The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 09, 2002  

National Review Contributing Editor Calls for Expulsion

It's official. John Derbyshire is psychotic.

National Review Online today published a diatribe -- and that's putting it mildly -- by Derbyshire, a contributing editor to the magazine.

In the article, "Why Don't I Care About the Palestinians?", Derbyshire displays a stunningly deep and irrational hatred of Palestinians and Arabs even Derbyshire himself, despite going on for more than 1,800 words, cannot explain.

The article is so disgusting it took us some time to convince ourselves it wasn't someone's idea of a sick joke. No other mainstream magazine or newspaper in America that we have encountered has ever printed an article so full of anti-Palestinian racism and bigotry. That Jonah Goldberg, editor of National Review Online, considered the essay a worthy and publishable contribution to the current debate is just the most recent evidence that he is in over his head.

Derbyshire, sounding more than anything else like a thug from the Jewish Defense League or a deluded messianic settler, puts forth a tirade of odious invective that is so disturbing, vicious, and ugly that it once and for all puts this shell of a man outside the bounds of polite and civilized society.

The article must be read in its entirety to be believed, but we offer two extended quotes for our readers' consideration.

"The Palestinians are Arabs; and the Arabs, whatever their medieval achievements (as best I can understand, they were mainly achievements of transmission -- 'Arabic' numerals, for example, came from India) are politically hopeless. Who can dispute this? Look at the last 50-odd years, since the colonial powers left. What have the Arabs accomplished? What have they built? Where in the Arab world is there a trace or a spark of democracy? Of constitutionalism? Of laws independent of the ruler's whim? Of free inquiry? Of open public debate? Where in your house is there any article stamped 'Made in Syria?' Arabs can be individually very charming and capable, and perform very well in free societies like the U.S.A. There are at least two recent Nobel prizes with Arab names attached. Collectively, though, as nations, the Arabs are no-hopers. All of this applies to the Palestinians."

"Everywhere you look around the Arab world you see squalor, despotism, cruelty, and hopelessness. The best they have been able to manage, politically speaking, has been the Latin-American style one-party kleptocracies of Egypt and Jordan. Those are the peaks of Arab political achievement under independence, under government by their own people. The norm is just gangsterism, with thugs like Assad, Qaddafi, or Saddam in charge. It doesn't seem to be anything to do with religion: the secular states (Iraq, Syria) are just as horrible as the religious ones like Saudi Arabia. These people are hopeless. We are all supposed to support the notion of a Palestinian state. Why? We know perfectly well what it would be like. Why should we wish for another gangster-satrapy to be added to the Arab roll of shame, busy manufacturing terrorists to come here and slaughter Americans in their offices? I don't want to see a Palestinian state. I think I'd be crazy to want that."

Derbyshire gleefully joins with the demented Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) in advocating the expulsion of all Palestinians currently living in the West Bank and Gaza, and the permanent take over of those areas by Israel, a position that even in Israel is considered extremist. This, Derbyshire believes, is the "best option." He adds: "When I say 'the best option,' I don't mean 'best for the Palestinians.' I don't think they have any good options....Would expulsion be hard on the Palestinians? I suppose it would....Do I really give a flying falafel one way or the other? No, not really."

It speaks volumes about National Review's editors that this cretin continues to publish on its pages. Surely Derbyshire would not be permitted to so brazenly debase any culture on earth other than the Palestinians in this manner. National Review has cleaned house in the past, shedding Joseph Sobran and distancing itself from Pat Buchanan for saying far less offensive things about Jews. It's time to clean out the gutters again.

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