Why the Jews?
Alan Dershowitz explains why drunken rants against Jews
by public figures seem so popular these days.
There is a second, a far more troubling answer to "Why the Jews?" Prominent public figures have blurred another line as well—the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, between attacking the Jewish state and attacking the Jewish people. Consider widely publicized remarks made by Bishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the American Model of Freedom, and a man openly admired and praised by President Obama. He has called the Jews "a peculiar people" and has accused "the Jews" of causing many of the world's problems. He has railed against "the Jewish Lobby," comparing its power to that of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. Read the whole thing
He has said that "the Jews thought they had a monopoly of God: Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings." He has said that Jews have been "fighting against" and being "opposed to" his God. He has "compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa." He has complained that "the Jewish people with their traditions, religion and long history of persecution sometimes appear to have caused a refugee problem among others." Tutu has minimized the suffering of those murdered in the Holocaust by asserting that "the gas chambers" made for "a neater death" than did Apartheid. He has complained of "the Jewish Monopoly of the Holocaust," and has demanded that its victims must "forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust," while refusing to forgive the "Jewish people" for "persecute[ing] others."
He has complained that Americans "are scared…to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful." He has accused Jews—not Israelis—of exhibiting "an arrogance—the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support."
Tutu has acknowledged having been frequently accused of being anti-Semitic," to which he has offered two responses: "Tough luck;" and "my dentist's name is Dr. Cohen."
Former President Jimmy Carter too has contributed to this new legitimization of Jew-bashing, by echoing Tutu's derisive talk about the Jewish domination of America ("powerful political, economic and religious forces…that dominate our media") and his use of the term "Apartheid" in his book about Israel.
By thus blurring the line between legitimate political criticism and illegitimate bigotry, widely admired people like Tutu and Carter tend to legitimate the kind of anti-Semitic attitudes that manifest themselves in the rants of celebrities like Galliano, Sheen, Gibson and others.
Labels: Alan Dershowitz, anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter