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Peretz-the-Leftist Defames Pollard As “Repellent Viper”

Posted By Phyllis Chesler On January 3, 2011 @ 7:50 pm In NewsReal Blog | Comments Disabled

In the last days of 2010, Martin (“Marty”) Peretz, the recently retired editor and publisher of The New Republic, published two rambling, hysterical, and gratuitously cruel pieces which strongly advised President Obama not to pardon Jonathan Pollard.

No one, other than his own demons, asked Peretz weigh in on the matter; he could simply have remained silent. After all, Peretz has lived the life of a wealthy, influential, and outspoken Jewish public figure—a life of honor and freedom. Pollard has been dishonored, despised, and imprisoned for 25 years, seven of which he was forced to spend in solitary confinement. He is a very sick man whose supporters have finally, after many hard years, begun to gather serious support for his release.

Noblesse oblige should have required Peretz to maintain a pained silence. Instead, on his own blog at The New Republic Peretz comes at Pollard with 800 pounds of shockingly anti-Semitic language in which he makes the case against the prisoner.

Peretz describes Pollard as “the single repellent figure,” a “sleaze bag transmogrified into not only a hero but a saint,” a “viper,” a “convicted espionage agent … who got paid for his work … His professional career reeks with infamy and is suffused with depravity.”

Peretz also accuses the prisoner of spying for Pakistan—however, there is no evidence of this in the public record.

Peretz not only despises Pollard; he despises his supporters as well and characterizes them as “brazen … professional victims, mostly brutal themselves, who originate in the ultra-nationalist and religious right. They are insatiable. And they want America to be Israel’s patsy.” If one googles “America Israel’s patsy,” the #2 result, right behind Peretz’s article, is a blog by an anti-Semitic conspiracy freak who argues that the Mossad knew about 9/11 in advance and links to an article by David Duke about “Israeli terrorism.”

Peretz damns Pollard because he does not like some of Pollard’s supporters who, he claims, engage in “incessant special pleading.’” (“Special pleading?” Now where have I heard this phrase before?) If released, Peretz fears, Pollard will be greeted by “triumphant hustlers in the streets of Jerusalem … dancing the hora, of course, ecstatic.” And why? Because they will have “pulled one over on [President Obama]. Over America too.”

This language and these ideas are reminiscent of Hitler’s Der Sturmer, not of the left-liberal Jew who taught at Harvard for 40 years, bought The New Republic and is now temporarily living and teaching in Tel Aviv. When Jews are depicted as “repellent” and as “vipers,” I am reminded of Nazi-era propaganda; when Jews are depicted as sneaky, professional victims, forever pleading their special case even as they pull the wool over the world’s eyes and secretly continue to control the world, I find myself back in the fraudulent pages of The Elders of Zion or on the front pages of nearly every Arab and Palestinian newspaper today.

Peretz goes on to warn President Obama that “if you release Pollard, you would be encouraging the kind of ideological blackmail that has paralyzed Israeli politics not just in the ongoing diplomatic torpor…but through the general assault on civil liberties and freedoms that make the Jewish state so distinctive in the Middle East…Today they want Pollard free. Tomorrow they will be arguing the justice of racial discrimination against Arabs. The day after they will be pressing for limitations on civil liberties. Oh my, they already have.”

In other words, Peretz is telling Obama that if he pardons Pollard that Obama will be contributing to Israeli “racial discrimination against Arabs.” Further, Peretz assures Obama (whose candidacy he supported) that “Israel’s place in the American mind is quite secure…that American solidarity with Israel is quite firm.” In other words, that he, Peretz, rejects “the tremblings of some liberal Jewish (and a few non-Jewish journalists)” as irrational, that Pollard’s unending imprisonment is not viewed as a case of “anti-Semitism” among American Jews, that Obama will not lose Jewish support if he fails to pardon the prisoner, that Pollard is “not Natan Sharansky held captive after a twisted Soviet judicial hearing.”

Ah, but what if justice has not been served in the Pollard matter?

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