Thursday, January 12, 2006

Christopher Hitchens, the RJC, and the ZOA

This item from the Forward was flagged by Town Crier with an air of exposing Republican perfidy. The ZOA is apparently appalled at Christopher Hitchens' invitation to speak at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. Considering what a venomous anti-Zionist the old Hitchens was, this is understandable. Nevertheless, we are speaking of the new Hitchens:
"This is absolutely appalling," said Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America. He said that Hitchens "has publicly stated Israel should not have been created. To give credibility to Hitchens by a Jewish group is unthinkable. They should be attacking him and not giving him a podium."

In an e-mail to the Forward, Hitchens replied: "Things have not degenerated to the point where I, let alone the RJC, require a kosher stamp from a boorish chauvinist like Morton Klein. It's true that I have allowed myself to imagine Jewish life without Herzl, and I shall keep trying to imagine it without Klein."
I did not know he was Jewish:
Hitchens has written that after his mother died in 1988, he learned that she had been Jewish. In 2000 he wrote in the Forward that the revelation had not affected his thinking, but after 2001 he began identifying himself as Jewish and attacking Israel's enemies.
That puts his attack on Metzitza bePeh in a new light. It doesn't make him any less wrong, but I now understand what formerly struck me as presumption.

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