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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Economist redefines anti-Semitism

Which of these three quotes is not anti-Semitic?

1. 'Wars are the Jews' harvest.' (Henry Ford, 1920).

2. The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt Administration.Instead of agitating for war, Jews in this country should be opposing it in every way, for they will be the first to feel its consequences. Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government. (Charles Lindbergh, 1941).

3. Let's go to the videotape.

In the wacky world of The Economist, that video you just saw is not anti-Semitic.
Attention, Simon Wiesenthal Center: Do you see the difference between the first two clauses of the final sentence, and the last clause? Because this is exactly the kind of move that is getting people so upset with you. Dual-loyalty charges are indeed pretty dicey. Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were anti-semites, and their claims that Jews caused the first and second world wars were baseless anti-semitic propaganda. But the last claim offered here is completely different. There are, in fact, a lot of Jewish neocons, so the scare-quotes here are as inappropriate as those on roadside marquees across America advertising "A 'Delicious' Breakfast" and so forth. (Here's another apposite one.) Those neocons did, in fact, press for the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. The Israeli government also generally supported the American invasion of Iraq, though it was more concerned about Iran and had misgivings about a prolonged American occupation. Yes, it would be ridiculous, and anti-semitic, to cast the Iraq war as a conspiracy monocausally driven by a cabal of Jewish neocons and the Israeli government. But it's entirely accurate to count neoconservative policy analyses as among the important causes of the war, to point out that the pro-Israeli sympathies of Jewish neoconservatives played a role in these analyses, and to note the support of the Israeli government and public for the invasion. In fact any analysis of the war's causes that didn't take these into account would be deficient.
I never knew Dick Cheney (pictured) was Jewish. And I don't know about the rest of you, but the video I just showed you gave me the creeps (I took the trouble to dislike it on YouTube). If that video isn't anti-Semitic (and I apologize for giving it more exposure), I don't know what is. Israel doesn't control US government policy - never has and never will. Nor do American Jews, although nothing spooks them quite like accusations like this one. There are plenty of neocons who - like Cheney - are not Jewish, and there are plenty of American Jewish neocons who thought that invading Iraq was the right thing for America to do for its interests.

And by the way, rumor has it that Israel thought in 2003 that invading Iraq was a mistake.

Shame on The Economist!

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At 2:55 AM, Blogger The Machiavellian said...

For what it is worth, I was born in the midwest and my area of town was 99.9% Catholic.

Amongst my conservative friends, Israel is seen as an ally, a religious kin, and an island of democratic tranquility in a sea of Muslim hegemony.

Though, most of us still don't understand why most American Jews support the Democratic Party, which tends to undermine Israel's safety.

I guess my point is that I'm not sure where this ridiculous idea that Jews control comes from.

On the right, Ron Paul pushes this meme, but most of it seems to come from left, at least in the U.S.

The bottom line is that there still supporters of Israel, even in fly over country!

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumsfeld, despite the, uh, "feld" also not one of the Tribe. A lot of these guys, Cheney, Wolfie, Rumsfeld, had been together through Bush Sr.'s first war against Hussein and the inconclusive war of containment afterwards even as Saddam for his own reasons kept the idea out there that he had nukes just around the corner.

The guy was weak enough to be vulnerable, strong enough to be a potential danger, had cheered on 9-11, did have contacts with a guy who later became, if memory servers #2 (until killed), and Rumsfeld had this idea of using the Army as a kind of post-Ollie North expeditionary force. Go in light, take out the bad guys, and then get out.

And there was bad blood. In retrospect the decision to permit the Saddam regime to escape and launch post-invasion ethnic cleansing against his opponents rankled as betrayal.

The Economist knows that in private Israel warned the Americans off the invasion. Obviously no Jew shed a tear at the guys demise but role of the principal (gentile) architects of the war (particularly Rumsfeld's bete noire of transforming the military to a rapid defense force) get shoved aside in the rush to point fingers at the (Jewish) lieutenants.


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