Shorter Tony Judt

in the London Review of Books, translated and summarized by David Bernstein: "American liberal intellectuals should always agree with me on foreign policy. They don't; some of them even supported the Iraq War. How could we explain the fact that even though I'm so obviously right, and that American liberals claim to share the same general world outlook on the world as I have, that they sometimes disagree? It's because they are overwhelmingly Jews or run in Jewish circles, and their views of foreign policy have been perverted by their irrational attachment to the evil State of Israel. But I'll be very careful never to use the word 'Jews' in my essay, so I can immunize myself from charges of encouraging prejudice." Cf. Ottolenghi on Anti-Semitism in Europe (which, if I could retitle the post, for reasons I explain in the comments, I'd call "Ottolenghi on anti-Jewish prejudice in Europe.")

UPDATE: How intellectually dishonest is Judt's essay? He writes, "Not every liberal cheerleader for the Global War against Islamo-fascism, or against Terror, or against Global Jihad, is an unreconstructed supporter of Likud: Christopher Hitchens, for one, is critical of Israel." I'd challenge Judt, or anybody else, to come up with even a handful of American intellectuals who can reasonably be described at (1)liberal; (2) "cheerleaders" of the sort Judt suggests; and (3) "unreconstructed supporters of Likud." But of course "Likudnik" or "supporter of Likud" has become the general term of disopporbium on the far left for any Jew who disagrees with the far left's view of Israel.

And how about this one: "Thus Paul Berman, a frequent contributor to Dissent, the New Yorker and other liberal journals, and until now better known as a commentator on American cultural affairs, recycled himself as an expert on Islamic fascism .... [he had never] previously shown any familiarity with the Middle East, much less with the Wahhabi and Sufi traditions on which they pronounce with such confidence." Unlike, say, Tony Judt, professor of European history, who would obviously never write about anything outside his area of academic expertise, such as Israel, American intellectuals, or American policy in Iraq!

FURTHER UPDATE: I should have noted that I first came upon Judt's essay via this rather tepid response penned by Bruce Ackerman and Todd Gitlin, and signed by many prominent liberals.

Reader Ivan adds:

David, you missed a fun claim of Judt's: "Since its inception the state of Israel has fought a number of wars of choice (the only exception was the Yom Kippur War of 1973)." Sure, Israel had the choice not to become a country in 1948 and could have avoided that one (except not really, since attacks had begun). Or it could have chosen to wait a little longer in 1967, to be attacked first. One could even raise questions of the two Lebanon conflicts (since hostilities were commenced by Hizb'Allah), but we don't have to go there to mock Judt's claim. So many wars of choice Israel has fought. Why couldn't they just be peaceful, like their neighbors?

Ivan, you left out the War of Attrition, another non-war of choice, fought by Israel against Egyptian attacks between the Six Day and Yom Kippur wars.