There were moments--long moments--during the Iraq war when I had my doubts. Even deep doubts. Frankly, I couldn’t quite imagine any venture requiring trust with Arabs turning out especially well. This is, you will say, my prejudice. But some prejudices are built on real facts, and history generally proves me right. Go ahead, prove me wrong.
The point here is so obvious that it makes itself. In the bolded sentence, replace the word "Arabs" with "Jews" and ask yourself: how much time would elapse before the author of such a sentence would be vehemently scorned and shunned by all decent people, formally condemned by a litany of organizations, and have his livelihood placed in jeopardy? Or replace the word "Arabs" in that sentence with "Jews" or "blacks" or "Latinos" or even "whites" or virtually any other identifiable demographic group and ask yourself this: how many people would treat a magazine edited and owned by such a person as a remotely respectable or mainstream publication (notwithstanding the several decent journalists employed there)? Yet Marty Peretz spits out the most bigoted sentiments of this type -- and he's been doing this for years, as is well known -- and very little happens, because, for multiple reasons, this specific type of hate-mongering remains basically permitted in American political discourse. The double standard at play here is as extreme and self-evident as it is pernicious, but it doesn't matter. And we'll all wait with bated breath for the next installment of The New Republic's righteous, accusatory attacks on the entirely fictitious manifestations of the one strain of bigotry that bothers them, because they're such credible arbiters and opponents of prejudice.