“Given the perpetual parade of ‘intellectuals’ who are not intelligent in our media — Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS and the ‘parrot press’ — I don’t expect you to be familiar with political philosopher Paul E. Gottfried. Nevertheless, Paul (he’s a friend) is one of the most important intellectuals in America.”
“Historian Eugene Genovese calls Paul incorruptible, ‘an American intellectual of superior talent.’ Author and historian John Lukacs praises Professor Gottfried as ‘a very profound thinker.’ And L. Brent Bozell III salutes his ‘amazing intellectual courage’ — courage in the face of the malign, philistine forces of the liberal and neoconservative mainstream.”
Over the years, I’ve interviewed Professor Gottfried pursuant to the publication of his many books. I do so again on the occasion of the publication of “Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers.”
Update I (Sept. 11): Please note that the always-genial and brutally candid Paul Gottfried has replied to his detractors in the Comments Section. Some of the critics have been quite harsh (and this forum is moderated).
Update II: Randy, the war on Iraq is not going to be adjudicated again here, not ever. I chronicled the invasion of Iraq at great length, applying fact and every ounce of reason in my possession to repudiate and denounce that war crime. The case is closed! Neoconservative ideologues stand in the dock for aiding and abetting a war crime. Any reader is welcome to read my article archive on the topic (search the blog archives too). I can well imagine that many ideologues who supported the war urgently need to make peace with their maker, or consciences, for their role in a crime of such moral and material magnitude.
Update III (Sept. 12): Hayim, one doesn’t have to endorse everything Paul Gottfried writes or espouses to appreciate his contribution and steadfast principles. As someone who is ostracized by even more factions than Paul, I recognize the strength of character it takes to resist group pressure to conform and compromise one’s notion of right and wrong.
As to the article you cited, and which I skimmed: I have quoted Dershowitz on Israel and find his commentary worthwhile. I do not appreciate the dichotomy—or hypocrisy—the likes of Dershowitz evince in that they are hard-core rightists when it comes to Israel’s right to preserve its ethnic identity. But anyone arguing that the preservation of the historical America is essential to the preservation of freedom itself is a racist in Dershowitz’ books. That aspect of the Jewish Diaspora sickens me. Israelis are nothing like these American Jews.
In “Harvard Hucksters Hype Israeli Pseudo-Historians,” I expressed exactly what I thought of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of “The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.”
Norman Finkelstein I include among “dwarfs standing on the shoulders of Jewish giants. Noam Chomsky (‘The Godfather’), Steven and Hillary Rose … Joel Kovel, Tanya Reinhart in Tel Aviv, and Michael Cohen in Swansea—these are but a few of the new anti-Semitism’s leading Jewish lights.”
Where I agree with Paul is in his assertion that there is among the anointed Jewish leadership a crass abuse of “the Holocaust for propagandistic purposes.” No doubt about it. And it’s repulsive. To the extend Finkelstein exposes this, to that extent he makes a valid point. The Holocaust industry makes even me turn away from a catastrophe that has truncated my own family tree.
I also find the premise of the Daniel Goldhagen book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, appalling.
I think that on the whole Joan Peterson’s book is pretty good. If there are a few factual problems—and I don’t know that there are—they serve in this context as a fig leaf for those who would deny the central truth about the Jewish settlement of Israel:
“The territory within which the State of Israel was established did not form part of any larger state that opposed its creation. The territory was, moreover, one where Jews formed a majority on land they had purchased legitimately.”
Unanimously, this Jewish majority issued a declaration of independence promising that ‘the State of Israel will … foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants,’ not for the benefit of mankind. They promised that the country would ‘be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisioned by the prophets of Israel”; that it would ‘ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,’ and ‘safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.”
It is a joke to claim, as the anti-Israel right does, that Israel doesn’t respect the rights of all its inhabitants, Arabs included. Let the Raimondos of this world—hopefully there is only one of his kind—go live/or vacation in the Palestinian Authority.
Above all, it is undeniable that Arabs had trashed the Holy Land throughout their occupation of the place. It took Jews to dry the swamps—they died in droves of malaria doing so—to plant orchards, start industries, and generally build from a howling wilderness a prosperous country.
You won’t find me lamenting that wonderful achievement.