Imagine the Brookings Institution having a forum on the Future of the South in 1964 and inviting no black people

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Truly demoralizing. Jim Crow is on the job in Washington, D.C. This is the Brookings Institution’s lineup for its recent conference on Hard Choices in the Israel/Palestine conflict. It shows how stifling the atmosphere is inside the Establishment when it comes to discussing these issues. The left is represented by Ken Pollack! I don’t see one Israeli Palestinian.

Go through the names on this “Saban Forum”:

Lots of Israelis, liberal Zionists and Israel lobbyists, and administration officials like Stuart Levey and Dennis Ross. The panel on Where Israeli society is going has no representative of 20 percent of the population that is being persecuted (Palestinians) but Moshe Halbertal (who yes, goes to the Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations), Tom Friedman, rightwinger David Brooks, Nahum Barnea, and Leon Wieseltier. What bandwidth: liberal Zionist to gooey-eyed lover of Israel Brooks, and Wieseltier the son of a Revisionist Zionist who knows better but is afraid to unpack his blasted inheritance lest it smash the New Republic’s ethnocentrism to smithereens. 

Ari Shavit of Haaretz leads a panel on the Midterm elections with: Joe Lieberman, Eric Cantor, John McCain, Brad Sherman. Oh my lord. Scary. Where is Brian Baird? Or even a J Street Jew?

Elliott Abrams. Elliott Abrams at the Brookings? What happened to liberalism?

James Steinberg. Jeffrey Feltman, Daniel Shapiro. Stuart Levey, from the Administration. Wow there are a lot of American Jews doing Middle East policy. I know, the Establishment is heavily Jewish. But it makes me want to ask Norman Finkelstein’s question he was against asking but I’m not: Are you now or have you ever been a Zionist?

This is the Establishment. Charlie Rose is there. No Realists. No Palestinians. Oh, Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the P.A. With Tzipi Livni, co-author of Cast Lead, which killed 300-400 children.

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