Yesterday Tablet smeared me and several other bloggers as Jew-baiters (a "scurrilous" piece righteously punctured by Jerry Haber here). A few connections. According to its latest (2008) IRS Form 990, Tablet’s parent, Nextbook, shares two board members (Arthur Fried, president, and Mem Bernstein, vice president) with the Tikvah Fund board, of which William Kristol is also a member. Tikvah’s central interest is said to be Israel’s leading neocon think tank, the Shalem Center, which my canary tells me Tikvah funds to the tune of several million dollars annually. Remember that Shalem gave us Michael Oren and Daniel Gordis (and Sheldon Adelson, Zionis Maximalis, funds Shalem too).
It’s worth noting that various contributors to Tablet include holdovers from the now defunct neoconservative rag, the NY Sun, including Seth Lipsky, who extolled the virtues of Sarah Palin’s support for Israel in a recent Tablet piece. And you’ll see Jeffrey Goldberg, Leon Wieseltier, and the turbulent Ruth Wisse among its contributors too.
The writer who smeared the bloggers, Lee Smith, has described Bethlehem as part of Israel. At 17:00, in this youtube, he talks about "Israeli Arabs living inside Israel… particularly in Bethlehem." Here at his website on the neocon Hudson Institute, Smith links the frightening Daniel Pipes’s review of Smith’s recent book, which Pipes describes as "a tool to comprehend the Arabs’ cult of death, honor killings, terrorist attacks, despotism, warfare, and much else."
Yes Tablet, which calls itself a "new read on Jewish life," has some bandwidth. A lot of openminded people work there. Today Tablet has a pretty good piece about Jewish anti-Zionists at the US Social Forum. Recently Tablet ran a historic piece by Daniel Luban on the failure of liberal Zionism.
P.S. Max Blumenthal demolishes Smith’s piece here. Excerpt:
Behind Smith’s crude invective lies a deep concern that non-Zionist academics, bloggers and reporters have secured platforms for their views at major online media outlets and inside the academy. They are effectively challenging his Orientalist perspective on the Middle East, which holds that, for instance, the “bloody and violent culture” of Arab leaders is the sole source of violence in the region. There was once a time when such views prevailed in the academy, and when criticism of Zionism was easily dismissed as a cover for anti-Semitic hatred. Smith seems keenly aware that the times are changing, even if his arguments read like the somnambulistic babbling of Alan Dershowitz from ten years ago.