London Review of Books in the Israel Lobby’s crosshairs

If I had to rank the world’s best publications, I would put the London Review of Books on top. Unlike its progenitor, the NY Review of Books, it is edgier, more daring in its politics. It also has a generally-superior stable of writers. The late Edward Said was a frequent contributor, so is my friend Tariq Ali. Its Israel-Palestine beat is covered by critical voices like Rashid Khalidi, Yitzhak Laor, Ilan Pappe, Neve Gordon, Uri Avnery, Charles Glass, Henry Siegman, Alastair Crooke, Avi Shlaim, Sara Roy, Raja Shehadeh et al — writers you’ll never see in the NYRB or the New Yorker. And of course, in 2006 it did what no American publication dared do: it gave a platform to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

Unsurprisingly, it has been the target of the lobby’s wrath ever since. Earlier this year the neoconservative Standpoint magazine launched a campaign to have its (negligible) public funding revoked. It also smeared LRB editor Mary-Kay Wilmers. Now comes another salvo. Just Journalism — the UK counterpart to CAMERAhas published a ‘study’, now being publicized by the ADL, which claims to prove LRB’s anti-Israel bias (an allegation that has less sting in the UK than it does in the US). Just Journalism first tried to mask its Israel lobby origins by appointing the Egyptian-born Adel Darwish as its director. However, Darwish only lasted a few months, announcing his resignation in a rambling, semi-coherent post in which he warned that the overzealousness of the organization’s principals risked turning it into ‘a Maccarthist [sic] which-hunt of fellow journalists’. He also noted:

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