Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 14, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

WHAT'S A "LIKUDNIK"?....From InstaPundit today:

IF GARY HART'S REMARKS were regarded by some as crypto-anti-semitism, then what about this comment reported in the Washington Post that the "Likudniks" in the Administration are running American foreign policy?

This appears to be a slap at Hart, but apparently that's just the result of some hasty wording. Hart is never mentioned in the Post article, which, after a long lead-in, quotes a "senior government official" saying that "The Likudniks are really in charge now." The speaker is referring to Elliot Abrams and mentions that Abrams' hawkish views are shared by Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld.

Using "Likudnik" as slightly acerbic shorthand for "someone who is hawkish on Israel and strongly supports Ariel Sharon" the head of the Likud party seems pretty reasonable, perhaps the rough equivalent of saying "the Bushies are in charge" referring to Tony Blair's government. I'm not really sure why Glenn would even bring this up, but perhaps he'll explain what he meant sometime later today.

UPDATE: For what it's worth, a couple of readers have written to say that the "nik" suffix is commonly used in Israel and is roughly equivalent to "ite" in English. So calling someone a Likudnik would be about as anti-semitic as calling someone a Clintonite would be anti-Democrat.

Kevin Drum 8:52 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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