Peretz issues 50 percent apology for latest anti-Muslim racism

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
on 17 Comments

Editor-in-chief Martin Peretz, who has become the crazy uncle in The New Republic’s attic, says he is sorry for half of his most recent anti-Muslim tirade.  He has been under great pressure, from Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times and from an eloquent coalition of students at Brandeis, his alma mater.

Peretz says he is sorry for writing, “I wonder whether I need honor these people [Muslims] and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”  He admits he wrote the sentence, but he says now he does not believe it.  Let’s take him at his word, although you wonder because it doesn’t read like he accidentally dropped something or misplaced a modifier.  But maybe he just had a couple of extra glasses of wine before hitting the send button.

But he makes no apology at all for his other offensive sentence: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims.”  He writes, “This is a statement of fact, not value.”

Is there any other group of people that the editor-in-chief of an influential American publication could get away with libelling in this way? 

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17 Responses

  1. LanceThruster
    September 13, 2010, 12:37 pm

    I think they consider it still PC to make fun of fat people…but that’s about it.

  2. MHughes976
    September 13, 2010, 12:45 pm

    If there’s a matter of fact here it would be that Muslims are more likely than the generality of the human race to be exposed to lethal violence, and are more likely to threatened factionally by other Muslims than (say) Protestants to be threatened by other Protestants. I don’t know that these are facts, or how the situation would really be measured or what evidence Mr. Peretz would appeal to. Still, were all this true we should note that very much of the violence to which Muslims are exposed clearly comes not from other Muslims but from Western and Israeli sources. And if Muslims are indeed very factional we should ask about the responsibility of a Western world which is keen to keep them divided, not nationalising our precious oil or presenting a united front to Israel. Even the WB/Gaza divide has some of our fingerprints on it, don’t you think?

  3. Sin Nombre
    September 13, 2010, 12:47 pm

    James North wrote:

    “Is there any other group of people that the editor-in-chief of an influential American publication could get away with libelling in this way?”

    No, but even more interestingly one just knows that there’s no other group of people Peretz wouldn’t just as happily libel in this way if he saw them as being against Israeli interests.

    So much for not all but certainly so many other similar American liberals, Lefties and Progressives and their deep deep heartfelt empathy for the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden…. Just an excuse to attack other groups they dislike, such as European-stock Christians and etc. and so forth.

  4. pabelmont
    September 13, 2010, 1:40 pm

    BLOG: “Peretz says he is sorry for writing, “I wonder whether I need honor these people [Muslims] and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut sense that they will abuse.” He admits he wrote the sentence, but he says now he does not believe it. ”

    COMMENT: Probably clear that he wrote it, so his admission that he did so means little. As to belief (or non-belief) what’s to believe (or not believe) in what he wrote? “I WONDER” is not strictly a statement of belief. Maybe he no longer feels (aka “believes”) “IN HIS GUT” that Muslims will abuse the First Amendment.

    Well, he should know. If it is possible to ABUSE A1, Peretz has surely done it.

  5. Citizen
    September 13, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Response to Kristoff; I see Peretz gets a revised sense of morality, depending on who is critical of him. Eats crow when he absolutely has to; otherwise he always sleeps well at night no matter what he writes. Which is the direct result of his rabid support of Zionism. Didn’t he successfully sabotage Chas Freeman to the NIC? Didn’t he smear Walt and Mearsheimer? He demonizes his enemy the same way Westmoreland demonized Asians, saying they didn’t value life the way we did. Eventually, photos of wailing mother’s holding their dead appeared in the mainstream media and changed that tune during the Vietnam War era. Maybe TIME will toss us a few photos of the aftermath of OP Cast Lead? How many innocent civilians have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan? I’m waiting for Uncle Sam’s rabbi Abe Foxman to bash Peretz on his racist comments.

  6. Citizen
    September 13, 2010, 2:14 pm

    So Peretz and his fellow travelers at Fox News (for example) have ruled that the First Amendment is a mere privilege, not a right? Muslims don’t deserve said privilege, one that even Frank Colin had. Logically, Peretz can now also be stripped of his free speech privilege, yes? As SCOTUS has often said, the First Amendment was put there by the Founding Fathers to protect those who disagree with the majority view consensus. An exception has been carved out in the case of “shouting fire in a crowded theatre.” And in the case of “hate speech.” Again, logically Peretz can now be stripped of his free speech right, yes?

    Seems we are reaching a point that the whole USA is that crowded theatre, no? Are we ready for Abe Lincoln’s shut down of the free speech press?

  7. James North
    September 13, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Let’s not overlook the contribution by the great MJ Rosenberg in forcing Peretz to partly backpeddle. link to tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com

  8. potsherd
    September 13, 2010, 2:41 pm

    “There is no hatred in my heart.”

    He should look harder. Or have his cardiological vision examined.

    • LanceThruster
      September 13, 2010, 3:24 pm

      Maybe it’s more in his lower intestines (though it comes out his mouth)?

    • Chaos4700
      September 13, 2010, 3:33 pm

      It’s a bit of a dodge, actually. One has to actually have a heart in the first place to find hatred there.

      What is it with Zionists and constantly devaluing the value of Arab lives? It’s disgusting. We’re really getting a full trifecta of Zionist racism on the blog today.

  9. James
    September 13, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Frankly, jewish life is cheap, especially for jews.” He writes, “This is a statement of fact, not value.”

    i wonder how well that would go over?

  10. Avi
    September 13, 2010, 5:36 pm

    This clown, Peretz, is as relevant to public discourse on this topic as that nut job pastor from Florida.

    They’re both unhinged. Peretz maintains his relevance by virtue of his own connections within the bigoted pro-Israel network in the US. If it weren’t for Zionists in the US, Peretz would have been marginalized to oblivion a long time ago. Just imagine where Helen Thomas would be today had she had this Zionist base behind her.

    • LanceThruster
      September 13, 2010, 6:08 pm

      Good point. If she had only uttered, “The Palestinians need to go back to Jordan. That’s what they are anyway.”

      Time and again I hear Z-team apologists state that Palestinians do not exist, but rather they are merely low-grade Jordanians and as such, need to go back to from whence they came (Jordan). This “from whence they came” is used in the same manner as “I am from Africa” via the mitochondrial Eve.

  11. annie
    September 13, 2010, 5:52 pm

    become the crazy uncle in The New Republic’s attic…it doesn’t read like he accidentally dropped something or misplaced a modifier

    james, you crack me up. i laughed all the way thru this post. he’s pathetic and you’re sublime.

  12. stevelaudig
    September 13, 2010, 6:03 pm

    I suppose the ugly echo to Peretz is that “Palestinian lives are cheap …. to Zionists.” Both of which hearken back to the only good Indian is a dead one from, was it Sherman?

  13. Keith
    September 13, 2010, 8:47 pm

    “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims.” He writes, “This is a statement of fact, not value.”

    The harsh reality is that if the statement read “Human life is cheap for the power elites, this is a statement of fact as evidenced by humankind’s long history of warfare and mass-murder to achieve elite power-seeking goals,” then I would agree completely. The fat-cats have a long history of casually making life and death decisions as if they were simply moving pieces on a chess board. Martin Peretz is, of course, a propagandist and defender of these very same elites.

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