Glenn Greenwald: Pro-Israel sentiment in the U.S. is at least as bad for freedom of speech as Islamist terrorists murdering cartoonists

Apparently, the real lesson we should be learning from the murder of “blasphemous” French cartoonists is that American pro-Israel activists are at least as repressive as Islamist terrorists. That’s because the former have purportedly created a “taboo” against criticizing Israel–a purported taboo, I should note, that Greenwald himself and many other bloggers, along with every major American newspaper and left-of-center journal, violate regularly, and one that somehow doesn’t stop professors hostile to Israel from dominating Middle East Studies Departments in universities across the United States, such that the actual taboo in such departments is to express sympathy for Israel. Here’s the money quote, which comes at the end of Greenwald’s post:

That [criticizing Israel] is a real taboo – a repressed idea – as powerful and absolute as any in the United States, so much so that Brooks won’t even acknowledge its existence. It’s certainly more of a taboo in the U.S. than criticizing Muslims and Islams, which is  in mainstream circlesincluding the U.S. Congress – that one barely notices it any more. This underscores the key point: there are all sorts of ways ideas and viewpoints are suppressed in the west. When those demanding publication of these anti-Islam cartoons start demanding the affirmative publication of those ideas as well, I’ll believe the sincerity of their very selective application of free speech principles. One can defend free speech without having to publish, let alone embrace, the offensive ideas being targeted. But if that’s not the case, let’s have equal application of this new principle.