The print issue of National Review has a very revealing review of Christopher Hitchens’ autobiography by Ronald Radosh. It comes as no surprise that Radosh praises the book and its author as a “voice to treasure”; Hitchens has been enjoying neocon praise since he emerged as a very vocal supporter of the neocon project of using American blood and treasure to impose democracy on the Mideast. What is surprising, given NR’s history, is where Radosh chooses to criticize Hitchens. Hitchens is not criticized for his jihad against religion, which is arguably at the heart of Hitchens’ worldview. Instead, Radosh charges that Hitchens is insufficiently supportive of Israel, which Radosh sees as part of Hitchens’ being “strangely unable to empathize with ‘the tribe,'” a peculiar term Radosh employs because Hitchens has Jewish ancestry on his mother’s side. The same priorities are reflected at NRO, where piece after piece extolls Israel and no dissent on American policy toward Israel is allowed.
If anyone had predicted 50 years ago that the magazine founded by the author of God and Man at Yale would someday view hostility to Christianity as no big deal and would instead have as its litmus test support for Israel, he would have been laughed at. Nonetheless, he would have been right.