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Tilting at Windmills

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January 31, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM....Matt Yglesias reads a recently released essay about the "new anti-Semitism" -- it's new because now liberal Jews are supposedly fueling it too -- but concludes that he's not the real target after all:

When you think about it, things like this essay or Jonah Goldberg's little McCarthyite smears aren't really about convincing people that I'm an anti-semite, or that Tony Judt or Adrienne Rich or Tony Kushner is. The idea, basically, is to scare the goyim who figure that while liberal Jews can take the heat, they probably can't, and had best just avoid talking about the whole thing. And based on my observations of the blogosphere, it works pretty well as a tactic.

Yep. Seems to work pretty well on politicians too. But I thought that right-wingers were supposed to be opposed to race hustling?

M.J. Rosenberg has more here.

Kevin Drum 12:04 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Feingold!!!

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on January 31, 2007 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

And based on my observations of the blogosphere, it works pretty well as a tactic.

and apparently on this thread too - if silence can be said to speak.

Anti-semitism is a really handy cudgel for the Abraham Foxmans of the world to wield. That it remains a very true phenomenom (Joe on this page now thankfully gone) just makes it all the more potent. It is the standard right wing tactic of using whatever tool is effective to bash your opposition and shut down debate but overuse of this cudgel will in the end weaken the sting of the term and in so doing weaken the fight against anti-semitism. Perhaps Abraham Foxman is secretly a Jew-hater.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 31, 2007 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly it took KD quite a time to open any conversation about Israel's invasion of Lebanon last year.

This AJC commentary is a little mistimed as politicians start to actually debate across the aisles on what are important US interests. Those US interests might well include the executive and legislative bodies using their influence over Israel to pursue settlements in the Middle East that might be to the advantage of the US.

What some Zionists/Israelis/Christian fundamentalists might perceive to be in the greater co-interest of the US and Israel are arguably neither.

That's not anti-Zionist, anti-Israel or anti-semitic. And it's a pity that any criticism of Israel's sometimes outlandish policies and actions are countered by a storm of unsubstantiated outrage.

Posted by: notthere on January 31, 2007 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies. 2nd para from end should read:

"...co-interest of the US and Israel are arguably good for neither."

Posted by: notthere on January 31, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK


There has never been a time when people who are anti-oppression and pro-justice were not accused by the oppressive and unjust of being anti-whatever-sells. If I criticize Israeli government policies, I am no more anti-Semitic than I am anti-American when criticizing U.S. policies. But authoritarians will use any means at their disposal to censor opposing views. Remember: They kill people every day to protect and advance their power. What's a little smearing compared to that?


Posted by: jayarbee on January 31, 2007 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

If people like Jonah Goldberg throw out anti-semitism because they have no other argument, then it reflects pretty badly on Goldberg and his ilk, right? It's the last card they have left to play since it is so dangerous. They feel they can shut up their critics. They need to be called on the carpet just like they have been on anything else. You can't be afraid to refute a douchebag like Goldberg.

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on January 31, 2007 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

This issue always bugs the crap out of me. As far as I'm aware a semite is a person from a group of semitice speaking cultures including: Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians. Anti-semitism is a racial form of abuse that applies to millions across a large geographical territory.

Why is it that we only ever use the phrase in a Jewish context? Every American who has either physical or verbal attacks on Arabs, or impugned an Arabs ability to do something is in effect anti-semitic.

To criticise Israels government because of the way they they have handled the situation in Palestine and Lebanon is not anti-semitic at all. It is a political criticism and not one borne out of racism.

Posted by: Bad Rabbit on January 31, 2007 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Two things that MJ Rosenberg states in the link seemed important to me. The first was a sweeping comment by David Harris, speaking for the Jewish American Committee:"Those who oppose Israel’s basic right to exist, he continues, “whether Jew or gentile, must be confronted.”

The second was this: "Surely the authors of this report know what anti-Zionism is and what anti-Semitism is. "

I basically support Israel, but I also criticize Israeli policies and have doubts about Israel's long term viability as a nation. Is that the same as questioning Israel's basic right to exist? If this is anti-semitic, then, okay, I'm anti-semitic. Let David Harris be shrill. The danger of over-generalizing is that at some point the accusation has no sting. It loses its ability to chastise.

It is a sad day when the AJC starts to beat up friends.

Posted by: PTate in FR on January 31, 2007 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

Bad Rabbit: "Why is it that we only ever use the phrase in a Jewish context"

Because the term emerged in the European context? It was never meant to be anthropological.

Posted by: PTate in FR on January 31, 2007 at 6:28 AM | PERMALINK

I am Jewish and a strong believer and defender of Israel. And I agree with Matthew, this essay and similar is intended to scare anyone that would criticize Israel. It's more of the crap from the past four years about neocon being a smear meaning Jew, regardless of the number of Jews opposed to the Iraq war.

However, there is another group in which this tactic has been applied, and works quite well. And that is how liberals are all scared of examining the issues around child custody. Amanda Marcotte and others like her have liberal bloggers all very afraid to examine the issues surrounding child custody issues. To do so is to risk being blindly labeled and dismissed as a "men's rights activist" by Marcotte, regardless of one's actual views.

Just as the new Jewish Anti-Semites are Jews that dare to criticize Israel, Father's Rights Activists are apparently men, women, lawyers, judges, psychologists that criticize the courts and how custody issues are determined.

There is another blogger on the scene, Glenn Sacks, who speaks very well for himself and for fathers. I find him very fair minded and I think you would too.

Glenn Sacks is often pilloried by Marcotte and others as a mens' right activist and a right wing crank. But if you read his blog, you will find he is basically a progressive liberal.

Kevin, if you can be brave enough to criticize Israel (and possible Israeli participation to a war in Iran), can you be brave enough to read Glenn Sacks' blog and blog about it? It's a good blog and he does important work for men, women, kids, and families.

http://glennsacks.com/blog

Posted by: jerry on January 31, 2007 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

Let's understand something. "Anti-semite" is becoming the new bore word. Foxman and others of his ilk running around and yelling it every time their panties get into a twist is turning it into nothing more than another swear word that everyone ignores.

Posted by: raj on January 31, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe if Israel would stop proliferating WMDs and treating the Palestinians and other Arab peoples like dogs, they wouldn't inspire so much mistrust and hatred around the world.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 31, 2007 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that goyim can't take the heat, but the anti-Semitism charges would just be counter-productive if they were to be successful.

Why? Readers would notice the lack of criticism from commentators who are afraid to comment on Israel, and that lack of criticism would make them think more than the criticism itself.

Kind of like when the Soviets would airbrush out of photos party hacks who had been pushed out. The Russians weren't stupid. They noticed.

If the pro-Israel crowd wants to airbrush reality, what does that say about them?

Posted by: Bob M on January 31, 2007 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Goyim exhibit 2A:

Jimmy Carter is now a Jew hater, who'd a thunk?

Worse yet than the f*ckers sliming Carter is the silence from the left media and blogoshere who let the attacks pass without comment.

Posted by: Keith G on January 31, 2007 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Calling people who question the actions of the Israeli government "anti-semitic" has long been a standard tool of the rabid Israeli right. The charge changes the subject from the actions of the Israeli government to the people questioning those actions. As a "debating" technique it suggests the weakness of the people using it.

Unfortunately, it can be very effective. Most of the time the people called "anti-semitic" are decidedly not anti-semitic. For them the unfair charge brings great shame. It takes true courage to face the charge. I believe that one of the reasons many Americans find it hard to come out strongly against the worst of the Israeli government's policies is fear they will be called anti-semitic.

That a moderate Jewish organization has formally adopted the pathetic technique is truly sad. It speaks volumes about the current lack of moral clarity in policies of the current Israeli government.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 31, 2007 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

"But I thought that right-wingers were supposed to be opposed to race hustling?"

You can't be serious. If it wasn't for race hustling and race-baiting, the Repub party would have folded by now.

Posted by: CN on January 31, 2007 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

What? I gotta assume you're being sarcastic. The rethugs southern strategy was all about race hustling. ronnie rayguns couldn't have been elected without his welfare queen bullshit race hustling!

Posted by: klyde on January 31, 2007 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

this is Winston Churchill in 1937 -- “The wealthy, crowded, progressive Jewish state” -- see, it doesn’t exist yet, but he’s already getting it right -- “lies in the plains and on the sea coast of Palestine. Around it, in the hills and the uplands, stretching far and wide into the illimitable deserts, the warlike Arabs of Syria of Transjordania, of Arabia, backed by the armed forces of Iraq, offer the ceaseless menace of war. To maintain itself,” -- 1937, remember, -- “To maintain itself, the Jewish state will have to be armed to the teeth and must bring in every able-bodied man to strengthen its army. But how long will this process be allowed to continue by the great Arab populations in Iraq and Palestine? Can it be expected that the Arabs would stand by impassively and watch the building up, with Jewish world capital and resources, of a Jewish army, equipped with the most deadly weapons of war until it was strong enough not to be afraid of them? And if ever the Jewish army reached that point, who can be sure,” Churchill asked, “that, cramped within their narrow limits, they would not plunge out into the new undeveloped lands that lay around them?”

From a speech by Robert Fisk to the Muslim Public Affairs Council last month. H/T to Democray Now

Posted by: klyde on January 31, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Actually over at TPMCafe our Israel arguments are LEGEND. With one of the big name posters devolving into screaming and insults last year.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 31, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The mentality of a Dave Harris is truly incomprehensible to me. The Dutch Jewish community that ejected Spinoza in the 17th century at least had a comprehensible reason, their fear that Spinoza's views, which were also anathema to the Christians, would damage the community's standing. But no such ground exists for those who dishonestly attack the critics of Israel's policies by distorting and mischaracterizing their arguments. Is intellectual dishonesty, of the sort practiced by the neocons, now a mark of Jewish political correctness?

Posted by: keith roberts on January 31, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

The most influential bigotry today is directed at Muslims but of course we hardly ever hear about that.

Posted by: otherpaul on January 31, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Observe the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel. Calling this national behavior wrong is not anti-Semitic. Calling into the question the legitimacy of Israel is not anti-Semitic. Bringing attention to the other millions of people who died because of Nazi Germany's racist totalitarianism is not anti-Semitic. I am appalled at the use of anti-Semitism to further the goals of Israeli nationalism by my fellow Americans. However, it works very well to stifle debate and criticism about US military aid given to Israel.

Posted by: Brojo on January 31, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Several comments before the word "neocon" was mentioned. A couple of years ago Victor David Hanson and David Brooks were throwing the term anti-semite at anyone who referred to the pro-war in Iraq cabal surrounding Cheney as neocons.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 31, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Worse yet than the f*ckers sliming Carter is the silence from the left media and blogoshere who let the attacks pass without comment.

Counterpunch has not been silent. Mr. Drum deserves credit for posting about it and exposing himself by letting people like me, who wants US aid to Israel stopped (until all occupied territory outside the 1947 borders are abandoned), comment. Even the NYT wrote about the Rosenfeld essay this morning.

Posted by: Brojo on January 31, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Jews who criticize Israel are just one part of a broader situation. The left (in America and elsewhere) have chosen to take the side of Arabs and Muslims. Presumably they were led to that position by their anti-Americanism or because these groups are seen as disadvantaged. As a result, liberal Jews, women and gays find themselves on the side of anti-American Islamic groups.

Thus we see the paradox of gay groups opposing Israel, even though Israel does not discriminate against gays, whereas Israel's enemies believe that being gay merits severe punishment.

We see women's groups minimizing the improvement in the lives of Afghani women, which was due to the overthrow of the Taliban. For these women's groups, Bush-hatred trumps improving the lot of women.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 31, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

We know the lying neocon "ex-liberal" has no shame at all, but eve nso it's extraordinary that he/she/it -- who has tossed out the anti-semitic charge him/her/itself in the course of deflecting criticism of the State of Israel -- would have the sheer bravado to post on this thread.

Shame on you, "ex-liberal."

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. Goody. ex-thinker is here to ascribe motives to me. Again. And not just as a Jew, either. But as a feminist. Why do I even bother applying intellectual effort? All my motivations and answers are clearly laid out in ex-human's posts, I only need to read them and not think too hard, since it might give my weak little girly-brain a headache.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 31, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK
The Jews who criticize Israel are just one part of a broader situation. The left (in America and elsewhere) have chosen to take the side of Arabs and Muslims.

See, that's the problem with the right right there: they believe that to support the legitimate aspirations of one group means to oppose another group. The left in America supports the legitimate aspirations of (ethnic and religious) Jews as much as those of Arabs and Muslims. It opposes Arab and Muslim attacks on Israel that deliberately, or recklessly, kill or harm innocents the same as it does such attacks by Israel on the Arabs and Muslims it has declared enemies.

Ex-liberal is trapped in black/white tribalism, believing that in any conflict one side must be right, and the other must be wrong, and that the entire ethnic, cultural, or other group associated with a "side" is either right or wrong based on how they have judged the sides to the conflict. So to oppose any policy of Israel's is to support the "Arabs and Muslims", and to support, specifically, the terrorist actions of certain Arabs and Muslims.


Presumably they were led to that position by their anti-Americanism or because these groups are seen as disadvantaged.

Again, the same error is made, characterizing the left as "anti-American" because they oppose certain actions of the right-wing leadership of America.

We see women's groups minimizing the improvement in the lives of Afghani women, which was due to the overthrow of the Taliban.

I'd say its largely the Taliban-like extremists associated, at least nominally, with the new government that are still in power in much of Afghanistan, as well as the resurgent Taliban itself, that is actually minimizing (as in "making minimal", rather than, "downplaying") any such advances.

For these women's groups, Bush-hatred trumps improving the lot of women.

No, for these women's groups, actually durably improving the lot of women is more important than pretending to do so to bolster the public image of a failing foreign policy.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK
The left (in America and elsewhere) have chosen to take the side of Arabs and Muslims. --ex-liberal

No they haven't -- they just realize that Israel isn't always a perfect, never-do-wrong country, and that ALL groups in the region deserve to be heard. Probably because that's the only way to actually solve the problems (since killing them all isn't really a solution either, whether you like it or not).

I just hope using logic and reasoning instead of "we ignored the holocaust for too long" guilt doesn't get me labeled as anti-Semitic.

After all, I have no issues with Israel’s right to exist, just some of the bullyish tactics they use. It’s similar to how I have no issues with an independent Palestinian state, yet abhor the terrorist tactics they use.

Posted by: Unholy Moses on January 31, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: The left in America...opposes Arab and Muslim attacks on Israel that deliberately, or recklessly, kill or harm innocents

I wish this were correct, cm. But, there is very little criticism of such attacks from the left.

E.g., Jimmy Carter recently apologized for a passage in his book that endorses continuing terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians until full peace is achieved. How could he write such a thing? How could his editors have left the passage in the book. No leftist group criticized that passage.

E.g., there was a successful Palestinian terrorist attack on Israeli civilians a couple of days ago. AFAIK no leftist group criticized that attack.

E.g., most leftists have opposed Israel's right to build a security fence, even though the fence has been reasonably successful at preventing terrorist attacks on Israeli civillians.

Let's face it, the death of Israeli civilians just isn't a big concern to the left.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 31, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

It is an attempt to control the dialog and not allow certain points of view to be expressed. Eventually it will backfire because an issue will arise where the majority overwelmingly agree with a POV that cannot be suppressed. The Israeli press, especially, the liberal Israeli press like Haaretz can discuss issues very openly that cannot be discuss in the US. This hurts the progressive movement in Israel because their POV cannot be discussed in the US. Only the conservative and Likud views are tolerated in the US.

Posted by: bakho on January 31, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Let's face it, the death of Israeli civilians just isn't a big concern to the left.

Fuck you.

Posted by: Brojo on January 31, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Let's face it, the death of Israeli civilians just isn't a big concern to the left.

What Brojo said, you lying scum.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Let's face it, the death of Israeli civilians just isn't a big concern to the left.

Stop. Speaking. For. Me.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK
E.g., Jimmy Carter recently apologized for a passage in his book that endorses continuing terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians until full peace is achieved.

False, Carter apologized for the wording of a passage that demanded, at least, an end to "suicide attacks" and "all forms of terrorism" once Israel accepts international laws and the goals of the Roadmap for Peace, because the wording was, in his word, "stupid", because it could be easily misinterpreted as an endorsement, or at least toleration, of terrorism until that time.

No leftist group criticized that passage.

Perhaps because no "leftist group" misinterpreted it to mean either the easy misinterpretation Carter apologized for or the more extreme and inexplicable one you suggest.

E.g., there was a successful Palestinian terrorist attack on Israeli civilians a couple of days ago. AFAIK no leftist group criticized that attack.

Even if it were true (media reports of anything but official responses have been pretty thin), wouldn't that put the "leftists" on the opposite side of the "Arabs and Muslims", since, e.g., the Presidents of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have condemned the attack?

E.g., most leftists have opposed Israel's right to build a security fence, even though the fence has been reasonably successful at preventing terrorist attacks on Israeli civillians.

Most opposition I've seen has been to the particular siting of the fortification system as land grab, not of Israel's right to build such a system as a defense if it feels it is necessary and useful.

Let's face it, the death of Israeli civilians just isn't a big concern to the left.

Let's face it, the truth just isn't a big concern to "ex-liberal".

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal I apologize for that insulting reactionary comment. (That was painful.)

The killing of most Israeli civilians is not done by a nation nor by a nationalist group funded by US taxpayers. Most Israeli civilians are killed by individuals driven to unbearable despair who do not represent a government, a nation or their people. When Israel kills civilians, it is their nation, government and its ally, the US, who are represented. To you it seems the differing levels of concern means there is no concern. There is concern, but no corresponding responsibility that being a taxpayer, who arms Israel and approves its atrocities through representative government, carries with it. I think Leftists understand the responsibility that citizenship confers, so they decry killing done in their name.

On the other side of the political coin, many people take pride and feel satisfaction when their government or its paid allies kill innocent civilians. Many Americans felt these emotions when their gifted bomds to Israel were falling on apartment blocks in Lebanon. Many Americans felt that way when the read about the dead people in Najaf yesterday. When I think about that, I want to insult them with the harshest and least ambiguous language possible.

Posted by: Brojo on January 31, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, I don't know why you bother to defend Jimmy Carter's flawed book. You know as well as I do that he ought to have demanded an immediate end to terrorist attacks.

My point is that it's hard to find cites of leftist groups making public statements criticizing the killing of Israeli civilians. Your defence of the left would be stronger if you could find such examples. You can call me a liar and your allies can use nastier epithets, but the appriate way to refute my allegations would be to post cites showing widespread leftist criticism of the murder of Israelis.

BGRS, I didn't intend to speak for you. If my post gave that impression, I apologize.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 31, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

My point is that it's hard to find cites of leftist groups making public statements criticizing the killing of Israeli civilians.

Because the fact that the killing of civilians, Israeli or otherwise, is wrong goes without saying, you mendacious toad.

Just as it's wrong no matter what high-falutin' public statements in support of "defense" or "democracy" those in the american or Israeli governments make to justify it. You claim to belive Bush is doing good work in Iraq because his public statements of intention are laudible. That stance marks you as either stupefyingly dishoenst or too naive to be allowed out of doors without adult supervision.

Furthermore, "ex-liberal," you lying scumbag, I haven't read Carter's new book yet, but I don't believe your characterizations of his statements for a New York minute.

And finally, "ex-liberal," I thank you for both providing proof of the loathsome accusations Yglesias decries and showing Bob for good and all that you're far from "civil," you're just another neocon asshole.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

There are small, very real, very poisonous subgroups who are in fact virulently anti-Jew. Often they are easily distinguished, in their jackboots & tinhats, muttering Protocals-of-Zion conspiracy theories from the ill-decorated political margins. Think... Mel Gibson, with bad teeth, on foodstamps.

Then there are the pseudo-academic types, who espouse Holocaust denial with all the earnest stupidity & scatterbrained scholarship of apologists for Intelligent Design. When questioned they snarl about 'political correctness', the last, best resort of bigots. Think Mel Gibson with bad hair & a dodgy internet degree.

And, neither last nor least, are the genteel Jew-haters, whose racism (or more accurately ethnicism) is dodged in WASPy demurrals, about
"People Like Us". This is the polite bigotry of raised eyebrows("Isn't that a Jewish name?") unreceived invitations & declined memberships in Konservative Kountry Klub-land. Think Mel Gibson, smiling, sober & Opus-Dei-lightful, quietly shutting the door in your face.

However, while Jew-hate, or Jew-phobia certainly exists, even thrives, it is factually mis-named anti-Semitism, because most Semites are Muslims, not Jews. Numerically, logically, "anti-Semite" more accurately describes Islamophobia not hatred of Jews. Certainly, there are some, like the Aryan Brotherhood who despise Muslims & Jews, Arabs & Israelis, equally & they truly earn the descriptor "anti-Semite".

Nonetheless,for many so-accused it is a calculated, strategic & cynical misnomer.

Foremost among these falsely accused are critics of the Israeli government & anti-Zionists, many of whom are themselves Jewish. These are often called "anti-Semites" & "self-hating-Jews", in the same way that neo-cons reflexively defame critics & Democrats as "anti-Americans","traitors" & "terror-lovers".

Amid a dearth of discourse & critical debate, political disagreement has too often degenerated into a sad simulcra of schoolyard taunts which make partisan polemic seem highbrow. Any critical discussion of Israel, the Israel lobby, Israeli govt. policy or Zionism runs the very real risk of quickly degenerating into a brand of simplistic namecalling that is more typically the idiot rhetoric of racists.

Israel, the Israeli Government & yes, even Zionism, warrant a more rigorous & considered defense. Simply dubbing all critics 'anti-Semitic' is no longer plausible or sufficient.


Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on January 31, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS, I didn't intend to speak for you. If my post gave that impression, I apologize.

I appreciate the apology, but when you make sweeping assertions like "the death of Israeli civilians just isn't a big concern to the left." and For these women's groups, Bush-hatred trumps improving the lot of women. just to cite two, your ascription of motive to those with whom you disagree is, at best, reaction provoking.

But I have a cup of Carnation Instant Bitch every morning, too.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 31, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

You can call me a liar and your allies can use nastier epithets

Thanks, "ex-liberal," I will. You deserve far worse, you uncivil toad.

But the appropriate way to refute your allegations is just one word: Bullshit.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS, I didn't intend to speak for you. If my post gave that impression, I apologize.

This is the samce concept under which Bob defended "ex-liberal" as "civil" in an earlier thread -- that "ex-liberal" doesn't insult anyone personally, while at the same time spewing vile insults to "liberals", "the left", etc., in general.

Well, color me unconvinced. Your deliberately insulting schtick is old, "ex-liberal," and reflects dishonor and discredit on no one but yourself. Yuo're quite rightly called on your bullshit, and you can cram your half-assed "apology". Sideways.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS -- You have a point about the ascription of motive. My comments were intended to describes these groups' actions and statements, rather than their motives. Liberal womens' groups often criticize Bush but seldom address the improvement in Afghan women's lives.

Gregory there is huge disparity in the attention paid to the killing of civilians, particularly by those on the left. E.g., they paid huge attention when Israelis accidentally killed Rachel Corrie, but little or no attention when Palestinians intentionally killed several Israeli civilians this week.

I will agree that part of the left's bias is unwillingness to criticize Arabs, rather than antisemitism. The left rarely criticizes the numerous killings by Hamas and Fatah in the near-civil war going on in Palestinian area. And, AFAIK the left has never criticized the many killings by Palistinians of other Palestinians who were suspected of cooperating with Israel.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 31, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

In all the main-stream articles and columns critiquing the Carter book and knee-jerking the Israeli line, one of Carter’s main points is never mentioned: the power of the Jewish lobby and their ability to throttle debate by labeling anyone who tries to write anything honest about Israel an anti-Semite. It is downright un-American. I feel like the whole political-religious establishment is stifling my freedom of speech and I hate it.

Carter says the points he raised are commonly debated in Europe and even in Israel, but never, never, never in America.

Look, the Jews HAVE hijacked our foreign policy. Who do you think most of those NEOCONS, so gung-ho to go at it with Iraq, were? Even Richard Cohen admitted it. Highly placed Jews wanted the Iraq war because they thought it would benefit Israel. Of course they had plenty of help from the religious right and 9-11, but that perfect storm has sent this country down the toilet.

Most journalists still refuse to go anywhere near the subject, so afraid are they of the power of the Jewish lobby. Yes, the same folks who proclaim they have no power and to even hint that they do marks you as a big A.S.!

There is hope that things are changing. A couple of months ago Charlie Rose asked Lou Dobbs, “Do you think the Jewish lobby has too much power?” I almost fell off my chair. Dobbs was so taken aback he hemmed and hawed for 8-10 seconds before saying he...uh..um...guessed they probably did.

Jimmy Carter may not be right on all aspects of Israeli-Palestinian history, which the established types love to point out to try to torpedo his whole argument, but overall, he is a courageous truth teller and my hero.

Posted by: James of DC on January 31, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Americans paid for, built and gave the Caterpillar tractor that killed Rachel Corrie to Israel. Rachel Corrie was killed by the national policies of Israel and the United States to collectively punish Palestinians with terror and murder. She was also a US Citizen.

When the Palestinian individual killed several (I thought I read three) Israeli civilians this week, the US did not pay for or provide the weapon, the suicide bomber acted as an individual and was not acting under the direction of the state or nation of Palestine, and the Israelis killed were not US citizens.

So yes, I had different reactions to these different types of murders. One was perpetrated by a state allied and encouraged by my nation with a gift from me and other taxpayers, and the other was perpetrated by an individual with no ties to my nation and no affiliation with me.

Posted by: Brojo on January 31, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory there is huge disparity blah blah blah

Again: bullshit. (And, incidentally, your asserttion that the Israelis "accidentally" killed Rachel Corrie is also bullshit, although highly indicitive of your biases, you neocon shithead.)

I will agree that part of the left's bias is unwillingness to criticize Arabs, rather than antisemitism.

Well, you're "agreeing" with your own wankerism, since no one else is saying that for you to agree to, "ex-liberal." But again, your position is bullshit. You're a stinking neocon liar, and a rank asshole to boot. You don't need to prove it any more than you already have, but still you persist. Shame on you, and FOAD, you turd.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Matt is completely right about this one. I've long felt that the tendency on the part of some Jews to call any criticism of Israel anti-semitism, or to imply anti-semitism through association (as they have with Chomsky), is little more than a thuggish attempt to gag the debate.

On the other hand, I do believe there's a strain of leftist thought that sees evil in everything Israel does, and is perfectly content to overlook Islamic irredentism, misogyny, and homophobia.

But that's a debate we should have in the open. Many liberals no longer allow Muslims a free pass, so why should we set up an exception for any other group?

Posted by: Jonathan Dworkin on January 31, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I should add that the attempt to gag debate is predestined to failure. People don't like being lectured to by self-righteous tribalists, and the attempt to stifle debate will only increase the force of the backlash.

Posted by: Jonathan Dworkin on January 31, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

The post by James in DC sounds antisemitic in a ouple of respects. First of all, he refersa to "The Jews" as if they were a organized, unified group. In reality, Jews have many different opinions. Most of them are liberal, not neo-conservative.

Then his allegation that they "hijacked" foreign policy, simply because several foreign policy experts were Jewish. James doesn't consider that there were no Jews in the top level: President, VP, Secretary of State, Sec't of Defense, National Security Advisor, and Karl Rove.

Evidently James feels thst a handful of mid-level Jews polluted the entire Administration.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 31, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal,

I wasn't going to echo Brojo but now let me echo Brojo. Go fuck yourself. You DO NOT throw out aspertions such as "anti-semitic" so lightly (and fuck David Brooks and Abraham Foxman and nitwit Goldberg too). James in DC's post is certainly anti-AIPEC and he has carelessly not dotted every "i" and crossed every "t" so I suppose someone with your prejudices and lack of inferencing skills could read it as anti-semitic but that doesn't make a dog a cat. And this after your claim that we don't care if our Israeli friends get blown up because we show some concern for members of other tribes.


You have a chance here to talk with real people. Instead you choose to waste your time blathering with your own caricatures.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 31, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

The post by James in DC sounds antisemitic in a ouple of respects.

Fuck you, "ex-liberal". You've excused yourself, by your behavior in this very thread, from any credibility in slinging around charges of anti-semitism. Instead, you've revealed yourself -- yet again -- as a tool who will use any dishonest means to promote, or to deflect criticism of, your loathsome neocon agenda. And you've already established yourself as an apologist and defender of the most heinous violence as long as the side you support makes the appropriate "public statements."

You couldn't disgrace yourself, and the neocon agenda you so insidiously and dishonestly promote, if you tried. Shame on you, and fuck off.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Inspiring comments, those last two, surely a means of discrediting the view that liberals are every bit as intolerant as right wingers.

Forgive me, but I thought the purpose of the thread was to discuss Kevin's post. Clearly I missed out on the "fuck you, neocon" agenda.

Posted by: Jonathan Dworkin on February 1, 2007 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

nspiring comments, those last two

Thanks Jonathan. Enjoyed your post too!

(but will admit little tolerance for ex-libs constant asperstions)

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 1, 2007 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

Nah, no slack for "ex-liberal". Smearing people as racists is about as low as one can go, that's pretty vile stuff.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on February 1, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Inspiring comments, those last two, surely a means of discrediting the view that liberals are every bit as intolerant as right wingers.

Interesting premise, Dworkin. Perhaps you'd care to explain why "ex-liberal"'s offensive -- calculatedly and deliberately offensive -- bullshit should be "tolerated"?

Personally, I found Dworkin's comment inspiring as a means of discrediting the myth that liberals are too wimpy to object to someone spitting in their face.

Posted by: Gregory on February 1, 2007 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

From the Wikipedia entry for "antisemitism"

In a speech at an America First rally on September 11, 1941 in Des Moines, Iowa entitled "Who Are the War Agitators?", Charles Lindbergh claimed that three groups had been "pressing this country toward war": the Roosevelt Administration, the British, and the Jews - and complained about what he insisted was the Jews' "large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government."[78] The antisemitism of Lindbergh is one of the subjects of the novel The Plot Against America (2004) by Philip Roth.

Compare this with the post by James of DC:

one of Carter’s main points is never mentioned: the power of the Jewish lobby...

Look, the Jews HAVE hijacked our foreign policy. Who do you think most of those NEOCONS, so gung-ho to go at it with Iraq, were? Even Richard Cohen admitted it. Highly placed Jews wanted the Iraq war because they thought it would benefit Israel.

Both comments imply that the Jews covertly control our government. Both claim that a Jewish pushed America into a war for the benefit the Jews.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 1, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" continues to prove Yglesias right with his scurrilous dishonesty.

Both comments imply that the Jews covertly control our government.

Leaving the side the fact that you can't trust "ex-liberal"'s dishonest interpretation of anything, note how "ex-liberal" conflates the concept of influence, which is a matter of legitimate political debate -- and, let's not forget, is very much so in Israel -- with control in order to paint the poster as "anti-Semitic".

Both claim that a Jewish pushed America into a war for the benefit the Jews.

No, they don't -- "ex-liberal" is lying again. (One can only imagine the sick thrill "ex-liberal" gets at lying so obviously.) The claim is that the war was ushed to benefit Israel. For example, I don't know or care whether you're Jewish, "ex-liberal" -- I wouldn't believe you no matter what you claimed, of course, and regardless, you're simply an asshole -- but you, too, advocating subordinating the national interest of the United States for that of Israel.

Maybe you aren't American -- certainly you aren't american in any way I would recognize, you authoritarian-embracing, neocon-apologizing toad -- so that's okay, but I for one place the national interest of America first, and sometimes that means recognizing when Israel -- or America, for that matter -- acts in a way that's counter to our interests.

Shame on you for your continued, wilful dishonesty, "ex-liberal." I'm conforted, though, by the continued implosion of credibility and influence of the neocons. Enjoy your time in the wilderness, you deranged, dishonest hack.

Posted by: Gregory on February 1, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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