To the Editors:

Elizabeth Drew’s report on “The Neocons in Power” [NYR, June 12] seriously misrepresents the editorial position of the Forward, and in so doing she distorts the political views of American Jews, which her reference to our newspaper seems plainly intended to illuminate.

As Drew correctly notes, the Forward reported in our March 21 edition on the expected appointment of Jay Garner to head postwar reconstruction in Iraq. We did so, however, not to praise Garner or his views but to inform our readers of trends in the Bush administration. There was no hint of an endorsement.

Drew’s suggestion that we published the piece “proudly” is correct only in the sense that we’re proud of our reporters’ work. Our opinions are reserved for our editorial page, which has, except for a brief period, maintained a consistent and proud tradition of progressivism and social democracy for 106 years, first in Yiddish and now in English.

Nobody who reads the Forward could mistake us for a “conservative” publication.

J.J. Goldberg
New York City

Elizabeth Drew replies:

It’s Mr. Goldberg who’s doing the distorting. I said nothing about “the political views of American Jews.” I assumed Forward was proud of Garner’s appointment from the headline on the piece, which Mr. Goldberg doesn’t mention: “Pro-Israeli General Will Oversee Reconstruction of Postwar Iraq.” Was it not? As for Mr. Goldberg’s denial that it published the piece “proudly,” the piece was about Garner, not the reporter. Forward is well known as a distinguished conservative paper. Why the denial?

This Issue

November 6, 2003