Peter Beinart

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Peter Beinart
Peter Alexander Beinart

(1971-02-28) February 28, 1971 (age 53)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationYale University (BA)
University College, Oxford (MPhil)
SpouseDiana Hartstein (2003–present)[1]
RelativesRobert Brustein (step-father)

Peter Alexander Beinart (/ˈbnərt/; born February 28, 1971) is an American liberal[2] columnist, journalist, and political commentator.[3] A former editor of The New Republic, he has also written for Time, The New York Times, and The New York Review of Books among other periodicals. He is also the author of three books.

He is a professor of journalism and political science at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. He is an editor-at-large at Jewish Currents, a contributor to The Atlantic, a political commentator for CNN, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Beinart was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His parents were Jewish immigrants from South Africa (his maternal grandfather was from Russia, and his maternal grandmother, who was Sephardic, was from Egypt).[5][6][7] His father's parents were from Lithuania.[8] His mother, Doreen (née Pienaar), is a former director of the human-rights film program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University,[9] and his father, Julian Beinart, is a former professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1] His stepfather is theatre critic and playwright Robert Brustein.[10] Beinart attended Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge.

He studied history and political science at Yale College, where he was a member of the Yale Political Union and graduated in 1993 with the Alpheus Henry Snow Prize. He was a Rhodes Scholar at University College, Oxford University, where he earned an M.Phil. in international relations in 1995.[11]


Beinart worked at The New Republic as the managing editor from 1995 to 1997, then as senior editor until 1999, and as the magazine's editor from 1999 to 2006. For much of that time he also wrote The New Republic's "TRB" column, which was reprinted in the New York Post and other newspapers. From 2007 until 2009 he was a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He has written for Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and other periodicals. He has appeared on various TV news discussion programs and is a political commentator for CNN.[11] His editor-in-chief at the Forward called him a "wunderkind".[12][13] In March 2012, Beinart launched a new blog, "Open Zion", at Newsweek/The Daily Beast.[14] He was also a senior political writer for The Daily Beast.[citation needed] In 2012, Beinart was included on Foreign Policy magazine's list of 100 top global thinkers.[15]

On November 4, 2013, Haaretz announced that Beinart would be hired as a columnist beginning January 1, 2014.[16] The same day, the Atlantic Media Company said he would join National Journal and write for The Atlantic's website beginning in January.[citation needed] Beinart would cease operating his blog at The Daily Beast.[17] In January 2017 he left Haaretz and became a columnist for The Forward,[18] where he stayed until the beginning of 2020, when he joined Jewish Currents as an editor-at-large.[19]

In August 2018, Beinart said he was detained by Shin Bet at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport and questioned about his presence at West Bank protests and outspoken criticism of the Israeli government's policies toward the Palestinians. Beinart called his experience "trivial" when compared to the experiences of others, particularly Palestinians and Palestinian Americans who travel through Israel's main airport.[20][21] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Israeli security forces, was told that Beinart's detention was an administrative mistake, and that the country "welcomes all—critics and supporters alike."[22]

Works and views[edit]

Beinart was the editor of The New Republic when the publication editorially supported the 2003 Invasion of Iraq; Beinart was identified as one of the major forces behind the magazine's support for the war; his status as a liberal hawk who supported the Iraq War is cited as a primary cause of his rise.[23][24][25][26] In 2004, a New Republic editorial written during his editorial tenure assessed its support for the Iraq War thus: "We feel regret, but no shame. ... Our strategic rationale for war has collapsed."[23] In 2010, Beinart said he was motivated to support the Iraq War by a concern that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons.[27]

Beinart is the author of the 2006 book The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again.[28] The book, which grew out of a 2004 article in The New Republic arguing that Democrats need to take the threat of Islamic totalitarianism more seriously, is a liberal defense of muscular interventionism abroad, particularly with a view to reforming various nations in the Middle East.[29]

Beinart's second book, The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris (2010), "look[ed] back at the past hundred years of U.S. foreign policy in the baleful light of recent events [and found] the ground littered with ... the remnants of large ideas and unearned confidence [as demonstrable in] a study of three needless wars", World War I, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War.[12]

Leon Wieseltier sexual harassment controversy[edit]

On October 24, 2017, Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor at The New Republic from 1983 until his resignation in 2014, admitted to "offenses against some of my colleagues in the past" after several women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual advances. Beinart, who was the magazine's editor at the time, subsequently said he had not done enough to stop the behavior and felt shame for not doing so.[30][31]

Beinart wrote that when he reported Wieseltier's harassment of Sarah Wildman, then an assistant editor of The New Republic, to Marty Peretz (who was then the magazine's owner and editor in chief) "and insisted that he come to Washington to tell Leon that such behavior was unacceptable", he was ignored. Beinart has since said that he was afraid if he pursued the matter further, he would be jeopardizing his own career. Peretz later denied Beinart had reported the matter, and said he could recall nothing about the harassment.[30]

Wildman later alleged that she was fired in retaliation for complaining.[30]

In a formal response to Wildman, Beinart wrote: "I was complicit in an institutional culture that lacked professional procedures regarding sexual harassment, and which victimized women, including women I considered friends. I will always be ashamed of that, and will ensure that I am never similarly complicit again."[30]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2012, Beinart lives in New York City.[11] He keeps kosher,[5] regularly attends an Orthodox synagogue, and sends his children to a Jewish day school.[32]


  • The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror. New York, New York: HarperCollins. 2006. ISBN 978-0-06-084161-4.
  • The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris. New York, New York: HarperCollins. 2010. ISBN 978-0-06-145646-6.
  • Peter Beinart (June 10, 2010). "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment". The New York Review of Books.
  • The Crisis of Zionism. New York, New York: Times Books. 2012. ISBN 978-0-8050-9412-1.


  1. ^ a b "Weddings and Celebrations; Diana Hartstein, Peter Beinart". The New York Times. October 26, 2003. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Spinelli, Dan (February 4, 2022). "There's a big tent opposing US intervention in Ukraine. Tucker Carlson is stretching its limits". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2022-05-12.
  3. ^ "". 28 February 1971.
  4. ^ "- Foundation for Middle East Peace". Foundation for Middle East Peace. December 19, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Allison Hoffman (March 22, 2012). "Lightning Rod". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Rebecca Goldberg, the Northeast Regional Director USD/Hagshama (University Student Division) of the World Zionist Organization".
  7. ^ Beinart, Peter (28 March 2012). "Rethinking Zionism".
  8. ^ Beinart, Peter (December 16, 2016). "The Day My Father Lost His Country". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  9. ^ "Jean Beinart and Craig Stern". The New York Times. 12 June 2005. Retrieved 4 October 2022. Her mother is the director of the human-rights film program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
  10. ^ "Weddings and Celebrations; Jean Beinart and Craig Stern". The New York Times. June 12, 2005. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c "Peter Beinart profile". The New America Foundation. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  12. ^ a b George Packer (June 28, 2010). "Air America: Peter Beinart's The Icarus Syndrome ..." The New Yorker. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  13. ^ Jane Eisner (March 28, 2012). "Peter Beinart's problematic 'Zionist BDS' proposal". The Guardian. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  14. ^ Marc Tracy (March 9, 2012). "Beinart Launches Daily Beast Blog. 'Zion Square' touts Israeli, Palestinian, U.S. perspectives on the Mideast". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  15. ^ "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. 28 November 2012. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Peter Beinart to join Haaretz as senior columnist". Haaretz. November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  17. ^ Byers, Dylan (November 4, 2013). "Peter Beinart leaving Daily Beast for The Atlantic Media Company, Haaretz". Politico. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
  18. ^ "Peter Beinart Joins the Forward as Senior Columnist". The Forward. December 21, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  19. ^ Dolsten, Josefin (January 29, 2020). "Prominent liberal writer Peter Beinart leaves Forward for progressive Jewish Currents". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  20. ^ "Israel questions prominent Jewish-American critic at airport". Associated Press. August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  21. ^ Beinart, Peter (August 13, 2018). "Peter Beinart: I Was Detained At Ben Gurion Airport Because Of My Beliefs". The Forward. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  22. ^ Weber Rosen, Jonathan (August 14, 2018). "LEFT-WING COLUMNIST PETER BEINART DETAINED AT BEN-GURION AIRPORT". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  23. ^ a b Kurtz, Howard (2004-06-19). "New Republic Editors 'Regret' Their Support of Iraq War". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  24. ^ Malone, Noreen (2021-05-14). "Why So Many Liberals Supported Invading Iraq". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  25. ^ Beinart, Peter (2003-03-03). "A Separate Peace". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  26. ^ "A Liberal Zionist's Move to the Left on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict". The New Yorker. 2021-05-23. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  27. ^ "Unrepentant liberal hawk still has a feather to fly with — United States Studies Centre". Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  28. ^ Roberts, Marcus A. (July 2007). "The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, Peter Beinart (HarperCollins, 2006), 304 pp., $25.95 cloth". Ethics & International Affairs. 21 (2): 269–271. doi:10.1111/j.1747-7093.2007.00079.x. ISSN 1747-7093.
  29. ^ "Peter Beinart on Liberals, Terrorism and the War in Iraq". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2021-08-13.
  30. ^ a b c d Wildman, Sarah. "I was harassed at the New Republic. I spoke up. Nothing happened.". Vox, November 9, 2017.
  31. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2017-10-24). "Leon Wieseltier Admits 'Offenses' Against Female Colleagues as New Magazine Is Killed". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  32. ^ Beinart, Peter (March 18, 2012). Opinion section (ed.). "To Save Israel, Boycott the Settlements". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2012.

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