Antisemitism

In Search of Anti-Semitism

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Gabriel Schoenfeld's widely touted book The Return of Anti-Semitism gets a pan from George Liebmann, writing in the Hudson Institute's journal American Outlook. Here's the lede:

Based on news clippings and prepared, according to its acknowledgments, "under the strain of a tight deadline," Gabriel Schoenfeld's The Return of Anti-Semitism is a polemical work that represents itself as a survey of contemporary anti-Semitism in its Islamic, European, and American manifestations. The book is virtually bereft of hard data. Readers will find no polling results, no crime or employment statistics, no evidence of discrimination, and little history. Moreover, the conclusion acknowledges that what the author describes as anti-Semitism accelerated at the time of the Palestinian intifada in 2000 and "does appear to be an epiphenomenon of the Arab-Israeli conflict." A book with such an ill-founded premise is unlikely to yield much light, though this one does generate a good deal of heat.

Liebmann does appreciate Schoenfeld's information, "however haphazardly assembled," on anti-Semitism in Asia and among Muslim Europeans. Otherwise, he writes, the book is merely "a shot in the 'culture wars' which seeks to deflect criticism of the current Israeli government, and the policy of the Bush administration with respect to Iraq and Palestine, by indiscriminately tarring critics of both with the brush of anti-Semitism and by demonizing or marginalizing those who hold opposing views."

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  1. Rick Barton! Rick Barton!

  2. Wait, are you inferring that anyone who criticizes Israeli policies ISN’T necessarily an anti-Semite?

    Walker, I always knew you were a Nazi.

  3. The claim is certainly used too often, but I raise an eyebrow at the frequency of the passes given to Palestinian terrorists when compared to the frequency of condemnations of Israeli reactions to such.

    I can easily see an interested party getting the impression that the UN is a predominantly antisemitic organization, for example.

  4. It sounds like the book was written based on a lot of anecdotal evidence, which should automatically tell you that its bullshit. Looking at anecdotal evidence is the starting point, not the end point.

  5. Jason Ligon,

    Is there really a difference in frequency, or is one or the other party pissed off because the UN dares recognize the “other side?”

  6. It is unfair to label critics of Israel anti-Semitic, but I do derive guilty pleasure in watching Leftist, always quick to accuse others of bigotry of all kinds, squirming under questions of why they associate with blatantly anti-Semitic Islamic groups or why they share the same view of Middle East policy as neo-nazis.

  7. Shannon Love,

    Your statement presumes that all critics of Israeli policy are leftists. Also, miring yourself in the guilt by association fallacy is pretty silly.

  8. “Moreover, the conclusion acknowledges that what the author describes as anti-Semitism accelerated at the time of the Palestinian intifada in 2000 and “does appear to be an epiphenomenon of the Arab-Israeli conflict.””

    So by the same token hate crimes against arabs/muslims post 9/11 can be dismissed as “an epiphenomenon of 9/11” ie not hate-crimes per se ? Ridiculous.

  9. SM,

    What’s interesting is that even in this time of “war,” here in the U.S. and Europe, there is very little in the way of real violence against Muslims, Jews, or other “out groups” – especially in comparison to past wars where issues of ethnicity, race or religious belief were important. Not that I condone any of these actions, but a little damn perspective helps with these matters.

  10. Not all critics of Israel are anti-Semites, but the vast majority are. And to imply that the U.N. is in any way neutral on the question of Israel (as Gary Gunnels has) is to expose a level of naivete that virtually disqualifies one from intelligent debate.

    No other country in the world (aside from maybe the U.S. or Britain) would be condemned for building a fence to protect itself from a vicious, sub-human enemy that has been murdering its citizens since its founding.

    And to see Reason’s staff trying to pretend that anti-Semitism is not undergoing a revival is a sad commentary on the leftist, anti-realist drift of all libertarian thought on foreign policy and world affairs — and the rot of a once-great magazine under Nick Gillespie.

    We’re at war. There’s no going back. And the enemy is Islam.

  11. “Elder of Zion”, have you asked Peter Bagge why he didn’t use you in his last cartoon?

  12. Thje one about art critics?

  13. …a vicious, sub-human enemy…

    So your beef with the anti-Semites is that they hate the wrong ethnic group?

  14. Elder of Zion,

    “Not all critics of Israel are anti-Semites, but the vast majority are.”

    Demonstrate this then.

    “And to imply that the U.N. is in any way neutral on the question of Israel (as Gary Gunnels has) is to expose a level of naivete that virtually disqualifies one from intelligent debate.”

    Demonstrate it, and do so without miring yourself in silly ad hominem attacks.

    “No other country in the world (aside from maybe the U.S. or Britain) would be condemned for building a fence to protect itself from a vicious, sub-human enemy that has been murdering its citizens since its founding.”

    They are humans, whether they are vicious or not. India and Pakistan have both been condemned for building their respective fences. Furthermore, even the Israeli Supreme Court has stated that at least some of the fence’s boundary is an offense to certain basic human rights. But I guess those darn Israeli Supremes are just anti-semites. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “And to see Reason’s staff trying to pretend that anti-Semitism is not undergoing a revival is a sad commentary on the leftist, anti-realist drift of all libertarian thought on foreign policy and world affairs — and the rot of a once-great magazine under Nick Gillespie.”

    Oh my … more unsubstantiated claims and ad hominem attacks.

    Eric II,

    He he he. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Gary Gunnels,
    Well, sure. But the reviewer is not asking that we view matters in perspective. He seems to be saying that any anti-jewish violence perpetrated in the wake of the intifada shouldn’t really count towards an increase in anti-semitism because … well, he doesn’t quite explain but my guesses are –
    1. It’s not of the old Torquemada variety.
    2. It’s a one time only thing. Belgian muslims and beligian jews will get along fine once the middle-east has been solved.
    Etc. Not at all convincing. What’s annoying about this line of reasoning is the hidden assumption that it’s sort of understandable when people in one part of the world to do nasty things in imagined solidarity with their “brothers” a million miles away.
    But Gabriel Schoenfeld’s book does appear to be overwrought.

  16. Elder of Zion says:

    vicious, sub-human enemy

    I don’t know if you’re a troll, but that kind of inflammatory remark precludes reasonable debate. If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest you stick to the datum.

  17. Yes, I suspect Elder of Zion is a troll. I sure hope so anyway!

  18. SM,

    In the end though I doubt it (the book) makes much of of a difference since it will likely be sitting in the bargain book shelf in two to three years, and in twenty years will be one of those books you run across in used book stores that costs 50 cents.

  19. It sounds like the book was written based on a lot of anecdotal evidence, which should automatically tell you that its bullshit. Looking at anecdotal evidence is the starting point, not the end point.

    Right on, Gary, and when we have a study featuring statistically significant proof, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, we’ll conclude that maybe, just perhaps, anti-semitism is on the rise. A couple hundred thousand carefully documented incidents, more or less, should do it. Having the foreign relations establishment of your country referring to Israel as “those people” and that “shitty little country” isn’t enough to show a rise in anti-semitism.

    As for the purely statistical question – of whether anecdote is useless in proving a point –

    How ’bout if a bus runs you down in traffic in front of me? Can I conclude, based on that anecdotal evidence, that walking in front of moving buses is dangerous? Or should I push Gillespie out in front of one to test my thesis?

  20. Stephen Fetchet,

    I’m not asking for proof beyond a reasonable doubt, I am asking for a statistically significant conclusion. And this wouldn’t take a whole heck of a lot of effort to produce – indeed, I’m sure it would we even pass experimental design muster. And I don’t think asking someone to demonstrate a position with something besides invariably subjective anecdotal data is all that absurd; indeed, its the rational thing to do.

    “Having the foreign relations establishment of your country referring to Israel as ‘those people’ and that ‘shitty little country’ isn’t enough to show a rise in anti-semitism.”

    My country? And again, this is at best anecdotal evidence. Indeed, its probably an example of misleading vividness.

    “How ’bout if a bus runs you down in traffic in front of me? Can I conclude, based on that anecdotal evidence, that walking in front of moving buses is dangerous? Or should I push Gillespie out in front of one to test my thesis?”

    Thanks for the false analogy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Stephen Fetchet,

    Or let us put it differently. A few years ago it was claimed that black churches in the South were burning down at a rate which could only explained by arson. A whole slew of politicians jumped on this bandwagon and called for new legislation, changes in public policy, etc. However, it turns out that there hadn’t been an increase in church burnings and any perceived increase was based on misjudgements and subjective anecdotal evidence. Of course at the time, if we had followed your modus operandi, we would have enacted a whole series of new laws to “combat” this “rising menace.”

  22. Is there really a difference in frequency, or is one or the other party pissed off because the UN dares recognize the “other side?”

    The United Nations has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than it has condemning all the other nations of the world combined.

    Between 1947 and 1989 the UN Security Council passed forty-nine resolutions condemning Israel, and none condemning Arab states or the PLO. This, during a time period in which Arab states killed tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs living in their territories. The United States has vetoed over a hundred other anti-Israel resolutions. In the United Nations General Assembly, where the United States does not have a veto, an average of around thirty resolutions condemning Israel pass each year.

    Israel is also the only nation excluded from serving on the UN Security Council. Syria, which killed more Palestians in one year alone than Israel has in its entire history, is a member of the Security Council.

    It isn’t just a matter of Israel being criticized, by the United Nations, more often than “Palestine” is. It’s that it has been criticized by the United Nations more often than, for instance, the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, El Salvador, Chile, the Philippines, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, et. al, put together.

    So there are exactly two possibilities:
    (1): Israel is guilty of greater crimes than the entire rest of the planet put together.
    (2): The United Nations has a Barton-esque bug up its ass about the Israelis.

    By the way, who is George Liebmann? The name sounds vaguely familiar, but his little mini-bio doesn’t seem to have much of anything in it.

  23. Critics of critics of anti-Israel journalists/ academics etc love to resort to the accusation that fanatical Israel- supporters are attempting to silence them with accusations of anti-semitism. I wish that one of these claimants would give just one specific example of a prominent, respected Jewish voice making such an accusation. It seems to me that critics of Israel are, instead, attempting rather disingenuously to pre-empt challenges of their views by flinging around accusations that Israel-supporters are going to attempt to stifle them with the anti-Semitism card.

  24. Dan,

    Or perhaps:

    3) There are a multitude of political agendas and differences in perspective that explain what you see as bias that are unrelated to anti-Semitism.

  25. Gary Gunnels:

    1. Dan @3.39 provided some data as to why one can say the UN is “not neutral” – what do you have to say?

    2. If you discount anecdotal data (as opposed to surveys/polls – as if people admit that they hate jews when you poll them over the telephone), please remember it the next time you piss on Alabama the Beautiful (or the heart of Dixie), based on your experience with the rednecks ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. Demonstrate that “…in twenty years will be one of those books you run across in used book stores that costs 50 cents”

    Not that I doubt this; but see how absurd it is to say ‘demonstrate’ when you are not willing to be reasonable?

    (someone who says the UN is neutral w.r.t. Israel is either uninformed or unreasonable)

  26. Dan,

    “Between 1947 and 1989 the UN Security Council passed forty-nine resolutions condemning Israel, and none condemning Arab states or the PLO.”

    If that’s the case, then this means that the US, UK, France,* China and Russia (USSR) all either voted for those resolutions or abstained from them.

    “The United States has vetoed over a hundred other anti-Israel resolutions. In the United Nations General Assembly, where the United States does not have a veto, an average of around thirty resolutions condemning Israel pass each year.”

    And is this because the UN is anti-semitic, or because some members are trying to court the favor of the Arab members of that body? One of the first things you learn in reading legislation is that motivations of legislative bodies and their individual members are hard to discern.

    “Israel is also the only nation excluded from serving on the UN Security Council.”

    Actually, Libya can’t serve on it either; every time its “turn” comes up, it either is openly denied a spot or it just abstains from serving. There are probably a couple of other pariah countries like Libya treated similarly.

    “Syria, which killed more Palestians in one year alone than Israel has in its entire history, is a member of the Security Council.”

    Well, that’s a function of the UN, and not a demonstration of anti-Israeli sentiment per se.

    “It’s that it has been criticized by the United Nations more often than, for instance, the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, El Salvador, Chile, the Philippines, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, et. al, put together.”

    Well, at least a few of those nations can be tossed simply because of the Soviet Union’s presence (historically) – namely Viet Nam, Cuba, etc. – and the presence of China (in other words there are some confounding factors to deal with).

    So there are exactly two possibilities:
    (1): Israel is guilty of greater crimes than the entire rest of the planet put together.
    (2): The United Nations has a Barton-esque bug up its ass about the Israelis.

    If indeed the UN is disproportionate in its criticism, then I would say that its not so much that the UN has a bug up its ass as a whole, but that Arab states have the ability to coax certain blocks of UN states (African nations for example) to vote for their anti-Israeli tirades.

    *Oh crap Thoureau! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. zorel,

    “1. Dan @3.39 provided some data as to why one can say the UN is ‘not neutral’ – what do you have to say?”

    I already did it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “2. If you discount anecdotal data (as opposed to surveys/polls – as if people admit that they hate jews when you poll them over the telephone), please remember it the next time you piss on Alabama the Beautiful (or the heart of Dixie), based on your experience with the rednecks.”

    Most of my family are rednecks from Alabama. ๐Ÿ™‚ Indeed, i’m listening to a B’ham station right now – 106.9.

    And people do admit to anti-semitic stances in polls; that’s why polling data in the U.S. consistently finds that about 1/5th of the U.S. population hold anti-semitic (or so says the ADL as I recall).

    “3. Demonstrate that ‘…in twenty years will be one of those books you run across in used book stores that costs 50 cents'”

    Give me twenty years and I will. ๐Ÿ™‚ BTW, I made a prediction; I didn’t state that this would absolutely be a reality; in twenty years if I’m proven wrong, I’ll be more than willing to admit such. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Not that I doubt this; but see how absurd it is to say ‘demonstrate’ when you are not willing to be reasonable?”

    I’m willing to be quite reasonable. Show me where I was “unreasonable?”

  28. Gary, once again I see you are showing off your stellar logical and rhetorical skills.

    I did not state or imply that anecdote is at all times and places a valid way of detecting and proving the existence of problems, only that your offhand dismissal of anecdote as useless with respect to proving or disproving something, was on its face incorrect.

    An anecdote is nothing more than an individual event, a singular happening. The fact that a witness account concerning a murder is anecdotal, does not render the account worthless in the resulting court case.

    With respect to the church burning example, you aren?t talking about anecdote. You are talking about a collection of anecdotes. At what point does that collection become a statistical study? I don?t know ? I?d say the 70 some-odd churches that burned over a three year period is pretty close to a statistical study, if there are some controls.

    And oddly enough, the proposition that you cite here ? that arson must surely be to blame ? was actually proven, although not in the way you seem to suspect. DOJ investigation revealed that arson was actually involved in most of the cases. However, with the exception of two or three cases, the arson involved was pastors torching the churches, to collect the insurance money. So the conclusion that arson was to blame, was actually correct. Meanwhile, the conclusion that the prominence of church burning in the news must mean that there was an increase in church burning, was disproven by looking at the statistics for church burnings ? statistics based on isolated incidents, or what you would call anecdotes or crap ? over a 10 year period prior to the period in question.

    So, it is as I said before. Anecdotes are not worthless when it comes to proving or disproving an assertion.

  29. Dan,

    “Between 1947 and 1989 the UN Security Council passed forty-nine resolutions condemning Israel, and none condemning Arab states or the PLO.”

    BTW, it should also be noted that attempts to condemn Iraq for its chemical attacks in the 1980s (1986 was the specific year a resolution was blocked) were blocked by the UK and the US; I’m fairly certain similar shit has happened with other Arab states currying the favor of one of or more of the five permanent members. When you actually analyze the historical background of this data things become some what more convoluted.

  30. I wonder if the people in the Israel discussions do what I do for certain topics and just save their canned responses on their hard drives. It sure seems that way sometimes.

    I’d hate to think that Rick Barton retypes those links every time. (Even though he hasn’t appeared in this thread yet we all know that he will.)

    And although I singled out Rick Barton, the responses from the other side are just as canned.

  31. Stephen,

    “I did not state or imply that anecdote is at all times and places a valid way of detecting and proving the existence of problems, only that your offhand dismissal of anecdote as useless with respect to proving or disproving something, was on its face incorrect.”

    No its not, and I’ve already demonstrated why that’s the case. And I’m sorry, but your silly analogy does indeed imply that something as complex as the subject at hand can be solved by a few bits of anecdotal data.

    “An anecdote is nothing more than an individual event, a singular happening. The fact that a witness account concerning a murder is anecdotal, does not render the account worthless in the resulting court case.”

    I never stated that it was worthless; indeed, my original statement indicates the worth of anecdotal evidence – as the start of a conversation, point of study, etc. Nevertheless, basic government policy, etc. on anecdote is a risky proposition – as the example I illustrated earlier demonstrates.

    “With respect to the church burning example, you aren?t talking about anecdote. You are talking about a collection of anecdotes.”

    Anecdotal evidence is generally seen as a collection of anecdotes; and it ought to be obvious that is the way I’m using the word in my original statement.

    “At what point does that collection become a statistical study?”

    That ought to be obvious; when statistical controls and methods are applied to it.

    “I don?t know ? I?d say the 70 some-odd churches that burned over a three year period is pretty close to a statistical study, if there are some controls.”

    No its not; its nothing like a statistical study; indeed, at best it would be what social scientists call a “natural experiment” if the control were historical in nature.

    “So the conclusion that arson was to blame, was actually correct.”

    The original conclusion was that it was arson motivated by racism, and that new legislation was needed in order to combat this rise of racist attacks. Sorry, but the original conclusion was not demonstrated at all; some other factor was found to be the source of the arsons – one which any new legislation based on the original supposition would not likely have stopped.

    “So, it is as I said before. Anecdotes are not worthless when it comes to proving or disproving an assertion.”

    Please, at least criticize arguments I’ve actually made instead of making them up out of thin air. I never stated that anecdotal evidence was “worthless,” I stated that it was a starting point.

  32. And to imply that the U.N. is in any way neutral on the question of Israel (as Gary Gunnels has) is to expose a level of naivete that virtually disqualifies one from intelligent debate.

    Ok I’m with ya there, but I don’t think anyone would suggest that the U.N. has ever gone Swiss on anything. The U.N. is just another institution, and there’s not much they can do to the Palestinians that the Israelis haven’t already done to them. The Palestinians, however, made their bed.

    a vicious, sub-human enemy

    …but ya lost me here. That’s big talk comin from a group who wanted to drive all of the Palestinians into the sea back when it was still a good old fashioned war. The Israelis, too, made their bed.

    May you both rot in them.

  33. Gary:

    My original post noted that disproportionate condemnation of Israeli actions by the UN in the relative absence of such criticism of Palestinians would make an interested party (read Jew) raise an eyebrow. I think that is fairly reasonable.

    That Arab blocks are racist and influence the UN doesn’t excuse the UN from playing their reindeer games, IMHO.

  34. Or perhaps: 3) There are a multitude of political agendas and differences in perspective that explain what you see as bias that are unrelated to anti-Semitism.

    I didn’t claim that the United Nation’s anti-Israeli bias was due to anti-Semitism. I was just responding to Gary, who had questioned whether the bias even existed. I made no claim about *why* it existed.

    The “multitude of political agendas” can be classified under option two, “the UN has a bug up its ass about Israel”.

    I don’t think the United Nations is anti-Semitic per se. I think it realistically reflects the fact that Israel has nothing the world needs, and the vehemently anti-Semitic Arab world does. If there was oil in Israel, the United Nations. If the oil wells dried up tomorrow, the United Nations would stop passing anti-Israel resolutions.

  35. “Between 1947 and 1989 the UN Security Council passed forty-nine resolutions condemning Israel, and none condemning Arab states or the PLO.”

    If that’s the case, then this means that the US, UK, France,* China and Russia (USSR) all either voted for those resolutions or abstained from them

    Which certainly refutes the argument that the United States is a tool of Israel. But it has no relevance to your original question, which was:

    “Is there really a difference in frequency [between condemnations of Israel vs. condemnations of the Palestinians], or is one or the other party pissed off because the UN dares recognize the “other side?”

    If you concede that the difference in frequency does, in fact, exist — i.e., if you acknowledge simple empirical reality — then I don’t see what more there is to discuss.

  36. If there was oil in Israel, the United Nations

    should read “… would support it”.

  37. The book is virtually bereft of hard data. Readers will find no polling results, no crime or employment statistics, no evidence of discrimination, and little history.

    But that won’t stop some folks from trying to use it as a foil against criticism of the Israeli government, just as the neocons tried to use unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism to parry criticism of their advocacy of the Iraq war.

    The cruel irony here is that the besides maintaining a murderous and thieving occupation of Palestinian land, the Israeli government is currently headed by Ariel Sharon, who actually supported racist “Jews Only” housing area laws on government land, in open discrimination against Israel’s own 15% to 20% Arab citizen population!

    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    If we want to make this mess both less ironic and less cruel AND reduce our risk of incurring terrorist attack, we should ask congress to quit funding the occupation by the Israeli government:

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

  38. You know this is a debate about “Validity” and “Truth”. The book’s point may be true, BUT the methods used to advance the argument are not valid arguments. We can know know, from the evidence presented, if the anti-semitism is on the rise.

  39. I happen to be reading the book now, and the whole thing should not be tossed aside just because of how the book may be used. The book IS somehwhat lacking in hard evidence. However, when you realize that some of the “anecdotal evidence” includes speeches from public figures, classroom lessons, popular television programs, and widely distributed newspaper articles. I’ve only read the first chapter, on the “Islamic strain” of Anti-Semitism, but hard data in terms of employment, crime, and other sorts of similar data would be hard to find in an Islamic World.
    The point should not be to use this sort of book as a sort of Get Out of Jail Free card for Israel and Israeli policies. The point should be to take into consideration that anti-semitism is still alive and kicking. Just go to any anti-war rally here in the United States and you can get pamphlets describing how the Jewish cabal in the U.S. government (Wolfowitz and the like) were the ones repsonsible for the war in Iraq.

  40. All right, Rick! You came!

    By the way, Rick, you should read the cover story in that zionist neocon rag the Atlantic Monthly. It’s called “Inside Al-Qaeda’s Hard Drive,” and it has excerpts from a bunch of e-mails Osama and his buddies sent to each other before and immediately after 9/11. The one that made me think of you was in October 2001, after the attacks but before we invaded Afghanistan. Osama wrote to Mullah Omar and told him he should wage a pr war with the following major points (sorry, I don’t have the article handy and it’s not online yet, so I’m paraphrasing. The actual language is much more powerful): remind the American people that their government does not represent them, because it is controlled by the Jews; tell the Americans that their government is sending them to fight and die for Israel, waging a proxy war on behalf of its Israeli masters, and that’s why they were attacked, etc., etc., etc. It’s like they were reading your mind, Rick!

  41. Not Rick Barton,
    The Iraq war really wasn’t in the best interest of the united states, i don’t understand what you’re saying, because Osama bin laden points this out it is suddenly wrong?

  42. grunhaus,
    When I was in college, my Jewish friend and I named out beer pong team “Team Semite.” You have no idea how many times I heard, “Mo, I didn’t know you were Jewish.”

  43. Make that…”Also, some of the neocons,…”

    Sorry about that.

  44. Make that…”Also, some of the neocons,…”

    I think at this point we can pretty much recite your Israel/Iraq/Neocons speech from memory, Rick. No errata are required.

  45. Yeah Mo,

    Its amazing how ignorant some people, even the learned. I remember making this point in school to a Jewish studies professor, much to his chagrin.

    He could only reply that we all know what is implied by the word anti-semitism. And I said yeah it means that people only think Jews are ones slandered and therefore have cornered the market on the word.

    But according to this thread, I would say anti-semitism is on the rise but not in traditional sense.

    You don’t know how many people I know that said to solve the terrorist threat in America we should send all thos Arabs back to the middle east. So yes I would conclude merely through anecdotal evidence that yes anti-semitism is on the rise

  46. I was just being polite. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. “I think at this point we can pretty much recite your Israel/Iraq/Neocons speech from memory, Rick. No errata are required.”

    Uh huh. As if your “You just hate Jews!” rebuttal to every insufficiently hawkish political statement is novel.

  48. BTW, An interesting book that covers the “Israel first” perspective of the neos who pushed us into war is:

    A Pretext for War : 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385506724/reasonmagazinea-20/#product-details

    by JAMES BAMFORD, author of the The Puzzle Palace

    From a review of A Pretext for War from Time:

    The Bush hard-liners had long believed that stability could come to the Middle East and Israel ? only if Saddam Hussein was overthrown and Iraq converted into a stable democracy. Led by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, they were installed at various national-security choke points in the government, and nothing moved without their O.K. Bamford comes very close to stating that the hard-liners were wittingly or unwittingly acting as agents of Israel’s hard-line Likud Party, which believed Israel should operate with impunity in the region and dictate terms to its neighbors.

    Such a world view, Bamford argues, was simply repotted by the hard-liners into U.S. foreign policy in the early Bush years, with the war in Iraq as its ultimate goal. Bamford asserts that the backgrounds, political philosophies and experiences of many of the hard-liners helped to hardwire the pro-Israel mind-set in the Bush inner circle and suggests that Washington mistook Israel’s interests for its own when it pre-emptively invaded Iraq last year. The result was a war built on sand.”

  49. I think the term anti-semitic Arab is a contradiction in terms. How can a semite be anti-semitic unless he’s one of those self hating semites.

  50. I was talking about the war in Afghanistan, not Iraq. The bin Laden email was written in Oct 01, just a few weeks after 9/11.

  51. joe,

    I’ve never called you anti-Semitic, though I probably disagree with some of your views on Israel. I just like picking on Rick Barton.

  52. not Rick Barton!,

    You faker; I’m proud that your handle is the negation of my name! I would never contend that “the Jews” control our government and you know it.

    Also, the some of the neocons, who have indeed been agitating for the Iraq war for so long because they thought it would be good for the Israeli government, actually pounded the table (Wolfowitz) for going after Iraq right after 9/11 instead of Afghanistan.

    The only good thing about your post is that your handle links to antiwar.com, which you really need to actually read.

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