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October 6, 2020 3:24 pm

New York Times Op-Ed Page Gives Peter Beinart a Promotion

avatar by Ira Stoll

Opinion

Peter Beinart. Photo: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons.

Peter Beinart, who in July published an op-ed in The New York Times renouncing Zionism and calling for the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel, has joined the paper’s opinion section “as a contributing opinion writer,” Beinart announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

Aside from a byline identifier on his column, there was no immediate official announcement from The New York Times, perhaps because in 2020 the announcement of any new white or Jewish male contributing opinion writer, even an anti-Zionist one, would have to be paired or diluted with a dose of more demographically-appropriate hires.

The biographical information line on Beinart’s first column as a “contributing opinion writer” offered new details about how his work is funded. It describes him as “a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace.”

The Foundation’s latest tax filing, dated July 2019, discloses that Beinart was paid $110,000 for “consulting.” The Foundation also lists a $135,000 contribution from the Alexander Soros Foundation. Beinart has described Alex Soros, a son of the financier George Soros, as “a friend who has donated to think tanks to support my work.”

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State payroll data available at Seethroughny.net indicates that Beinart earned $165,275 in 2019 as a professor of journalism at the City University of New York.

The elevation of Beinart to the “contributing opinion writer” post is the latest in a series of developments signaling a new tilt at the paper — that Zionism is South Africa-style racist apartheid and that a one-state solution is preferable to a Jewish state and a Palestinian-Arab state.

Beinart’s July op-ed called for Israel’s replacement with a country Beinart calls “Israel-Palestine,” “a Jewish home that is also, equally, a Palestinian home,” “a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.”

The substantive shift follows the departure in recent months of the paper’s editorial page editor, James Bennet, and of an openly-Zionist editor and writer that Bennet had hired, Bari Weiss.

Beinart’s first column as a “contributing opinion writer” doesn’t mention Israel, but it faults the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, for being too supportive of President Trump’s hard line against Iran.

“When the Trump administration assassinated Qassim Suleimani, one of Iran’s most powerful officials, in January, Mr. Biden said he ‘deserved to be brought to justice‘ and worried merely about the killing’s practical effects,” Beinart writes.

Beinart’s announcement of his own new post was met with sarcastic derision on Twitter.

“A victory for intellectual diversity. Ultraliberal Jewish voices are seldom heard today. In particular, this portends that NYT may finally shatter its longstanding taboo on criticizing Israel,” commented a Twitter account operated under the name Kamel Amin Thaabet.

“Bari Weiss out, Peter Beinart in,” wrote Daniel Goldman.

The official account of Herut North America commented, “To see that such a harsh critic of #Israel and #Zionism is now writing for the Times is horrible but, unfortunately it is hardly surprising.”

“NYT Opinion felt it needed *more* anti-Israel content?” asked Melissa Braunstein.

Hard to believe, but the appetite for it among Times readers, or at least the current management, appears, alas, insatiable.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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