the extreme settlement movement as a threat to the very existence of the Jewish state. Goldberg, a regular in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere, has often been criticized for his supposed pro-Israel bias, and that makes his take on the settlers particularly significant.
Which one is it, M.J.? Am I for the settlements or am I against the settlements? Have I switched my views on settlements and on the occupation? If I have, please let me know. I'm not aware of such a shift. M.J., you should at least read what you yourself have written about other people before manufacturing charges against them.
What Rosenberg can't seem to comprehend is that a person can be opposed to the occupation, and be opposed to the viciously anti-Israel "realism" of the Walts and Mearsheimers at the same time. I admire the work of the Israel Policy Forum very much, and so I'm continually surprised that its director of policy analysis has placed himself in the camp of Walt and Mearsheimer and Charles Freeman.
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