It is a measure of Paul Krugman’s influence that within an hour or so of his posting a weak defense of Peter Beinart, yet still a defense, a half dozen people sent me the link. The guy is huge. Haaretz did a news story on the Krugman statement. His column is titled “The Conscience of a Liberal.” And this is part of what he says:
The truth is that like many liberal American Jews — and most American Jews are still liberal — I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide — and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.
I find this stunning. The guy has a Nobel Prize and a professorship and a perch at the New York Times, and he is afraid to go near the issue, one of the most important issues we face today, and when he does go near it he offers platitudes. Is it true that the end of Israel would be bad for Jews everywhere? Explain. Is it true that organized groups intimidate people on this issue? Elaborate. John Mearsheimer says that tenure is wasted on most professors. This seems further proof of his theory. Krugman obeys the strictures of Jewish community orthodoxy.
Oh and go to the link but his statement on behalf of Beinart is the repetition that he’s brave. Krugman avoids the boycott issue entirely. Here’s Haaretz, wowed:
Krugman’s unusually harsh critique of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is sure to elicit howls of protest from Israeli spokespersons and American Jewish organizations – more so, perhaps, as they come on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day. It is also sure to further inflame the continuously deteriorating relationship between the Israeli government and the New York Times, considered by many to be the most important newspaper in the world.