View Full Version : Peretz's Hit on the Juicebox Mafia

12-31-2008, 07:01 PM
bhTV commenters should stick up for Matthew Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Spencer Ackerman, Marty Peretz at TNR launched this troll-like snotball recently (http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_spine/archive/2008/12/29/the-quot-juicebox-mafia-quot-on-gaza.aspx):

I pity them their hatred of their inheritance. Actually of both their inheritances, Jewish and American. They are pip-squeaks, and I do not much read them. But when any one of them writes a real doozey it is likely to come to my attention.

I have known one of them, Spencer Ackerman, a smart young man but, alas, not as smart as he thinks and certainly not as smart as he needs to be. He worked at The New Republic for maybe two years or even three for which I apologize; you can look up his trash by yourself.

They were brought to mind in a short piece by Noah Pollak who, although he writes for Commentary's "Contentions" blog, is about as free of conservative cant as are Niall Ferguson, who writes occasionally (too occasionally) for us, and Christopher Caldwell, a Saturday regular at the FT.

"Juicebox mafia," the tag-line for the Matthew Yglesias, Ezra Klein and Ackerman trio, was provided by a regular contributor to TNR. An excerpt from Pollak:

Matthew Yglesias writes something dumb enough that it needs no elaboration:

But already the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets has increased (from a baseline of zero) since the retaliatory attack that was supposed to prevent such killings.

Pollak is correct about Yglesias' flippant allusion to the killing of two Israelis by rocketry in the heat of ongoing battle, although other Israelis were sent to their deaths during the six-month "cease-fire." Some cease-fire. The point is that civil society is impossible with 50 missiles a day raining on your head. And it is a civil society that is at stake here. Whether the Gaza Palestinians can ever have a truly civil society is another question, the answer to which -- given the Arab societies that surround them -- is probably "no." Sorry to disappoint you.

At this date, I've not read a rejoinder. I doubt any of the three would glorify this. But, I ask, why is Peretz still employed? Pack him off to Israel and let him go solo.

12-31-2008, 07:08 PM
bhTV commenters should stick up for Matthew Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Spencer Ackerman, Marty Peretz at TNR launched ...

Please. No sane person needs to stick up for anyone whom Peretz disparages. Guy's such a nutcase he got booted off the group blog on his own website.

12-31-2008, 07:16 PM
Yeah, who's he sucking?

Peretz undermines any pro-Israel argument - something I don't have any reluctance to say. Peretz reminds me of one half of my family that used to speak to me as if I were Jewish, and still berate me for my "betrayal".

12-31-2008, 08:27 PM
Marty should have joined the board of National Review years ago. If he'd had his way, I think The New Republic would be indistinguishable from the former long ago. I think those guys (Matt Y, etc...) need a defense from Peretz about as much as they do from the likes of Mark Steyn or Lisa Schiffren.

The apology for Spackerman's tenure at TNR is a churlish reminder of who we're talking about.

12-31-2008, 08:52 PM
this from the genius who hired james kirchick . . .

12-31-2008, 09:05 PM
Feh. I missed the better analogy - Victor Davis Hanson is the perfect irrelevant blowhard emeritus for a comparison to Peretz.

01-01-2009, 02:55 AM
Why Israel? There are lots of people here (Jews included) who hate his politics.

Good to hear you say so. I only wish Peretz could be made aware of that.

01-01-2009, 05:30 AM
I think you are accusing me of being antisemitic, not racist.

And, no. If Peretz wants to call Ackerman a "pip squeak" and call it a blog, then he can hone his prodigious rhetorical skills standing between Israelis and Palestinians, since his leadership skills are wasted on a younger generation of American Jewry. And, surely TNR subscribers are just too pedestrian to appreciate such a genius to the degree he deserves. TNR might suffer in his absence, but it's a chance we non-gold-digging bourgeois males will have to take.

01-01-2009, 05:47 AM
I agree with your argument. My disagreements with Yglesias run 3 out of 5 against, it seems. It's Peretz's condescending attitude to which I object. I failed to make that clear. mostly because I read Peretz through my own red haze of embittered generational identity.

Because of my adoptive father, I got the "elders" full-bore talking about support for Israel, when not one of the fat asses - literally - had stepped foot out of Baltimore, except perhaps to see a relative in NYC. And, then there was a "cousin", who was dealing with his homosexuality, but who was forced into all manner of pro-Israeli booster activities just to keep him preoccupied, if therapy and around-the-clock chaperons were not enough. I couldn't go to a funeral or a wedding without having an Israeli flag shoved in my face. And, mind you, I hate seeing American flags in churches. Finally, I wouldn't have felt even more infuriated if not for my father and his siblings, who were just a little ruder than I was pushing back at the old hags and their hen-pecked husbands.

So, please, just stop sounding like a coven of old ladies by using the words Jewry and Israel in the same sentence.

01-01-2009, 08:38 AM
For me Israel and Jewry oughtn't be separated.

That's a category mistake, I think. "Jewry" refers generically to anyone describable as "Jewish." Unless by "Israel" you're referring to something other than the state with that name I think the two are pretty clearly distinct. That doesn't mean that Israel isn't "Jewish." But there are plenty of Jewish people (my wife and a fair segment of her family, for instance) for whom Israel is not a particularly important aspect of their lives.

cognitive madisonian
01-01-2009, 03:38 PM
I love Marty. His apoplectic style in response to those who despise the Jewish State brings a welcome balance to the current tenor of the debate, which is basically like a flip-flopped Hannity-Colmes:

Big, boisterous bully (Israel-haters) shouts loudly over milder, slightly more cerebral opponent (non Israel-haters). A bit of righteous anger, even manifested into some ad hominem, is welcomed from time to time.

I think we should Marty on here with Ackerman. Now that would be a spectacular BH event.

01-01-2009, 09:08 PM
But I still don't know what Baltimoron had in mind. I didn't even use the word 'Jewry', let alone put it in a sentence with 'Israel'. Was Baltimoron's request even directed at me? Perhaps he'll clarify when he returns.

No, it's not directed "at" you.

I mean, let's talk about Israel without talking about the Holocaust or Judaism.