Time magazine senior editor Tony Karon writes a personal Internet blog that he calls the “Rootless Cosmopolitan,” a term Russian dictator Joseph Stalin used as a euphemistic pejorative for Jew during his anti-Semitic purges of the 1940s.
Karon explains that he can wear Stalin’s negative description of a Jew ”as a badge of honor” since he is an African Jew with roots in Eastern Europe. He also worked for a decade in his native South Africa as an activist in the struggle against apartheid.
His background qualifies Karon to have a voice in the current debate over former president Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In a recent blog entry, Karon defends Carter’s use of the term apartheid as “not only morally valid [but] essential, because it shakes the moral stupor that allows many liberals to rationalize away the daily, grinding horror being inflicted on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.”