Total misinterpretation of Hitchens - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Tarek
    • 18.12.11 | 01:51 (IST)

    First of all, it is noteworthy that the author of this piece makes no attempt to actually debate Hitchen's beliefs about Israel; he simply dismisses them out of hand as "obnoxious", and calls Hitchen's views on the subject "bad" (I wonder how many hours he spent at the computer to come up with that powerful and emotive adjective). If Hitchens were still alive, he would no doubt ridicule the intellectual bankruptcy of the author. The author's single line dismissal of Juan Cole is particularly embarrassing, given that Cole is a legitimate expert with a long list of scholarly publications who, unlike the author or Hitchens, actually speaks Farsi, and is the only one of the three qualified to comment Ahmadinejad's views in context. More importantly, he misunderstands HItchens' ideological transformation. Hitchens, while a talented polemicist, was not a particularly brave or original intellectual--in his later career he became an opportunist who craved acceptance from power and the intellectual establishment, which is impossible to gain while embracing the Palestinian cause. Hitchens mild reversal on this point should be viewed as part of a broader trend of his toward political opportunism and framing of his polemics within a discourse acceptable to the mainstream.

    from the article: Despite criticism of Israel, Hitchens was ardent foe of anti-Semitism
    First published 23:16 17.12.11 | Last updated 23:16 17.12.11
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