In addressing the ease with which accusations of "Israel firster" and "dual loyalty" are now be tossed around by the left, Kirchik notes a parallel problem:
The left is constantly complaining that the debate about Israel is restricted, that one can't criticize Israel without "risking" his career. Reality is in fact the opposite. Figures ranging from University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer to journalists Peter Beinart and Andrew Sullivan have all seen their careers blossom as a result of their harsh and unrelenting criticism of Israel. Indeed, obsessively attacking Israel is a bona-fide way to resuscitate one's career, not destroy it. As a measure, consider the fact that employees at mainstream liberal institutions feel comfortable using the sort of language popularized by white supremacists and Holocaust-deniers.Read the whole thing.
It isn't just figures on the medium and lower rungs of think tanks using such foul rhetoric: "Israel-firster" and "Likudnik" are favorites of Time's Joe Klein, as well as Salon's Glenn Greenwald, one of America's most popular liberal bloggers, who refers to "the many Israel-firsters in the U.S. Congress."
I don't know if attacking Israel in public has actually helped the reputations of these people--though who ever heard of Mearsheimer and Walt before "The Israel Lobby"--but it does seem they never stop patting themselves on the back for their bravery for being among the first to broach this "forbidden" subject.
Technorati Tag: Israel.