The Thought Police

Folks, it frightens me. Moreover, it angers me when I encounter Jews who are such self-haters. They would do anything to stop someone whose ideas don't coincide with their own leftist views, no matter what the cost.

Arlene Peck

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For almost thirty years, I have been a featured columnist in the National Jewish Post & Opinion. The publisher, who at this writing is 97 years old, never once during that time told me what I could and could not say. Gabriel Cohen was the ultimate newspaperman. Nobel Prize honoree Elie Wiesel once told me that he started his career under Gabe as a "stringer." That was long before me; however, even during my tenure, I had never heard the words "politically correct". In fact, I happily skipped along, secure in my feelings that whatever I felt as a columnist, my paper would see that I was able to air it.

There were times when I'm sure I angered some and sometimes I even strived to get that reaction. At least from my standpoint, it made them think. And when these readers wrote in about my strong Zionist feelings, which they didn't agree with, I answered, "Aw, but I'm a columnist, not a reporter. I'm able to write about my feelings and not only report the facts." I wrote about how the self-haters disgusted me, about the horror I felt because of Jew-haters such as Richard Dreyfus, Woody Allen and Barbara Streisand, who frightened me.

I knew I could write a column and it would be published. Yet, those days are apparently over. I recently returned to the United States from London. I wrote two columns about the Iraq war and any anti-Semitism I might have found during my trip. As usual, I sent in my articles and was stunned to receive a call from the editor saying that my columns would not be accepted. It seems that three of the publisher's eight children, who are running the paper now, "feel I am not only politically incorrect but 'mean to the Arabs'. They are distressed that I write 'ugly' things about them." This, dear readers, only one day after the recent bombing in Tel Aviv.

Folks, it frightens me. Moreover, it angers me when I encounter Jews who are such self-haters. They would do anything to stop someone whose ideas don't coincide with their own leftist views, no matter what the cost. Years ago, I wrote a column about the fear I had that the Arabs were traveling to our shores to buy up our country. However, with the leftist tidal wave that has penetrated our schools and, yes, even our Jewish newspapers, my fear is no longer solely from the Arabs. It is appalling that there are Jews out there who hate themselves. Even more so, that they are gaining control of the press and classrooms and are determined to muzzle thoughts and ideas that are contrary to their disposition to appease Arab terrorism. These are the same morons who, I am sure, were still saying, "Let's negotiate"; "We don't have to fight"; "War isn't the answer", as they were being dragged into the ovens by the Nazis sixty years ago.

I suppose I'm just an old fashioned girl. When a reporter/journalist/columnist/ sees something newsworthy, they have a duty to report it. We are artists who paint with words. And the truth is something that the folks at the National Jewish Post & Opinion just don't want to admit. Maybe their new newsroom attitude is out of stupidity or cowardice, but I tend to think it is simply hatred for themselves and the Jewish people. Certainly their actions, and their control of the press, is dangerous.

Publishers need a sense of reality, to be able to evaluate ideas and the behavior of people. Trying to muzzle a seasoned journalist who has been published by them for thirty years (and unpaid for the past ten) is not the way to go. I don't know whether they are being hostile to me personally or if it is just my ideas that they suddenly don't like. It concerns me how much I've changed, as behavior like this has convinced me that leftist liberals have no respect for any ideas but their own. They somehow just don't 'get it' and stay clueless. It is sad, but so very dangerous when these same people, with their leftist mentality, get control of the press.

You, readers, have the right and the responsibility to know what is really happening in the world, not the picture the leftists want to portray for you. I know it would be nice to paint doves on vans and stand by the side of the road giving peace signs to passers-by, but that is fantasyland.
Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess. She can be reached at