Sunday, January 14, 2007

Is James Traub a Jew-Hater?

Reading today's New York Times Magazine profile of ADL chief Abe Foxman by James Traub, I couldn't help wonder if Traub is a Jew-Hater. He repeated anti-Semitic stereotypes about rich and powerful Jews, he mocked Foxman's experience as a Holocaust survivor hidden by a Polish nanny, he suggested that the US could have avoided 9/11 by dropping support for Israel, and he appeared to give credence to the "Jewish Lobby" arguments of Walt and Mearshimer, while defending the views of Minister Farrkhan and Jimmy Carter. OK, if it appeared in an American Nazi publication it would make sense--or even in the Nation. But the New York Times Magazine? Do they really want to lose the rest of their subscribers?

I'm no fan of the ADL, I've criticized Foxman for Koshering Borat, but Traub's article a real slime job, a crude and ugly smear that reeked of was so over-the-line, so ugly, so cruel, and so dishonest, that it may be the most disgraceful thing I've seen in print yet at the Times, which might perhaps think about changing its motto to: "All the News NOT Fit to Print."

As for James Traub, if he's not a Jew-Hater, unless the piece was some sort of Borat-like parody designed to fight anti-Semitism, I'd say Traub does a remarkable literary imitation of presenting the very tendencies the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith was established to combat.