Former Senator James Abourezk responds to a post of yesterday:
How can you criticize such a well balanced panel being offered by the Hudson Institute? Especially with the likes of Martin Peretz on board, as well as Elliott Abrams and other patriots.
When I was first in the Senate in 1973, I spoke to a great many Lebanese American groups (me being the first Arab American ever elected to the Senate) for some healthy honoraria.
Martin Peretz, of the New Republic, called me telling me he wanted to write an article in his journal about my honoraria, intimating that I had sold out to the Arabs. I told him I would answer any question he wanted to ask, but first he had to answer a question from me. What is it? he asked. I said, Is it true that the New Republic is now the house organ for the Israeli Lobby, which brought about screams of pain from the other end of the telephone, along with strong denials, telling me that he was not owned by anyone, and that no one told him what to do. My response was, I am the same way. I am independent and no one nor no country owns me.
He wrote a nasty article despite being so wounded by my words.
I used to know Michael Straight, who sold the New Republic to Peretz, who bought it with his wife’s inheritance from the Singer Sewing Machine Empire. I told Michael that he could not have hurt the country more than he did by giving Peretz this kind of platform. It used to be a wonderful liberal magazine.