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Why Rep. Omar was accused of indulging in anti-Semitic rhetoric

It's not about AIPAC. She suggested that the only reason a Republican would call her out for past anti-Semitic comments was that he was paid off by Jewish money.

As readers are likely aware, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been embroiled in a controversy about alleged anti-Semitic tweets she posted. The controversy has devolved into a debate over whether, to what extent, and under what circumstances discussing the influence of AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups over American Middle East policy relies on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and tropes.

Lost in the shuffle is that the context of Omar's tweets makes the underlying anti-Semitism much clearer than the way the debate, as described above, has been framed.

Here's what happened: The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz posted an article in English describing how House Minority leader McCarthy promised 'Action' against and fellow freshman congresswomen Rashida Tlaib. As the article noted, both women are strongly anti-Israel, and both had been accused of engaging in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Indeed, Omar had already apologized for one of her comments, suggesting that Israel "has hypnotized the world," stating that she didn't realize that that this language seemed to play on classic anti-Semitic tropes and was thus offensive to Jews. Given that McCarthy analogized Omar and Tlaib to Rep. Steve King, it seems fair to surmise that just as House Republicans demoted King for racist comments, McCarthy sought to penalize Omar and Tlaib for anti-Semitic rhetoric.

In stepped Glenn Greenwald, who retweeted the Ha'aretz piece, and commented: "GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans."

Greenwald, as his wont, drew no distinction between "criticizing Israel in an anti-Semitic manner" and "criticisms of Israel." He also conflated criticizing anti-Semitic comments about Israel with "defending a foreign nation," and made the bizarre suggestion that McCarthy threatening to penalize members of Congress for racist/anti-Semitic statements somehow impinges on their free speech rights--as if King had a first amendment right not to be demoted after praising white supremacy.

Ilhan, in turn, retweeted Greenwald with the comment, "It's all about the Benjamins baby." After receiving lots of pushback, she "clarified" that she was referring to AIPAC.

The context of the controversy, in other words, was not a debate about a specific Israeli policy, nor about the general influence of AIPAC, but about a leading Republican calling out two leftist Democrats for comments that were widely perceived to be anti-Semitic, and for which one of the Democrats had already apologized.

So the anti-Semitic implications of Omar's initial tweet are rather clear: 'McCarthy isn't criticizing me because it's an obvious political move for a Republican to criticize anti-Semitism among Democrats, but because he's been bought off by Jewish money. And, moreover, that calling out anti-Semitism in this particular context constitutes loyalty to a foreign country.'

She then tried to save herself by suggesting that she wasn't referring to Jewish money in general, but specifically to AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby group. And in fact she partially succeeded in redirecting the debate to one over AIPAC's influence.

Let's be generous, and assume she meant AIPAC to begin with. Two freshman Democrats who have attracted a great deal of attention are widely perceived to have engaged in anti-Semitic rhetoric while criticizing Israel. The leader of the House GOP, just off demoting a member of his caucus for racist comments, threatens similar action against the two Democrats. Again, this seems like a rather obvious political move, that neither needs any lobbying group for inspiration, nor is in fact about Israeli policy, as such. Suggesting in the absence of "Israel lobby" money, the House Repbuplican leader wouldn't call out anti-Semitism by House Democrats suggests that you believe that the lobby, i.e., Jews, are pulling the strings in a classic Jewish-conspiracy kind of way, such that even the most mundane and obvious of political maneuvers are really just tribute to a Jewish cabal.

UPDATE: How might someone in Omar's position have responded to Greenwald's tweet, assuming some response was deemed appropriate, if she wanted to seem sincere in her previous apology and not fan new flames of anti-Semitism? How about, "I erred in using rhetoric that inadvertently echoed anti-Semitic canards, but I apologized sincerely for my error and reject Rep. McCarthy's attempt to gain partisan advantage through his divisive tactics. I look forward to working with the Jewish community on issues of mutual concern."

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  • Abdul Abulbul Amir||

    She won't be demoted. The reprimand from Dem leadership was for show.

  • ||

    TIL not to write blog posts on my phone. #editmepls

  • ThePublius||

    Exactly. I came to the comments section to see if anyone else would complain about the very poor editing. Besides obvious omissions of words, some of the syntax is quite clunky, and hard to read.

  • Snorkle||

    Even if one accepts your analysis at face value, there's still the detail regarding your, ah, imperfect messenger: https://www.washingtonexaminer .com/news/kevin-mccarthy -deletes-tweet-charging-george-soros -tom-steyer-and-michael-bloomberg -with-trying-to-buy-elections . (Spaces added to defeat filter.)

    if you were less interested in scoring points, your analysis actually could have been useful.

  • David Bernstein||

    So McCarthy was accused of an anti-Semitic tweet. How would that undermine anything in my post? If anything, it would increase his political incentive to call out others' anti-Semitism to try to show that he's not, further supporting my point that bringing in "Jewish money" to explain his actions shows a conspiratorial mindset.

  • bernard11||

    How would that undermine anything in my post?

    It wouldn't undermine anything in your post. Omar's tweets are ignorant and offensive.

    So was McCarthy's, but yet some of those criticizing Omar now were crawling all over themselves to defend McCarthy, not to mention insisting that very similar "tropes" aimed at George Soros were not in the least antisemitic.

  • NToJ||

    Which tweet by Omar was "ignorant and offensive"?

  • William_Zanzinger||

    It highlights your role as a partisan hack, rather than a thoughtful observer.

    You seem to seek out any possible opportunity to post about Democrats being accused of anti-Semitism, but you make no effort to call out Republicans for their exploitation of anti-Semitic tropes, and you claim not to even notice it from the GOP. Your striking ability to recognize anti-Semitic dog whistles only when they come from the left indicates that you are merely seeking to score partisan points, rather than engaging in a meaningful dialogue.

    Your partisanship undermines everything you write, because it forces readers to assume that your motivations are partisan rather than genuine. And your partisanship is all the more problematic in the context of a purportedly independent/libertarian blog.

  • BD57||

    So you only care about anti-semitism if it's from the right? Is that your point?

  • William_Zanzinger||

    No, my point is that Bernstein lacks credibility on this issue because he is consistently partisan rather than genuine.

  • MKE||

    In response to the update, I would say that I'm certain Omar wants to "seem" sincere. The problem is that there is no point in forcing a bigot to make an insincere apology.

  • MKE||

    Not only does nothing undermine this post, the column, if anything, is far too generous toward Omar. This isn't her first controversy. She supports the anti-Semitic BDS movement. She attended a fundraising event for CAIR. She views Israel as an "apartheid regime" and has mocked the idea that Israel is a democracy, equating it with the Islamic state of Iran. Not to mention her unseemly attack on Sen. Graham. She is an embarrassment.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Are you arguing every controversy you listed requires antisemitism?

  • MKE||

    It certainly seems to be a common denominator.

  • NToJ||

    Yea, as long as you assume your conclusion, everybody you disagree with politically is an anti-Semite.

  • MKE||

    I don't think I'm making unwarranted assumptions about the attitudes and positions of Iran, the BDS movement or CAIR, but I will admit that I disagree with them politically if you think this helps your argument.

  • NToJ||

    Go to CAIR's website and report back on the anti-Semitism you see on it.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "Are you arguing every controversy you listed requires antisemitism?"

    BDS? Yes unless you are also leading the charge against China for Tibet.

    CAIR? God yes, the Muslim Brotherhood's US arm.

    "apartheid regime"? Yes.

    Graham? Not sure what he means.

  • NToJ||

    "BDS? Yes unless you are also leading the charge against China for Tibet."

    This is fucking dumb, people have their own pet issues and are under no obligation to select Bob's. Surely you don't think a Chinese person is racist for supporting China's position rather than Tibet? Why would a Palestinian opposed to Israeli policies in Palestine also boycott Chinese products? And why would an American who is troubled by Israeli's policies but not Chinese policies also be under an obligation to boycott China?

    "CAIR?"

    Notoriously anti-Semitic. Have you seen their frontpage? Celebrating an interfaith prayer event in Oklahoma (featuring Rabbi Vered Harris) and another titled: "ANTI-SEMITISM IS REAL".

  • Kevin Smith||

    This is fucking dumb, people have their own pet issues and are under no obligation to select Bob's.

    The question is why this is a pet issue for the person. For a Palestinian the answer is obvious, but Rep. Omar is not Palestinian, and neither are the majority of people in the BDS movement

    And why would an American who is troubled by Israeli's policies but not Chinese policies

    This raises the question of why again. Why is someone troubled by Israel's policies, but not China's near-identical policies? Particularly when neither directly impacts them, why single out Israel?


    Personally I don't buy into "dog whistle" politics, and anti-Israel/anti-Zionism as a dog whistle for anti-semitism is no exception, but that is exactly why you need to dig into each person's individual motives to determine if its a legitimate pet issue, or if they are predisposed to dislike Israel because of what it represents

  • Sarcastr0||

    There is no evident agenda when someone defends a group just because they themselves aren't a part of the group.

    why single out Israel?
    Why do some people like roses and other tulips? One's choice of cause isn't an objective question.

    you need to dig into each person's individual motives to determine if its a legitimate pet issue.
    Unless you're a telepath this is an impossible ask.

  • NToJ||

    "The question is why this is a pet issue for the person."

    Right, and your answer is: It must be anti-Semitism. Maybe my pet issue is I'm an American, and since America provides unmatched material support for Israel, Israel gets extra scrutiny. Is that an anti-Semitic reason? I don't want to speak for Rep. Omar, but that's one of about a million reasons why someone would treat Israel as a pet issue differently from, say Tibet.

    "Particularly when neither directly impacts them, why single out Israel?"

    Hmmm, well, there isn't a ACPAC that is routinely held out as one of the most powerful lobbies in the country, and so far as I can tell the amount in aid we give to Israel dwarfs the amount given to China. And we don't protect China with a UN veto. And China doesn't ask us to stop scud missiles when Saddam disrupts the region. On and on and on and on.

    "... but that is exactly why you need to dig into each person's ..."

    If you don't like dog whistle politics, the answer is to address a person's concern, rather than pointlessly looking into how racist they really are in your imagination.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Knew this was coming. Am here for it.

    Saying you were bought off by lobbyist money doesn't require it be Jewish. But when it's regarding Israel, you do have to be extra careful since you're aligning with an old stereotype and at least not be so flip when you post stuff like that. Especially given the problematic hypnotize the world previously.

    McCarthy tweets about Soros money himself, so he would do well to heed that advice as well.

  • David Bernstein||

    Let's reemphasize: Omar herself acknowledged that a previous tweet of hers could reasonably be perceived as anti-Semitic, even if she claims a lack of intent. Why would you need ANY money, Jewish or otherwise, to persuade a political opponent to take advantage of that?

  • Sarcastr0||

    The argument - and one I myself am not making - would be that the money is why it's so effective a political attack.

  • David Bernstein||

    Because no one would care about anti-Semitism otherwise? If so, then why is the money a bad thing?

  • gormadoc||

    In their view, it's not actually anti-Semitic, though it does evoke it and they accept it, thus the partial apology. The reason the money matters is that they believe they can take advantage of a political opponent attacking them for statements their constituents wouldn't find offensive. Ascribing it to money just makes it so Republicans seem even more mercenary.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm playing devil's advocate here, and my actual position is more like gormadoc's comment below, but I think the idea is that the money is laying out a narrative.

    Just like the NRA pushes the idea that any attempt to regulate firearms means you want to disarm the populous to bring on socialism,
    or pharmaceutical companies push the story that their giant profits actually required to keep them as innovative that they are,
    APAIC manages to get people conflating criticism of Israel and especially it's influence on our politics with antisemitism.

    I have family members in this camp.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "APAIC manages to get people conflating criticism of Israel and especially it's influence on our politics with antisemitism."

    This would be a lot more difficult if the critics of Israel were also criticizing the Palestinians in proportion to THEIR wrongs.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Double standards can arise for lots of reasons not related to antisemitism.

    Here, I'd say it could more easily come from an overdeveloped desire to defend the underdog.
    Not an uncommon trait among liberals!

  • NToJ||

    "This would be a lot more difficult if the critics of Israel were also criticizing the Palestinians in proportion to THEIR wrongs."

    Always the same thing, all criticisms of Israel are anti-Semitic until someone levels proportionate criticisms at Palestine. It's tired. Maybe the reason Americans don't care about Palestinian misfits as much as Israel's foreign policy is because (1) Palestine isn't given special treatment by the US government to the same extent as Israel; and (2) Israel's actions towards Palestine cause American harm far more than Palestine's actions towards Israel. But if you think everything should be proportional, why can't I just turn the question on you? Does the U.S.'s disproportionate funding of Israel relative to, say, sub-Saharan Africa, reflect America's racism?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yes, it's always the same thing, because it's a valid complaint. You've got the Palestinians launching rockets into Israeli residential areas on a regular basis. Israel had to build a wall to stop Palestinians from sneaking in and blowing up day care centers. (News flash: It worked.) Palestinians elementary schools teach genocide.

    Do Palestinians suffer when Israel blows up rocket launchers deliberately set up in crowded areas? Yeah, sure. That's deliberate, it's why they launch the rockets from crowded places: Because the people launching them are deliberately trying to create photogenic casualties they can blame on Israel.

    This is, by any sane evaluation, evil.

  • NToJ||

    "This is, by any sane evaluation, evil."

    The issue is whether someone is entitled to believe that Palestine is evil, and still also be entitled to condemn Israeli actions without being anti-Semitic. Your argument is that so long as Palestine is evil, there are no non-anti-Semitic criticisms of Israel. It's a fucking stupid argument.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Sure, they are. As long as they don't avoid condemning the Palestinians, too. "A pox on both houses!" is one thing, but only criticizing the lesser offender, and letting the worse off the hook?

    Yeah, that's pretty good evidence of antisemitism.

  • Sarcastr0||

    'Unless you include my tu quoque you are a bigot' is quite the bold argument.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Seriously, Sarcastro, I think you need to look up the details of "tu quoque"; It doesn't work the way you seem to think.

  • NToJ||

    Are you even certain that Palestine is the "worse" "offender"? The bodybag score isn't close.

    But set that aside. I don't have to preface every criticism of Israel with a separate criticism of some other entity I don't fucking care about. Because I'm not a child.

  • epsilon given||

    When the bodybag count on Israel's side is artificially increased because Palestinians put rocket launchers in crowded areas, which are then destroyed by Israeli rockets, I can't help but wonder: why are we counting those deaths as "caused by Isreali", when they really should be tallied to the Palestinian side?

    The Israeli government has the task of protecting its citizens from outside threats -- it's one of the most fundamental tasks of government. If Israel holds off on destroying threats that are actively trying to harm Israeli citizens, just because their enemies protect those threats via human shields, they have failed in their task.

    I have a hard time finding support for a government that deliberately launches rockets to harm civilians, then attempts to protect those launch sites via human shields, and then blames the other government for deaths of those human shields, because that government acts out to remove that threat -- and all this overlooks the fact that Israel doesn't deliberately attack Palestinian civilians absent a threat to their own.

    Why should Palestine have the moral high ground in any of this?

  • gormadoc||

    I think you mean that your actual position is exactly like my own, simply because I am so convincing and attractive.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Hawtist typing on the Internet, gormadoc!

  • David Nieporent||

    populous

    Using "populous" when you mean "populace" is anti-semantic.

  • epsilon given||

    "or pharmaceutical companies push the story that their giant profits actually required to keep them as innovative that they are"

    While we're talking about narratives, how about the one about how the FDA can require just another trial, thereby pushing up the cost of innovation, because people will die if we don't get our drug perfect -- and that no one is dying while waiting for a drug (or even merely a process for producing that drug -- there's no reason why insulin production, for example, should be monopolized at this point).

    Or that any attempt to regulate firearms is actually going to be effective at reducing crime.

    Sigh. There are a *lot* of narratives that need to be challenged...

  • NToJ||

    Can it be a rule that if somebody cannot describe the problem more precisely than "problematic" than there isn't a fucking problem? Do you write headlines for Buzzfeed?

    There is nothing "problematic" about saying a group is hypnotizing another group. It's a statement about influence.

  • Kazinski||

    Why is tweeting about Soros money any more anti-semtic than tweeting about Koch money or oil company money? It all seems to go under the common rubric of "someone who's views I don't like is spending a lot of money pushing their agenda." I'll go on record saying that I don't like the causes Soros, Bloomberg and Steyer spend their money on, or the candidates they support. But its not anti-Semitic its anti-communism, even though all are Jewish, or have Jewish ancestry.

    Why would I single out those 3 then? Well why would Politifact in this factcheck:How many billionaires support the Democratic vs. Republican parties? single out the 3 as the biggest most prominent leftist donor.

    If you want to call out Politifact for anti-semitism for listing those 3 as the most prominent leftwing billionaires, go ahead. Unless you are saying any criticism of billionaires funding left wing causes is anti-Semitic, then singling out Soros or Bloomberg, or Steyer, or all 3 together is not anti-Semitic, its where the data takes you, at least according to Politifact.

    If it makes you feel better I'll also go on record as saying I heartily approve of how Sheldon Adelson spends his money.

  • gormadoc||

    She's dumb. She's really, really dumb. I doubt that she's actually anti-Semitic, though, and she's not trying to incite hatred of Jews in general. She should be more careful, especially because she's part of the Democratic Party that wants to be inclusive and avoid any offense to anybody who isn't a white, heterosexual, male. It makes everything ring hollow when she then plays to classic anti-Semitic tropes. It reminds me of when Democrats ridicule closeted Republicans rather than display any actual empathy.

    It's also really dumb that people assume that Jews of any stripe or Russians or old white libertarians 'buy' votes rather than just financially support people they agree with. In a large political field like the US it's far more economical to support someone you agree with than pay the input cost of convincing someone who doesn't agree to run on it. Simple economics, really.

  • NToJ||

    "It's also really dumb that people assume that Jews of any stripe..."

    Well that's not what happened here. Is it dumb to assume that lobbying organizations like AIPAC do attempt to influence democratic leaders to further the interests of their constituencies? Because that's what AIPAC exists to do, proudly and loudly.

  • gormadoc||

    So we're just going to ignore the verb attached to the Jews? The whole buying thing? Nobody questions that people try to influence politicians, but it is absolutely stupid to assume that these shadowy conspiracies are buying politicians en masse in either party.

    Even if Jews were buying votes it's not the AIPAC doing it. Again, they don't give money.

  • NToJ||

    "...but it is absolutely stupid to assume that these shadowy conspiracies are buying politicians en masse in either party."

    It's not stupid to assume AIPAC wields enormous influence well beyond the size of its putative constituency, because AIPAC claims that, as do politicians. It's not a hidden fact. Nor is it a conspiracy.

    "Even if Jews were buying votes it's not the AIPAC doing it. Again, they don't give money."

    This is naive. Former AIPAC director Thomas Dine went to great lengths to create a contribution network of pro-Israel PACs, that exists to this day. This has been well documented for decades and is disputed by exactly nobody. Maybe AIPAC organized itself this way so that it could present rubes like you plausible deniability over contributions. But you don't have to fall for it. (I don't think you have, I just think that is the prevailing talking point from whatever corner of the internet you read, since I keep hearing this same thing over and over again.)

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "It's not stupid to assume AIPAC wields enormous influence well beyond the size of its putative constituency, because AIPAC claims that, as do politicians. It's not a hidden fact. Nor is it a conspiracy."

    Of course they do, and for the same reason the NRA does: Not because of the money they spend, but instead because a lot of Americans agree with them.

  • NToJ||

    Brett, if all Americans agreed with AIPAC or the NRA, they wouldn't need to exist. Those entities exist to direct public opinion and policies, not to simply reflect them. Elections already do that.

    AIPAC's members spend money. AIPAC intentionally influences where that money goes. None of this is a conspiracy, or illegal, or even shocking.

    Approximately 60% of Americans think the USA gives too much aid to Israel. There is no correlation with the amount the US gives to Israel, and the American public's willingness to give more money. It's effective lobbying, full stop.

  • Joe_dallas||

    The anti-semites are mostly pissed off that Israel is the only functing democracy in the middle east.

    Or even worse - the only functing country in the middle east, and that it happens to be Jewish.

  • gormadoc||

    What's Cyprus, chopped liver?

  • Rossami||

    Cyprus is culturally a whole lot closer to Greece than the Middle East. It's also a member of the EU. Despite its geographic location, Cyprus is probably not in the generic list of countries that most people would consider to be "middle eastern".

  • gormadoc||

    Israel is also more culturally similar to Europe, probably because most of them were Europeans, so if you're going to count Israel as in the Middle East there's no reason not to count Cyprus.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "most of them were Europeans"

    Not quite, people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent constitute around 47.5% of Israeli Jews so the majority is of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent from Asia or Africa.

  • gormadoc||

    Sephardi are from Spain originally and lived everywhere after their expulsion, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The places they left in Africa were at the time controlled by Europeans. Even now many Sephardi speak Iberian languages.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    So, they did not come directly to Israel from Europe. Neither did they all [or even most] come from states "controlled by Europeans".

    When people speak of "European Jews", they don't mean those who ancestors last lived in Europe in 1492.

    "Sephardi are from Spain originally"

    No. they were originally expelled from the Kingdom of Judea by the Romans. If you go back far enough Jews never moved at all.

  • gormadoc||

    "So, they did not come directly to Israel from Europe. Neither did they all [or even most] come from states "controlled by Europeans"."

    See, that's where you're wrong. For one thing, you're conflating Europe and European. Cyprus isn't Europe but its (Greek) inhabitants are undoubtedly European. Many, if not most Sephardi, continued to live in Europe until the establishment of Israel. Those who lived in North Africa moved there after Europe took control of the region and lived their under European administration in European society, not in the boondocks. They later left to join the Israelis as European control declined. Even Sephardi in the Middle East (the only ones who weren't European in geography) didn't stop speaking Spanish or keeping Spanish customs, being European culturally.

    It kinda looks like you just saw a statement you could torture into being something you disagreed with for the sake of disagreement. The question was whether Cypriots should be discounted from the Middle East for being European. If that's true, then Israel should be discounted. If not, then Cyprus is another functioning Middle Eastern democracy.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "most people" couldn't place the Middle East on a map, never-the-less rattle off which countries are in-or-out beyond Iraq and Iran.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Historically, antisemitism doesn't have a lot of alignment with democracy...

  • gormadoc||

    Nor US funding and training of religious fundamentalists who hated foreign influence when we assumed the USSR would last a century.

  • regexp||

    Functing (sic) democracy? Its basically a police state.

  • David Nieporent||

    Uh, no.

  • Eddy||

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Glenn Greenwald is the poster child of self hating Jew.

    Plus, he is gay but supports the anti-gay Arabs against the gay tolerant Israelis.

    Plus, he supports the anti-gay Russian government and hates the increasingly gay tolerant US.

    It would take every therapist in the world working full time to figure him out.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I don't much like Greenwald either, but maybe lay off the self-hating Jew label.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Why? He obviously hates Jews, he is a Jew.

  • Sarcastr0||

    He obviously hates Jews.

    Here's the rub. I'd bet he might dispute that. And many would take his side, some of them even Israeli.

    Self-hating Jew is itself an antisemetic stereotype.
    Not that it's completely taboo, but invoking it is something you should be careful when invoking and back up with more than just animosity.

    Unless you're AltRightWingGuy, which I think we can both agree you are not.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "Self-hating Jew is itself an antisemetic stereotype."

    I disagree, its a term used by Jews to describe other Jews.

    For what its worth, wikipedia agrees with me.

    But fine, I will use "anti-Semite of Jewish origin" going forward. Good enough for Herzl, good enough for me.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Self-hating Jews is also a term used by non-Jews to police Jews. Do a google for 'renegade jew' to see how that plays.

    As with all these concepts, it's not the word, it's the narrative (using your sense of True Jewishness to police a Jew's behavior) that's the issue.

  • ||

    I'm not a self-hating Jew. I am of Jewish ethnicity, but have not identified with Judaism, either religiously or culturally, in over 20 years. I detest liberal "Jews," and think they're despicable, evil people. And I'm glad to see them getting the just deserts of their policies.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If winning the culture war and making right-wingers a bunch of disaffected, increasingly irrelevant losers are "just deserts" for liberals, they are relatively sweet.

  • ||

    You can have your "coalition" of welfare users, criminals, effeminate homosexuals, and anti-Westerners.

  • epsilon given||

    I think the case can be made that people like Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland are self-hating Americans: Americans that hate everything that America (aka the blessings of Liberty) stands for.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    AIPAC of course does not donate to any candidate. Its not actually a PAC in election law terms.

    But as usual most Jew haters are stupid.

    Pelosi is going to regret not smashing her now.

  • NToJ||

    I don't think AIPAC would appreciate you trying to sell that they have no ability to direct money to candidates. AIPAC's success depends on it being able to deliver votes and money of its constituency.

  • apedad||

    Can we confirm that one can be critical of Israel and not be anti-Semitic?

    Terms are extremely important in this debate.

  • ||

    Yes, in the sense that one can support "reasonable" gun control laws in principle. But in reality, there are no such people.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Of course you can. If you look at the Israelis and Palestinians, and say, "A plague on both your houses!"

    If you only complain about the Israelis? Not so much.

    The problem here is that by any remotely objective standard, the Palestinians' behavior is terrifyingly bad, far worse than the Israelis. Suicide bombers, routinely launching rockets into Israel, teaching genocide in their schools. They're almost cartoonishly evil.

    In the face of that, to concentrate the criticism on Israel alone betrays a certain motivation.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Brett, you're basically saying thanks to your inside track to objective truth anyone who disagrees with your view of the Israel-Palestine conflict is antisemetic.

    I agree with you on which side has the moral highground, but neither you nor I have a monopoly on reason and good faith.

  • ||

    There is no good faith way to think the Israelis are evil, alone. Not unless you think only whites Westerners should be expected to follow any mores. Which is bad faith, in and of itself.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Does it require an inside track to objective truth to know any of this? I don't think so. The number of rocket launches into Israel isn't some kind of secret, it's not even seriously contested. Likewise for the rest of this; The suicide attacks, what they do with aid money, what's taught in their classrooms. None of this is secret.

    Sure, it's possible for somebody to think the Palestinians have the moral high ground.

    In the sense that it's possible for somebody to be an anti-Semite. That's what it takes.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'd be chagrined Brett outflanked even what Prof. Bernstein has said and went full 'only antisemites defend Palestinians,' but he finds bad faith and evil in those who disagree with him in many areas.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    At some point you've got to be willing to recognize evil, Sarcastro. If the people running the show in the Palestinian territories don't qualify, we might as well retire the term.

  • Sarcastr0||

    And any who don't recognize evil are similarly evil.
    etc. etc.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, often they'll just be stubbornly blind, not wanting to accept what they're looking at.

  • Sarcastr0||

    This is in conflict with you saying that those who do not side with Israel (i.e. 'recognize evil') are antisemitic. Unless you want to argue you can be antisemitic and not evil.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Not necessarily antisemitic but likely antisemitic.

    Siding with the Arabs is like siding with the Germans in WWII.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Considering history, exactly like it. We really should have extended denazification to the Middle East, instead of blowing it off as not worth bothering with. Big mistake.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The connection between the Nazis and Middle East is as weak a thread as the connection between the Nazis and homosexuals.

    The left does like to call people Hitler, but doesn't revise history to argue the other side is literally Nazis nearly as often as the right does.

  • Brett Bellmore||

  • Sarcastr0||

    Guilt by photographic association is not gonna get you where you want to go except among the converted, Brett.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Ignoring all the evidence isn't going to impress anybody, either. The historical connection between Hamas and the Nazis isn't some figment, it's well documented.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Its a comparison.

    How about "Siding with the Arabs is like siding with the Japanese in WWII."?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Bob, Brett is making a whole 'nother argument about Nazi antisemitism being transmitted to the Arab world that's a much more fact-based claim and thus much more wrong than your run-of-the-mill Internet Nazi comparing.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I wouldn't say that Nazi antisemitism was transmitted to the Arab world, that would imply that the Arabs weren't antisemitic prior to the Nazis. (Which would be absurd in light of the Koran's prescriptions regarding Jews.)

    Rather, they were like minded on the subject, and allied on the topic of Jewish extermination. The Arab-Nazi alliance during WWII left it's mark in Arab society, but most especially among the Palestinians promoting antisemitism from a background tendency to an active murderous ambition.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Yeah, this is claptrap. There was contact, but nothing to leave a mark on Arab society.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Muslim Arabs were antisemitic way before Hitler.

    As were European Christians too of course.

    Hitler did not spring up out of a vacuum.

    Christians were largely shocked out of it by the Shoah, Muslim Arabs were not.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    But it's not coincidence that the Middle Eastern genocides against Jews and Christians really only got started during and after WWII. Yes, they were antisemites before, but the association with the Nazis promoted that from passive discrimination to active genocide.

  • NToJ||

    It's also possible to believe that Israel has the moral high ground over Hezbollah and also still believe that AIPAC exercises disproportionate influence in the US, or that the US shouldn't spend its resources supporting Israel, or even, remarkably, that US's interests are better served supporting the group on the lower moral ground. I know this may seem inconceivable to you, but sometimes the United States government supports bad people for good reasons.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    What's the "good" reason to support Hezbollah?

  • NToJ||

    It's an interesting question. Not very many, since Hezbollah matured as an expressly anti-American organization while fighting American troops during the Lebanese civil war. Those troops were stationed there, remember, as part of the agreed ceasefire between the PLO and Israel (who was rather involved in that Lebanese civil war). So I'd say there's very little reasons for the United States to actively support Hezbollah unless the organization fundamentally changes, but the thought exercise is a nice example of showing why it sometimes makes sense for the US to not back Israel, as it was this support that led to the creation/maturation of Hezbollah in the first place. See their original manifesto.

    Now, if you'd like examples of the United States supporting unequivocally bad guys, including some who were not enemies of Israel, I can help you with that.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    "the Palestinians' behavior"

    Do you think it is possible to distinguish 'bad Palestinians' from regular Palestinians who are just trying to get by? Or is it better to lump them all together and blame them collectively for any wrongdoing? Do you think they are all actively involved in terrorism? Do you think generalizing blame to an entire demographic is appropriate?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Well, no, obviously not all Palestinians are actively involved in the evils Palestinian society collectively perpetrates, any more than all Germans were actively involved in the Holocaust. That should be obvious.

    That didn't stop us from recognizing that England was better than Nazi Germany.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "That didn't stop us from recognizing that England was better than Nazi Germany."

    Yes exactly.

  • NToJ||

    "That didn't stop us from recognizing that England was better than Nazi Germany."

    Interesting example. It would also be historically accurate to replace "England" with "Stalinist Russia".

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, not really. Stalinist Russia was more a matter of the enemy of my enemy being my ally; We didn't ally with them because they were better than Nazi Germany, only because we could use the help in stopping the more immediate threat, and then deal with the less immediate threat afterwards.

    Only we were too tired out after taking on Germany and Japan to have the will to finish the job, so the world suffered through decades of cold war and genocides instead.

  • NToJ||

    "We didn't ally with them because they were better than Nazi Germany..."

    Well we didn't ally with England because they were great people either. Instead, we waited until Japan and Germany had declared war on the United States.

  • Ilya Shlyakhter||

    Omar never said "Jewish money"; you're putting words in her mouth. "AIPAC money" or "Pro-Netanyahu money" is not "Jewish money"; as someone pointed, they aren't supported by all Israelis, let alone by all Jews.

  • gormadoc||

    Before she backtracked and claimed she was talking about AIPAC (who don't actually donate money to candidates, so the claim falls apart there), it definitely seemed like she was alluding to some vague Jewish conspiracy. It's not as if she hasn't tweeted similarly stupid things about Israel and vague conspiracy before, like just previously in this very incident.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "Omar never said "Jewish money"

    Look up "euphemism"

    Thinking "AIPAC money" is not the same as "Jewish money" is like thinking "hook nose" is not "Jewish nose".

  • NToJ||

    AIPAC isn't a euphemism, it's a fucking specific organization, specifically a lobbying organization that by all accounts is very good at its job.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Its a euphemism for a bad Jewish group when used by Jew haters.

  • NToJ||

    Oh ok, so long as the people who use it are not Jew haters it is ok. If you can define your way to your conclusion, I can just as easily define my way out.

  • David Bernstein||

    Whose "Benjamins" do you suppose she thought were going to pay McCarthy to criticize Omar for anti-Semitic rhetoric? Mormons? Episcopalians? Zoroastrians?

  • NToJ||

    Because there is a Jewish state in Israel, there is no way to criticize Israeli influence in America without being an anti-Semite, unless and until all or most Israelis convert to Zoroastrianism.

  • David Bernstein||

    Omar wasn't talking about "Israeli" influence, whatever you mean by that, but about Americans who give money to Congress. And her tweet was responsive to McCarthy's criticism of her for anti-Semitism. Now, if you want to defend her original claim that Israel has hypnotized the world, which even she won't defend, as not anti-Semitic, please do.

  • gormadoc||

    He won't, he sidestepped it when it was pointed out that it is. A master of deflection, if deflection means to ignore.

  • NToJ||

    "...but about Americans who give money to Congress."

    And you think this is improving your argument? She's making criticisms of money in politics, rather than Israeli policies? That's even further removed from anti-Semitism.

    "And her tweet was responsive to McCarthy's criticism of her for anti-Semitism."

    Yes, of course. Is it some surprise that AIPAC and its membership attempt to exercise influence over elected officials by claiming that people who disagree with AIPAC's goals are merely anti-Semites? Is that not your fucking hobby?

    "Now, if you want to defend her original claim that Israel has hypnotized the world..."

    I just did. What are you going to do about?

  • NToJ||

    "I just did. What are you going to do about?"

    Let me clarify. I think her claim that Israel hypnotized the world is wrong because it's an overstatement. It would be more accurate to say that Israel has hypnotized the United States. Israel faces a lot of criticism the world over, and much of the criticism the UN attempts to bring against Israel is unfounded and unfair. But I don't think overstatements of political positions amounts to anti-Semitism.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It isn't so much that we're hypnotized, as that the world-wide increase in antisemitism isn't as bad here in the US, being largely restricted to the left.

  • Sarcastr0||

    largely restricted to the left

    Brett, you just lamented the loss of gab as the silencing of conservative voices. Did you ever check out their content?!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, GAB permitted antisemites to speak, they permitted ANYBODY to speak.

    But antisemitism as a political force is pretty fringe on the right, it's mainstream on the left.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Your argument on the other side relies on the fact that policies aside, gab was a thing of the right. And not a trivial thing either.
    And gab didn't just permit antisemetic speech, it positively wallowed in it, as some brief research will attest.

    From that information alone, the venn-diagram of the right and antisemitism doesn't look as fringey as you make it out to be.

  • NToJ||

    Sure, antisemitism is mainstream on the left. Six out of the seven Jewish Senators are Democrats. (The seventh is Bernie Sanders.) Twenty-five of the twenty-seven Jewish Representatives are Democrats.

  • NToJ||

    Also...

    "Omar wasn't talking about "Israeli" influence..."

    Well it's apparent that you don't know what she was talking about, but she did clarify with "AIPAC" and a pointless apology to save your feelings, making it clear that she's not out to get all Jews, but in fact is making a criticism of Israeli influence (through the lobby AIPAC) in politics.

  • KBeckman||

    Americans.

    Well I mean technically AIPAC doesn't contribute to campaigns but they do organize PACs that do. I'd say there's a pretty solid chance that not even half the money that goes to these PACs are from Jews. A lot of these Pro-Israel PACs go by relatively nondescript names like Heartland, National Action Committee, NorPAC, Florida Congressional Committee, etc.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Oh, post by David Bernstein. Never mind.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Conspirator contributions are helpful in demonstrating why strong law schools do not and should not emulate lousy schools by hiring more faculty members who are pronounced movement conservatives.

  • NToJ||

    First question: what is the anti-Semitic trope relating to Israel "hypnotizing the world"? Second: Even if there are anti-Semitic tropes about Jews that were used in the past to demonize Jews, does that mean if the tropes become true with respect to Israel, no one can ever use the tropes in any capacity without being accused of anti-Semitism? Seems fucking dumb.

  • gormadoc||

    The whole "Jews secretly control the world through manipulation" doesn't ring any bells?

    The big problem here is that she's part of a coalition that insists everybody should avoid offending or stereotyping minorities negatively and yet proceeds to do so, multiple times. It's a dissonance that endangers their own goal and provides an easy target for opponents.

    We're not talking about a stereotype of Jews having a lot of money (which is true of Israel and is very often discussed without charges of anti-Semitism) but about the conspiracies perpetuated by bigots over centuries.

  • NToJ||

    "The whole "Jews secretly control the world through manipulation" doesn't ring any bells?"

    It rings bells but has nothing to do with the present claim. Namely that people supportive of Israel (not "Jews") openly (not "secretly") exercise international power (not "control the world") through a legal and recognized lobbying organization (not "manipulation").

    "The big problem..."

    I don't agree with you that what I've seen her said should objectively offend or stereotype any minorities, but even if I did, the "big problem" for you is that she's not an equal opportunity culture warrior? The concept of a culture warrior wouldn't even make sense if people exercised it consistently. There is a culture war, in which cultural warriors take sides.

  • gormadoc||

    Woah, those goalposts move like the wind. You wanted to know how "hypnotizing the world" could be anti-Semitic. Now you act like the Benjamins comment was the only one and ignore own actual question.

    "I don't agree with you that what I've seen her said"
    You should check if you're having a stroke.

  • NToJ||

    So because an anti-Semite once said Jews control the world, no one can say Israel hypnotizes people? (Did you take her to mean literal hypnosis through their Jewish magic?) What claims do you think she was making re: hypnotism?

    "Now you act like the Benjamins comment was..."

    I don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Where in my comment above did I mention her "Benjamins" comment at all, much less as "the only one"?

    "You should check if you're having a stroke."

    Do you need a roadmap? Gormadoc thinks congresswoman has engaged in "stereotyping minorities". NTOJ has read what she said, and does not agree that what she said constitutes "stereotyping minorities". "said" should be "say". Is that where you want to go with this discussion?

  • NToJ||

    "Greenwald, as his wont, drew no distinction between "criticizing Israel in an anti-Semitic manner" and "criticisms of Israel.""

    And why do you think that is? Who has watered down the distinction? Is it critics of Israel or defenders of Israel? How seriously are its defenders going to be taken when "hypnotized" and "AIPAC" are treated as anti-Semitism?

  • NToJ||

    "...but because he's been bought off by Jewish money. And, moreover, that calling out anti-Semitism in this particular context constitutes loyalty to a foreign country."

    She didn't say Jewish money, she said AIPAC money. Does the I in AIPAC stand for Israel or Jewish? It should be apparent that you're trying to manufacture an anti-Semitic trope, since instead of using her words, you have to create 35+ of your own and put that in her mouth.

    "...that neither needs any lobbying group for inspiration..."

    Why would you slander AIPAC like that? Are you saying they're ineffectual???

  • Bob from Ohio||

    What's the"A" stand for?

  • NToJ||

    American.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Yes, its a group of American Jews who support Israel. American Jews support Israel because its the national home of the Jewish people.

    Jews supporting Jews. Of course she used Israel as a euphemism for Jews.

  • NToJ||

    If Israel is a euphemism for Jews, then there isn't anything Israel can do and be criticized for, except by anti-Semites. Right? Do you know how similar this argument is to leftists claiming that all opposition to affirmative action is racist? It's all euphemisms, you see.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I thought wingnuts disliked identity politics.

  • gormadoc||

    ... she didn't say AIPAC into after the fact.

  • NToJ||

    Did you take "Benjamins" to mean "Jews" or "money"?

  • gormadoc||

    Money, but that's beside the point. She didn't claim it was the AIPAC (which doesn't give money to politicians) until she was criticized by a lot of people. That's the point. You're giving her a lot of benefit of the doubt when even her amended claim (that it's AIPAC) doesn't pass muster.

  • Libertymike||

    So, what does AIPAC do?

    Why do so many politicians praise AIPAC and pledge to continue the confiscation of wealth in order to give it to Israel, particularly at AIPAC's annual shin dig?

    Hebrews and those obsequious to Hebrews need to eschew their grievance mongering.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Are you also calling out "rootless cosmopolitans" with this comment? (Asking for a friend)

  • NToJ||

    "You're giving her a lot of benefit of the doubt..."

    I don't have to give her any benefit of the doubt. Someone saying "it's about the Benjamins" isn't being anti-Semitic. That's true even if she didn't clarify her position to make it abundantly clear that it wasn't about anti-Semitic tropes, but was about AIPAC.

  • jdgalt1||

    Both women have already admitted that they concealed their jihadism until election day to fool their voters. The House owes it to the public to expel them and call snap elections to replace them immediately.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Both women have already admitted that they concealed their jihadism until election day to fool their voters.

    What fresh crazy is this?

    Oh wait, it's not fresh, it's the usual scaremongering lies as they tried with Obama's secret Muslim Brotherhood past.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Do you think the two women are like Obama in history or views?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Are you buying into this crazy idea of secret-not-secret jihadi women Congresswomen?

  • Bob from Ohio||

    You didn't answer my question. Is Obama like these two in any way?

    Are either "jihadi"? IDK, its not a very defined term.

    The one from Michigan supports a one state solution, the "right of return" and BDS. So not secret she supports Jewish genocide.

    The one from Minnesota opposed BDS until elected when she switched and has made multiple antisimetic comments. She just seems more wacky than dangerous.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The more guys like you provide mindless fealty to Israel and make support of right-wing Israeli belligerence a right-left divider in America, the closer the day that the American mainstream declines to subsidize Israel.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    Thank you! This American Jew says that the Likud Party and AIPAC can both go screw themselves.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Is anyone dumb enough to believe that mainstream Americans who oppose right-wing belligerence in the United States will wish to subsidize it anywhere else? Other than the naturally gullible, I guess.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Is Obama like these two in any way?

    I don't get it. Obama's not a Muslim, but he's a Democratic politician so he shares some policies with them.

    Even taken at it's maximal level for the sake of argument, skepticism of Israel is not support of Jewish genocide.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    His middle name was Hussein. He was born in Kenya. He is a Muslim. Why are you ignoring these facts?

  • NToJ||

    "...such that even the most mundane and obvious of political maneuvers are really just tribute to a Jewish cabal."

    You know what's interesting about your criticism, is that even if it came out tomorrow that some leader really was deeply beholden to AIPAC, we wouldn't be able to talk about it, because someone, somewhere, in the past, used Jewish cabal.

    Is anyone who asserts that AIPAC is influential also engaged in anti-Semitic tropes?

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Just being pro-Western Civilization is enough to get your committees pulled on the Republican side. You would think the Dems would at least do the same for jew hating rep on their side. (Yes that was a joke...I am bursting into laughter just at the thought...we all know "hate speech" is treated by a completely different standard when it comes from the Left....imagine a conservative who put "cancel black people" on Twitter being appointed to the NYT editorial board and the results that would produce...)

  • Sarcastr0||

    1. Western Civilization? You mean when King asked when the terms "white nationalist" and "white supremacist" had "become offensive?" Yeah, weird how that's treated differently from a hypnosis trope and carping about AIPAC's moneyed influence.

    2. You do seem to have trouble with context just like with the N-word. Satire punching up is different than satire punching down.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Sacrastrated = satire punching around while trapped in a burlap sack.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    "Satire punching up is different than satire punching down."

    Are you saying "punching up" at white people like they are a higher rung on some imaginary ladder of societal stratification like they are superior in some form?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Punching up vs punching down is a ghastly moral obscenity, the idea that an act's morality is dependent on the group membership of the people involved in it.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You can talk about killing all the lawyers and get some laughs. Talk about killing all the Jews and maybe not so much.

    Ghastly!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    That's not because talk about killing lawyers is punching "up", and talk about killing Jews is punching "down", in many cases it would be the same people.

    It's because, given recent history, talk about killing lawyers is blowing off steam, and talk about killing Jews could progress to dead bodies.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Sounds like you're coming around from your more general statement ...a ghastly moral obscenity, the idea that an act's morality is dependent on the group membership of the people involved in it.

    Do you disagree that making fun of the weak or unfortunate is in bad taste?
    There may be some good jokes made about 9-11 widows but going there is not what a good humorist would do.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I'm disagreeing that you can identify the weak or unfortunate by their group membership.

  • Sarcastr0||

    9-11 widows are a group.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Just being pro-Western Civilization is enough to get your committees pulled on the Republican side.

    Are you referring to Steve King, you bigoted rube?

    Making guys like you irrelevant is a big part of the fun of winning the culture war.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Arty Cuckland calling someone else a bigot gave me a huge laugh. Please tell us another one!

  • EscherEnigma||

    Suggesting in the absence of "Israel lobby" money, the House Repbuplican leader wouldn't call out anti-Semitism by House Democrats suggests that you believe that the lobby, i.e., Jews, are pulling the strings in a classic Jewish-conspiracy kind of way, such that even the most mundane and obvious of political maneuvers are really just tribute to a Jewish cabal.


    Pretty sure that accusing politicians of only denouncing/praising something because of lobbyist money isn't an anti-Jewish conspiracy. I mean, that's literally what the lobbyists are paying for... access and action.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    True, but in this case the amount of money deployed is utter chump change, trivially small.

    The chief reason for Israel having so much support from Americans is that it's conspicuously the only civilized, Western style democracy in the area. Most of those countries we'd have bombed the rest of the way into the stone age by now for good cause, if the world economy weren't so dependent on the oil they produce.

  • Libertymike||

    Western style democracy means interventionist, progressive, socialist, war-mongering rot. Yeah, that's Israel.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    In this case it means democracy, women aren't second class citizens, gays don't get crushed under stones, no legal penalty for converting to a different religion or none at all.

    And if the Palestinians would stop launching rockets at Israel, they could even have peace, too!

  • Libertymike||

    That a society does not overtly discriminate against women, de jure, and does not permit gays to be stoned does not thereby mean that the same society is immune from being an interventionist, progressive, socialist, war-mongering rot.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It just makes you the odd man out in the Middle East.

    I suspect that if Israel had the fortune of being located in Europe instead of the Middle East, with neighbors like Luxembourg, not Jordan, they'd be a lot more laid back. Being surrounded by people who want you dead has a way of making a country a bit edgy.

  • David Bernstein||

    For the record, Israel isn't remotely socialist.

  • Robert Beckman||

    Ben Shapiro disagrees with you, his complaints about Israel are almost exclusively economic or about the ability of some groups to avoid otherwise mandatory public service. Not having any experience myself, I'll relay his complaints about wealth transfer and the difficulty in hiring/firing, which is "remotely socialist" is many of the same ways that France or the US is.

    I expect that you know far more in this area than I, so I'd love another post on the nuances here.

  • Libertymike||

    Not the record of truth and understanding.

    So, Israel has no administrative state?

    So, Israel has no public sector?

    So, Israel has no taxation of property, of any kind?

    So, Israel does not have a welfare state?

    So, Israel does not receive hand-outs from other nations?

    So, Israel does not receive any military aid from other nations?

    So, Israel is a free-enterprise haven?

    What about the very origins of the country?

    Let us not forget that Israel was conceived by its founders as an explicitly socialist state. After independence, private capital investment fell to just 15% of the total investments in Israel between 1948-1990. One reason was the reparations flowing from Germany. As Alvin Rabushka noted:

    "In what must rank as one of the great ironies in economic history, German reparations financed the transformation of Israel from a private-investment, private-enterprise, free-market economy to a socialist system that fulfilled the vision of Jewish leftists..."

    I trust that you are conversant with how the German reparations were allocated by David Ben-Gurion. The money was conveyed to the Histadarut, which established a network of state owned enterprises. The reparations did not flow to any private, non-crony enterprises or to any individuals not associated with the Labor party and its apparatchiks.

  • Libertymike||

    David should study Eduard Bernstein, a socialist theorist, for a deeper understanding of that which constitutes socialism. Items such as minimum wages, government make-work, and regulation of hours worked, are all socialist in nature.

  • David Bernstein||

    Israel certainly has a socialist history. But the essence of socialism is government ownership of the means of production, and the Israeli government doesn't own any companies anymore, and hasn't for several decades. If under your own idiosyncratic definition you think that Germany, or England, or Spain are "socialist," then I suppose feel free to say Israel is socialist too. But the size of its public sector is basically with the same range as other Western economies, and it actually has significantly greater income inequality than most (owing primarily to limited workforce participation by Arab women and Haredi men, and the huge gap between the center of the country and periphery in economic development).

  • Libertymike||

    My conception of socialism is not idiosyncratic - it is a conception authored by socialist theorists and recognized by libertarians such as Tom Woods and Ryan McMaken.

    Thus, by all means, Germany and England are socialist. Of course, so is the United States.

    Even for those who claim that the essence of socialism is government ownership of the means of production, I ask:

    If a state enacts legislation limiting the number of hours per week a baker can toil upon pain of criminal sanction against the bakery owner, does not such legislation effectively control the bakery owner's means of production?

  • David Bernstein||

    fine, I thought you were singling out Israel as uniquely socialist.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So America wasn't a "western style democracy" until the 20th century? That's your argument?

  • NToJ||

    "The chief reason for Israel having so much support from Americans is that it's conspicuously the only civilized, Western style democracy in the area."

    The United States and its people have a long history of only supporting Western style democracies, and always opposing the really bad guys. You aren't naive at all.

    Is Australia not a democracy?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Nothing says "civilized" quite like cluster bombs.

    To gullible, authoritarian fans of right-wing belligerence, anyway.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    "Nothing says 'civilized' quite like atomic bombs"...?
    So Harry Truman was wrong?

  • KBeckman||

    Well yeah. He would only accept unconditional surrender because they wanted to remove the Emperor. Guess who still got to keep their Emperor? Hell the Japanese were more worried about the soviet invasion than they were about the bombs.

    Truman was one of the worst Presidents we ever had.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I believe most American support of Saudi Arabia is driven by unattractive motives, including (prominently) money.

    I believe some American support of Israel is driven by unattractive motives, including money and religion (including Christians who see Israelis as allies playing an indispensable role in a work of fantasy, although the "friendship" is to end when the Jews are promptly cast into eternal hellfire as the earthly curtain closes in this fictional aspiration).

    I hope America cuts loose the Saudi royals, and soon. I would tentatively support giving every Saudi royal physical protection for renouncing royalty and hereditary assets within a few days, then withdrawing all support, freezing assets, and the like.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    As support for Netanyahu-style Israel becomes a right-left divider in American politics, I see a substantial prospect that Israel may get a chance to see how it fares without American military, economic, and political protection relatively soon. Most Americans don't support religion-laced, right-wing belligerence at home; why would they desire to subsidize it, at great and varied cost, elsewhere?

    I would offer Israelis American citizenship, or perhaps consider statehood for Israel (in a pairing with Puerto Rico, perhaps), but am rapidly losing my interest in subsidizing Israel as currently operated. The current trajectory for Israel seems unsustainable, and American support for Israel is even more fragile. Israel has largely thrown in with America's right-wingers, and should experience the same consequences over time as will gun absolutists and anti-abortion absolutists.

  • Pete EE||

    "... it seems fair to surmise that just as House Republicans demoted King for racist comments..."
    The only basis for accusing King of racist comments is the context (aka punctuation) ascribed to him by a NYT interviewer who has not released a tape that would allow us to judge for ourselves.
    Punctuated the way King tells it, the quote is closer to repudiation of the NYT's pervasive racism:

    "White nationalist?... white supremacist?...
    Western civilization. how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"

    Notice that the King punctuation is consistent with the rest of the quote and the NYT version is not.
    (remove spaces to follow link)
    https://www.mediaite.com/tv/ steve-king-says-yes-to-resolution- against-his-own-comments-lets-vote-for-this/

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Did you forget the 'other people's babies' comment, or are you avoiding it?

    What about his fondling of the Confederate flag?

    Bemoaning that "white nationalist" has become a "derogatory term?"

    You may not be a half-educated bigot, but you sound like one.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Hey Arty Cuckland how about your try saying this:

    "I denounce and bemoan the actions of the NYT appointing an openly anti-white racist to its prestigious Board of Editors. Racism and bigotry, of all kinds, have no place in our society and the NYT should do better and promptly remove this racist from its staff."

    Go ahead. Try saying that. Is it really that hard to do?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Get an education. Start with standard English, focusing on contractions. Backwater religious schooling doesn't count.

    And what are you mumbling about, you bigoted, disaffected rube?

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    And there we go folks. Arty Cuckland at his bigoted best. Not only does he refuse to denounce racism but engages in some good old fashion religion hating bigotry and bullying (completely unsolicited too!).

    Plus this stuff must literally keep him up at night seeing he was forced to respond at 4:35AM. Must be a hard knock life to live in Cuckland.

  • Doug Huffman||

    Please, differentiate between "rhetoric" and eristic.

    Rhetoric seeks truth and was logic before the calculus of logic. Eristic seeks only destruction, rationality and truth be damned.

    Eschews eristic.

  • awildseaking||

    I haven't seen anyone draw this connection yet, but Demonrats love to blame money for political outcomes even though they typically outraise Republicans by a landslide. Notice how they always blame people for taking NRA money even though it is a complete pittance compared to most contributions? Or how they accuse everyone of bigotry for disagreeing on social issues? I think this goes back to why Trump won too. The Left cannot accept that other people have genuine disagreements with them. Omar is so anti-semitic that she cannot believe that AIPAC actually convinces people with reason and that secretly everyone in America hates Jews as much as she does. She's basically autistic.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The Left cannot accept that other people have genuine disagreements with them. Omar is so anti-semitic that she cannot believe...

    Such efficiency in illustrating lack of self-reflection is impressive.

  • awildseaking||

    If she had a genuine disagreement, she would have made it known without consistently resorting to blatant anti Jewish stereotypes throughout her life. Instead, she invokes the same tired conspiracy that us Jews run the world and control people with our money for nefarious purposes (God only knows how or what).

    This isn't even a mainstream issue. Nobody forced her hand to comment about Israel. Her remarks are calculated and reflect her bias.

  • awildseaking||

    Also, if you watched any video coverage of her being interviewed on the matter, you can see how smug her demeanor is. She's a lot smarter than people give her credit for. She knows exactly how to play the progressive stack. Nobody will criticize a Muslim congresswoman (and a PoC Somali refugee at that). The optics are horrible and this is the very reason political correctness has lead to the rise of the alt right. So called progressives are importing the most regressive viewpoints from around the world in the name of diversity and suiciding our nation in the process. It's no surprise that people start advocating for white culture and values in response.

    Look at how many Democrats are suddenly turning on Israel because orange man bad. Democrat support for Israel is at an all time low, around 40%. You might not feel the heat because you aren't Jewish, but keep in mind that your tolerance of someone like her is signing my death warrant. She carried the Somali vote all the way to Congress. She's a despicable woman and I hope the House moves to impeach her and Tlaib before it's too late.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Demonrats

    Savage.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    And true!

  • Krayt||

    somehow impinges on their free speech rights--as if King had a first amendment right not to be demoted after praising white supremacy.

    Isn't that exactly what the First Amendment guarantees? Government may not punish someone for expressing a viewpoint, even a repugnant one?

  • M.L.||

    The Democrats just spent the better part of a year accusing Republicans of only supporting gun rights because they were paid off by the NRA.

  • Jimmy the Dane||

    Have to love those Demonrats.

    Abortion = right found in Constitution when you read the penumbras and make up things that cannot be infringed

    Guns = right actually in the Constitution but we will ignore that

  • Eddy||

    "I look forward to working with the Jewish community on issues of mutual concern."

    Changing the name of the Arkansas Razorbacks to the Arkansas HalalKoshers?

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