Ron Radosh

The New York Times Continues its Paens to Tony Kushner- No Dissent Allowed

Having spent days praising Tony Kushner as the cultural world’s greatest gift to America, today’s New York Times prints yet another op-ed in praise of the anti-Israeli playwright—this time by none other than our old friend, Roger Cohen.

Using his Jewish bona fides as proof that he knows what is right, Cohen praises both the late Tony Judt- who wrote in favor of a one-state solution for Israel’s problems; i.e., a bi-national or in reality a unitary Palestinian state with a Jewish minority in place of Israel—and Tony Kusher, of whom Cohen writes that “Kushner’s travails have a familiar ring. He’s interested in historical facts, which include Palestinians being driven from their homes in 1948; he’s appalled by the ongoing Israeli settlement policy and is a board member of an organization that has supported boycotting West Bank settlements (although Kushner told me he’s against a boycott); he’s mused about one state.”

As usual, Cohen like the others take Kushner’s word for what he believes, completely ignoring all the evidence that the playwright regularly lies or dissembles about his own extremist views. And he also repeats the myth about what Cohen unknowingly calls “historical facts,” even though Kushner said he learned about Palestinian displacement in 1948 from Benny Morris, who in his latest revised writings, explains that in fact Palestinians were not pushed out by the Haganah, and the reality was far different from what he originally thought.

Rather than Kushner being punished,  Cohen favors the firing of Jeffrey Weisenfeld, whose only sin was speaking out at what he felt was an inappropriate honor to be granted by CUNY. How dare anyone confront the great Kushner by exposing him for what he is- a Jewish anti-Semite and hater of Israel? Cohen says no university should favor “taboo over debate.” Yes, Indeed- but it is Weisenfeld who favored debate, and Cohen and company and his fellow editors at the NYT who favor crushing the right of anyone who speaks out for Israel to be heard.

To add insult to injury, he ends his column by quoting Kushner about it being “essential that we become more sophisticated and braver in what we’re willing to say and think.” How true. But the only brave individual is Jeffrey Weisenfeld, who has bucked the consensus at CUNY and spoken out. The ones following the herd mentality is none other than Roger Cohen, the editors and reporters at The New York Times, all of whom speak with one voice- and without allowing any dissent from the party line to appear in their pages.

So again, as I said last time, it is no wonder New York City doesn’t need an open leftist daily newspaper. It has one: The New York Times.