OK, before the rumor mill spins out of control, I think I should just come clean.

I’m the one who wrote that parody article about Israel being responsible for repression in the Arab world and submitted it under Peter Beinart’s name.


It was a silly prank designed to make him look foolish. I now see that I went too far, and I’d like to apologize to the readers and editors who were taken in.

Honestly, I was sure I’d get caught before the article ran. By no empirical measure are Arab countries more repressive now than they were in decades past, and by no measure are the 3 new normalizers any more repressive than their immediate neighbors who haven’t normalized.

And it’s just a little weird to think that diplomatic relations between, say, Bahrain and Norway or UAE and Japan don’t taint those countries in guilt for repression, but somehow Israel’s relations with two Gulf monarchies render it responsible for every sin imaginable.

I also thought it would be obvious this wasn’t Beinart’s writing. There is no moving encounter between obstinate American Jews and an enlightened Peter, no Jewish father figure being torn down as a symbolic offering for the problem of the day (not even an Elie Wiesel swipe).

Most of all, there is an acknowledgment that the Arab rejection of Israel’s existence is an actual thing, backed up by real public opinion data. Anyone who knows Beinart’s views on the Middle East would know that this is verboten.

For actual Beinart, there is only a Jewish occupier/displacer and a Palestinian victim. That Arab publics and elites reject both the presence of Israel & normal relations with it should never be acknowledged and should certainly never be taken to have any explanatory value.
To those of who fell for my childish antics and were forced to read through 2000 words of deliberate nonsense, I offer my sincerest apologies.


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More from @ShMMor

26 Oct
Still trying to make sense of this article by @jameskmcauley in @washingtonpost on Sunday. The thesis seems to be that Islamist violence in France is caused by a peculiarly French systemic racism rather than any kind of Islamist ideology.

In order to be even minimally plausible, we would need to also see: (1) No Islamist violence in other European countries, as they don’t have burqa bans or laïcitié &c. (2) Radical violence from other minorities in France who, after all, are subject to the same systemic racism.

Neither of these is remotely true. But without them, the thesis of this article is ridiculous.

When people believe something slightly wrong or ambiguously wrong, there is not much to learn from it.

Read 15 tweets
18 Sep

Rosh Hashana 20 years ago and the Second Intifada broke out. Some events were historical accident and coincidental, some were fully intentional, even if the consequences weren’t.

But the rejection of a two-state peace agreement and historic reconciliation between two peoples was a Palestinian act, not an Israeli or American one, and a costly one at that.

Anyone who claims to care about the Palestinians and the cause of Palestinian liberation needs to take stock of what was gained in the seven years before the outbreak of hostilities and what was sacrificed to sustain it.

Read 15 tweets
26 Jun
This @jimwaterson attempt to explain the controversy about the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Israel trains American cops to be racist and violent shows exactly why the @Guardian can’t seem to get it right on this issue.

He doesn’t say that this conspiracy theory has been lurking online for years and comes up predictably whenever police violence is an issue, not just in the US but also, for example, in France.

He doesn’t mention that in 2019 a massacre at a kosher supermarket was carried out in Jersey City by an assailant who believed he was getting revenge against Jews for police violence against African-Americans.

Read 17 tweets
20 Jun
I’ve been reading newspapers compulsively every day since about the age of 8. Since the 1990’s, when the internet made it possible, I’ve been bingeing on a steady daily diet of multiple papers in multiple languages. I mention this all this as context for the following:

This article in the @washingtonpost by @mffisher & @TrentPost is the single worst piece of journalism I have ever come across. The editing, the reporting, the prose, even the spaces between the words are a disgrace to the entire profession. washingtonpost.com/local/social-i…

When future generations study how a pandemic-addled society passed on an opportunity to address structural racism and violence and chose instead to descend into ritualized struggle sessions — where the titillation of the baying mob was only enhanced ...

Read 10 tweets
11 Jul 19
Adam, you know. And you've known for a while. Not sure what evidence is missing.
The first step is to stop speaking about Corbyn’s antisemitism as some sort of moral failure deep in his heart. It’s not like we’re talking about someone’s nan using a no-longer-politically-correct term for an immigrant group.
We are talking about a comprehensive worldview that puts a kind of transnational conspiratorial power keeping good people down at its centre.
Read 13 tweets

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