Some readers may recall that I noted a few days ago that historian Tony Judt has written a piece in the London Review of Books savaging liberals for supporting the Iraq war. I think the piece is over the top, but no matter. Judt is one of the finest historians of the 20th century whose book on Europe rightly earned him numerous plaudits.
Now Timothy Garton Ash, writing in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, says that Judt is being censored in the U.S.: “Even as I write, news reaches me of a friend, Tony Judt, a historian and outspoken critic of recent Israeli policy, finding that a talk he was to give about “the Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy” at the Polish Consulate in New York was canceled after phone calls to the host institution from ‘a couple of Jewish groups,’ including the Anti-Defamation League, according to the Polish consul. Such phone calls are, of course, not comparable with death threats. But this is all part of a many-fronted, incremental erosion of free expression, even in the classic lands of the free such as the U.S., France and Britain.” Garton Ash is right. This is not the road American Jewish groups should be going down. What are they afraid of?
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