The Chas Freeman scandal of character assassination by the Jewish “Israeli lobby” will probably end soon. There may be one last gasp; I heard that Freeman is supposed to appear on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN show. Meanwhile, there has been some outcry in the mass media, most notably David Broder’s column in the Washington Post, “The Country’s Loss,” and Stephen Walt and Paul Pillar in Foreign Policy. The defense of Freeman has been small in comparison to the Jewish onslaught, including Jonathan Chait of the New Republic, Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, Gabriel Schoenfeld (writing on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal), Jonah Goldberg of National Review, Marty Peretz on his New Republic blog, and former AIPAC official Steve Rosen.
Walt’s Foreign Policy comment makes all the important points. For me the most important is the dire implication for intellectual honesty in intelligence analysis. All analysis affecting Israel is guaranteed to be characterized by self-censorship and political correctness. As Walt points out, it indicates that Israel’s supporters do not believe that Israel’s relationship with the US can survive honest scrutiny.
I thought the New York Times report of Freeman’s withdrawal was pretty straightforward, although it managed to have a tone that said, “We love Israel,” even if it didn’t say it in so many words. After all, the Jewish-owned, usually intellectually honest NYT doesn’t want to suffer the same fate at the hands of the Israel lobby that Freeman and the CIA did.