Left-Wing American Jews: Wickedest. People. Evar!!1! (Plus, The WingNet’s Swiss Army Smear; and Pasty, too!)

When this David Gelernter column was posted, I started to write a destruction of it (I’d found some similar pieces in the WingNet; thought it was a trend), then lost interest and forgot about it; left it to collect mold in the back of Sadly, No!’s Frigidaire.

Now I see that Alterman noticed it, too, putting it into context better than I ever could:

Things can become a little confusing when the same neocons who insist it is ipso facto anti-Semitic to ask what role Israel plays in their calculations instruct American Jews that they are paying too much attention to their own country’s best interests and not enough to Israel’s. Writing in–of all places–The Weekly Standard, David Gelernter attacks American Jews for their “self-destructive nihilism” in remaining “fervent supporters of an American left that is increasingly unable or unwilling to say why Israel must exist.” (This is nonsense about the vast majority of the left, of course, but ignore that for a moment.) Gelernter argues that “grassroots Democrats are increasingly dangerous to the Jewish state (not to mention the American state).” Note that the question of the “American state” is literally a mere parenthetical to Gelernter’s principal concern–the well-being of Israel. Over at National Review’s “The Corner,” Mona Charen can be found making the same sneering argument. She calls American Jews “stubborn and downright stupid” because they “despise George W. Bush and will donate time and money to any Democrat in 2008, while Bush is indisputably the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States.” Again, it’s highly “disputable,” but never mind that. More to the point is the fact that Bush’s presidency–a complete and utter failure by virtually any empirical measurement–is also deemed irrelevant. It’s Israel alone that matters, according to these anti-American conservatives. (And woe unto American Jews when Christian America starts paying attention to their unpatriotic perfidy.)

Sorry about the long quote but his point on wingnuts’ double-standards is right-on, as is his final hint that there’s more than just tribalist blackmail going on here. Wingnuts like Gelenter and Charen are up to something even more rotten than trying to tell American Jews that they aren’t Jewish enough because they don’t support Israel and Dear Leader like wingnuts do; because of the cynical alliance between the American Likud and the American Taliban, there is always the possibility that, if Leftwing American Jews don’t fall into line, the legions of Red State Talibangelical thugs might be unleashed on them. But then, that’s to be expected: cynical alliances that are ultimately and awesomely bad for world Jewry (by which I mean the diaspora and Israeli populations — no majority of Jews anywhere are wingnuts like these people are) but are ostensibly made for the sake of Israel (actually, Eretz Israel), are par for the course when it comes to this crew, being as it is the heir of the Stern Gang (which makes the American Taliban analogous to ..well, you know who).

One thing Alterman missed, probably because he has the good sense to avoid treking so deeply into the wilderness of the WingNet as we intrepid explorers, is Bill Kristol’s gloat to Hugh Hewitt about what a fine article Gelernter had written for him:

We have a piece in the next issue that’ll be up tomorrow morning by David Gelernter, terrific little tirade, I guess you might say, about Jews’ inability to understand their core interests, and Israel’s core interests, and their ridiculous continued loyalty to the Democratic Party, as if it’s the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. And I think maybe Gelernter’s piece, plus your thing, could really begin to get people finally to rethink. And no, it’s very…and you look at, of course, at the blogs, it’s unbelievable. I mean…

Uhuh, uhuh. Let that sink in, because what comes next just proves Alterman’s initial point. Bill’s not terribly articulate on the radio (maybe it was all that time he spent with Dan Quayle, catching stupidity by osmosis), so it’s up to sweaty-boob-man Hugh to complete his thought:

HH: The return of anti-Semitism. That was the name of a book out of France last year. But if you look at some of the lefty blogs, it’s back.

BK: No, it…absolutely, and pretty shameless, and you know, that if you asked Kos himself, or something, well, there’s a little bit of distancing from it, but they certainly don’t police their blogs, and one doesn’t have the sense that most of the readers are offended by it. It’s certainly part of the discourse on the left, and I’m sure you get, I certainly get, plenty of anti-Semitic e-mails and comments. Friends of mine who aren’t Jewish, who have names that might be Jewish get them.

HH: Oh, yes.

BK: And you know, it’s ridiculous.

Right. This is precious coming as it does after his bragging on Gelernter’s essay which excoriates American Jews for essentially not being loyal enough to both Israel and Dear Leader who is savior of Jews and Gentiles alike.

Billmon’s right to say that this is “Identity Politics on steroids”. It most certainly is, and Alterman’s right to notice that, in the same breath as it were, when these wingnuts claim it is anti-semitism to be critical of Israel (and, indeed, pace the annoying David Brooks and the absolutely god-awful Julia Gorin, claim that use of the term “neoconservative” is proof of the user’s anti-semitism), they also claim that Leftwing American Jews are essentially self-loathing creeps and traitors to their ethnicity and religion.


The “leftwing anti-semitism” smear brings me to another item in amouldering in the back of the fridge. There’s a reason Kristol dropped Kos’s name into his conversation with Hewitt. Kos equals the netroots equals anti-Joe Lieberman, and if you’re against Joe Lieberman you must be… Ahhh. So Kristol was just noticing a new way the smear-tool could be used, it being the rhetorical Swiss Army Knife of so many WingNet MacGyvers. But before Kristol could open the blade all the way, he was distracted by HH’s sarcastic-yet-witless segue onto another topic. No worries, though: Marshall Wittman and others grabbed at the Swiss Army Smear and opened it up all the way: scissors, corkscrew, toothpick and even — especially — hacksaw:

The degree of left hatred toward Joe sometimes betrays something deeper. One can see it on the threads on left wing web sites where they routinely refer to “Holy Joe” and charge him with dual loyalty to Israel. Anti-Semitism will often not speak its name directly, but there is a distinct undercurrent that may explain some of the irrational venom.

Anti-Semitism is certainly not a primary factor driving the opposition to Joe. But, it is there. If you seek hostility to Jews and Israel, you will find it in the same left wing blogosphere that spreads the vile venom against Lieberman.

And the blimpy, drug-addled fucktard of airwave-pollution fame even got in on the fun, though he applied the smear more generally.

Then there’s Pasty, who, no doubt hopped-up on klonopin and fresh from blowing on Colorado Rockies games and DVDs the money he extorted from so many chinless cretins for his legal crusade against someone who is his moral equivalent, has so abused the Swiss Army Smear that it may be broken for good. Get a load of this ascription of “Leftwing anti-semitism” done with the sort of heavy sarcasm that Norman Podhoretz even in his prime of sneer-mastery and constipated for two weeks couldn’t have pulled off:

“Lieberman campaign says Web site hacked�

But you know how Jews are—always trying to guilt you into giving them sympathy. Or a good deal on a used Lincoln Towncar.

So I wouldn’t put much stock in this. If anything, they probably did it themselves. They’re sneaky like that. And of course, filthy.

See, hardee-har, Jeff Goldstein is so funny with his imaginative powers — not to mention his subtlety, what with the italicized emphases just so his audience of clay-eating yokels know exactly how “anti-semitic” those progressive really are.

But you know what’s really funny, and I don’t mean in the charity-giggle way that is normally the best that Pasty can hope to inspire? Well, bearing in mind Billmon’s words, this.


Comments: 59


I know no one reads these long things — and for good reason, too, I’ve been disgusted with the quality of my recent posts.

But in case anyone does read this, well, partially to atone for all that (but mostly because I just want to do it since I promised myself I would), I’m researching and sorting the material for another Wingnut All-Star entry. No, it’s not gonna be another on Pasty (when I do do that one, though, it’ll be on his anti-Identity Politics crusade and his massive hypocrisy in it, as refered to in this post).


It’s all the rage these days, Retardo.

Supposedly-all-better-now Andrew Sullivan’s found some Bush-hating guy with a website who is suggesting that Mel Gibson has been set up as an anti-semite.

What does Sully think?

“The Anti-War Far Left And Mel Gibson – I knew the anti-Semites would join forces at some point or other.”

Personally, I dread the coalition of Gibson and Some Bush-Hating Guy With a Website. Left unchecked, they could make some seriously crappy movies.


I dunno, Retardo. If your intention was to call my attention to something
deeply frustrating that regularly pisses me off, you did it effectively. But it’s just another example of the same disingenuous argument. There are more than two sides. It is not a case of “Israel can do no wrong” or “You’re anti – semitic”. Because I disagree with the president I am NOT a terrorist appeaser, a defeatest or a traitor. The fact that I am a liberal does not make me a communist, or evil, deranged or unhinged. It’s stupid, brain dead and dishonest, and they just keep chuckin’ ’em at us. Jesus christs tits in a mason jar, if these asshats ever figured out that the world is comprised of shades of grey, dare I say it, nuance, then we could have a constructive discussion. Or not, but this either x or y construct is working counter to my blood pressure meds…



Jews are “stubborn and downright stupid,” “unable to understand their core interests,” and loyal to Democrats to the point of being ridiculous, and to disagree, to say Jewish lefties are neither ignorant nor irrational and indeed perfectly capable of recognizing a bullshit sandwich even when it’s served with such a subtle flourish, is antisemitism. Riiiiight.


It’s all the same bullshit they use to (try to) convince black people to vote Republican.

But which party seems to chuck the racial minority off the island to garner the votes of a white majority?

Until the Repubs stop singling our racial groups for demonization, Hispanics, Jews, Blacks, Muslims will vote for the party that won’t sell them out for a congressional seat in Alabama.

(Ditto for gays.)


Mobius, excellent point. I don’t think we need to jump at this “Democrats are the real anti-Semites” chum that’s swirling in the waters.

P.S. And that, my friends, is how you close italics tags. “Preview” is our friend.


At least the Rethuglicans aren’t engaging in the “The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations”.

They’re busy with the hard bigotry of targeting minority voters and districts for disenfranchisement.


I always read your posts, Retardo. Another Wingnut Allstar is something to look forward to, also.

mikey: They don’t do nuance. Hard to reduce nuance to sound-bites, dontchaknow.


This whole thing is so surreal. Has there ever been a case where one party was so concerned about the fate of a candidate of the other party? My favorites are the columns where some conservative is worried that the Democrats won’t be viable party in the future, such as Bill Buckley from a couple of weeks ago:

But if the correlation is a dramatic shrinkage in the Democratic vote nationwide — a million Democrats unable to squeeze into the narrower tent — then that would be a strategic result that would imperil the two-party system.

Assuming that were true, shouldn’t a conservative be delighted? I’d be ecstatic if next election the Republican ticket was Pat Buchanan and that Vox Day guy. They are protesting this way too much. I think it is because they are really scared they are going to get their asses handed to them in November.


Actually, this makes total sense. The Christian Right “supports” Israel insofar as it acts in ways they think will help bring about the return of Jesus.

As for anti-semitism, there is plenty to go around. Acting like one side “owns” it is pretty lame and unconvincing.


Fuck. It’s not about anti-semitism. It’s about control and abuse of power. Wake up, for God sakes. No one who should be taken seriously hates Jewish people or Judaism. But the conflation of various neocon interests and those of the State of Israel (the danger of which Israelis themselves realise) is destructive, both to Israel and America (..and of course we collaterals…)

Fuck!….Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.


Shorter version: As a Christian, I know what is in the best interest of the Jewish race. Well, that and Jesus, of course.

Little known true fact: Since Hitler believed anyone who was 1/4 Jewish was a Jew – even if they didn’t practice – anyone who is at least 1/4 Jewish can gain Israeli citizenship. Of course, I’d be willing to put money that Lieberman and any other anti-“liberal Jew” probably has as little interest in taking them up on the citizenship (or even dual-citizenship) deal as I do.


Retardo – after the mea culpa I thought you were going to give a few Friday-night music videos like this one from New Model Army from 1986. Nothing has changed in twenty years.
ps Sorry about the teeth.


If we’re all anti-Semites, then how come the four years of W being “indisputably the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States.indisputably the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States”—it is to laugh, that phrase—produced a zero percent gain for him in the Jewish vote from 2000 to 2004.

As with “Ned Lamont is fringe, just like 86% of his fellow Democrats,” 80% of American Jewry could not be appeased by Bush’s pro-Israelis-getting-killed-fighting position.


Y’know, Mal is right. Not that we’re asleep at the switch and need to wake up. Nah, we can see what’s happening, and that’s why we’re commenting on it. But the fact is (sorry Gary, send me a bill) that they KNOW it’s not anti-semitism. Just as they know it’s not traitorism and they know that a free press and true journalism is not a threat to a free democratic America. These are red-meat words they use in hyperbolic expression to manipulate voters and control public discourse. And should, in fact, be treated dismissively, if at all…


Smiling Mortician

Anybody else take the link to the Hewitt/Kristol chat with its OMG-flavored breathless enthusiasm? If there’s anything worse than reading what these asshats write, it’s reading what they say. Well, OK, I guess listening or (god forbid) watching would be even worse, but I haven’t had TV in many, many years, and rarely listen to the radio, so I’m not often subjected to that sort of impromptu mutual masturbation. It’s both nauseating and horrifying.


Mortician, for gawds sake, listen to me. Do NOT click on links outta S, N! You will suffer pain and misery, and regret that you were born. You will be forced to kick your dog, throw perfectly good pasta at the wall and drink heavily (ok, that one? Happens with me anyway – but you get the point). It is my policy to infer the context rather than actually subject myself to the endless agony of wingnut claptrap and purposely bad music vids (brad tried to explain that to me, but I’m not playin, playah). Sure, sometimes I get it completely wrong and write a post that later turns out to be a complete non – sequiter, but denizens of this blog know I drink so they typically just pass it off.

But you’re playing with fire, my friend, if you continue to allow Brad, Gavin, Travis and Retardo to take you by the hand and lead you into the darkest alleys and trash – strewn vacant lots of the intertubes….



Yeah. Um. I just took my first trip into the fume-filled toolshed that is Pasty’s domain. I think he made me more dumb just by reading. Man, that guy is stupid. Like box-of-rocks-and-bag-of-hammers-crying-in-shame-in-corner dumb. (And dishonest. And only marginally comprehensible.)
But more than being just straight ahead stupid, he manages to so thoughly miss the fucking point of everything he reads that the word “literate” doesn’t really even apply. He appears to process language competently (albeit in a turgid, taunting frat-boy mode) but instead of whatever he’s trying ot communicate produces nothing but raft after raft of solid bullshit.


Reading Goldstein is cheaper than huffing paint.


No worries, though: Marshall Wittman and others grabbed at the Swiss Army Smear and opened it up all the way: scissors, corkscrew, toothpick and even — especially — hacksaw:

That would be the same Bullshit Moose who applied for his job at the Christian Coalition knowing that they’d be more likely to hire a Dead Sea Pedestrian to head the front office. Talk about identity politics.


Oh, and ‘Holy Joe’ derives its origins from his sanctimonious culture war BS back in 2000, Mr Self-Appointed Token Jew At The Christian Coalition.


Coupla points.

Point the first:

You mention Eretz Israel, which is “The Land of Israel,” (i.e. the land “from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates,” or “from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River,” or various other definitions) but I think you mean The State of Israel.

Point the second:

“dual loyalty to Israel” is probably supposed to resonate with Catholics, who were (and probably less frequently are) accused of having “dual loyalty to Rome.”


I think you mean The State of Israel.

I think he means the modern ‘Eretz Israel’ brigade whose pet canard is something like ‘there is a Palestinian state and its name is Jordan’.


Shorter version: As a Christian, I know what is in the best interest of the Jewish race. Well, that and Jesus, of course.

Shorter version of Jiunoon: In America, we don’t talk about this. So everyone shut up…including you, Jesus., if you know what’s good for you, that is.


My favorites are the columns where some conservative is worried that the Democrats won’t be viable party in the future….
Assuming that were true, shouldn’t a conservative be delighted? I’d be ecstatic if next election the Republican ticket was Pat Buchanan and that Vox Day guy.

Thats short sighted. Having a lively, viable, opposition is important check on the dominant party. Only the most blind partisan can think that any party won’t be a corrupt bastion of incompetence after an extended period in power.

But this rhetoric isn’t about that – because I dont think they believe what they are saying. This “concern” is obviously meant to just plant the idea that the Dems are now beholden to the “leftwing radicals”.


Whatever. I think the US needs to be broken up into about five different countries. It already is anyway, but in this way, people would have a better grasp of a local national goverment, rather than ignoring a distant federal government, who, at this point, is about to destroy the world because it, for reasons we’ll never know, elected a dangerous, certifiable moron as head of state.


Whatever. I think the US needs to be broken up into about five different countries.
Yeah. Why have one state with a bunch of simmering, amorphous cultural resentments when you can have several states, each armed and ready to fire shots at the first sign of offense? I can see it now: “We, the citizens of Coulterlimbaughland, have seen that you, the citizens of Liberalstan, are allowing gays to marry, and providing your citizens with healthcare. This offends us, and we’re using our god-given rights to show you what’s what with our the nukes we stole from you.”

I mean, it all worked so well in Yugoslavia…


Yeah, but then they have to wipe the cheetohs off their hands and come and take it from us. The whole concept of some group outside of the US taking the US is beyond unrealistic. But from within…



Mal de Mar, I don’t know what I did to get you pissed off at me, but my point was that I’m sick of conservative Christians telling me that I’m a self-hating Jew for criticizing Israel. You can tell that I am against the conservative point of view because I included Lieberman with the people I don’t want to hear from about my faith. So, unless you’re in the Bill O’Reilly crowd, I assume you don’t take issue with my point.

And, no, I don’t think it’s a point of national conversation whether I’m a good Jew for not saying that Israel is doing the right thing. I’m not anti-Israel and I don’t think they should just accept daily attacks, but I said from moment one that the attack on Lebonan has been a bad response to the situation.


Oh, RETARDO, just because I don’t comment doesn’t mean I don’t read.

Yeah, I’ve noticed Jeffalina’s predilection for decrying identity politics even as he engages in it. FWIW.


The wingnuts are unlikely to guilt any of us into switching sides, no matter how hard they try. We’ve all built up immunity from dealing with our Jewish grandmothers.

Wouldn’t Harry Truman be the most pro-Israel president in history? I’m just asking.


I don’t think it’s anti-Semitism. I think the ever-expanding far left simply does not care about Israel. She has no importance to them. The fact that Israel is a free and open and thriving democracy full of highly-educated people who love life and who live to create and rejoice in that life, and is a tiny country that nevertheless has created more than 70 companies that are listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ–none of that matters to the far left. They don’t care about Israel. They don’t care that women are equal partners in Israel. Or that the rights of gays are protected. Or that a million Israeli Arabs vote in Israeli elections and hold seats in the parliament.

So Gelernter is asking why, if you are a Jew who cares about Israel, why do you keeping voting for Democrats when the best friends to Israel are in the Republican Party?


Why does Jose expect American Jews would care more about Israel than they care about America?


It’s the same people who call any dissent treason. Questioning alone makes you a traitor or an anti-semite.


al Goodwin’s law ?

Over at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/8/11/214129/090
Hunter denounces Republicans for incivility for talking about the
Red Ned Lamont “Taliban” wing of the Democratic party. personally
I’d let the incivility pass to focus on the utter idiocy, but the post made me
worry about the possible cyber-enactment of al Goodwin’s law that bans calling one’s political adversaries Taliban.

Now it is hard to think of another similarly accurate descriptive term for Abu Falwell, al-Dobson and Dwight (Gulbuddin) Perkins, but the post above it decides it. To hell with civility, I will not live without “Talibangelical”

ps before people pick on me, I know that Gulbuddin is a Hesb not a Talib.
and I have learned how to spel his nname.


Red State Talibangelical thugs

Hey, Seb, are you still alive? How about setting up some wishlists for the crew? Bon mots like these are worth a gift, in my estimation, and they provide us with so many.


Will the wingnuts next talking point be that the left are anti-Semitic for being against a pardon for Jonathan Pollard?


Jose, what the fuck are you talking about? I love Israel. I want Israel to succeed and thrive and be the shining beacon of democracy in the Middle East that it is supposed to be. I’m glad that the United States has a history of supporting Israel in its struggles against those in the region who would wipe it from the face of the earth. Those positive things that you mention are wonderful and should be supported.


I hate some of Israel’s policies and actions. I despise the Israeli hard right and hate their anti-Arab eliminationist attitudes (even while understanding how they got to that point). I am disgusted and saddened by the scorched-earth approach the IDF has taken in Lebanon that has resulted in more than 1,000 Lebanese deaths, the vast majority non-combatants.

I know it’s hard for you to comprehend that someone can support a nation and its underlying principles without blindly agreeing with every policy that nation’s then-current administration chooses to implement. I submit, however, that in a true democracy, it is absolutely critical that the citizenry be skeptical and question the acts, words and policies of its leadership. There is no act more patriotic than pushing your government to adhere to your country’s founding principles.

As for the whole “Republicans are Israel’s best friends” canard: I find it rather unlikely that the Republican Party gives a rat’s ass that “women are equal partners in Israel” and that “the rights of gays are protected” there and that Arabs vote and hold Knesset seats. I suspect there is a significant component of the Republican Party that supports Israel because they see a war in the Middle East as a necessary condition for the coming End Times. There is also a large portion that is primarily interested in petrodollars and no-bid reconstruction contracts in the region, and U.S.-supported (or -initiated) war in the region “in support of Israel” is a damn fine way of achieving both. Finally, there are some Jews who seem to believe that any failure to support Israel unquestioningly and 110% will allow the Arabs to sweep it into the sea and that the only way for Israel to survive is to become the kind of genocidal state that many of its original citizens escaped from. I strongly disagree with them, not because they areJewish but because they are DEAD WRONG.

This last group is the only portion of the Republican Party that can credibly lay claim to any true “friend of Israel” mantle; but even there, I think they fail. You don’t push a friend into becoming a violent criminal, you don’t supply your friend with the means to carry out criminal violence, you don’t encourage your friend to take actions that will result in isolation from decent society and could lead to your friend’s demise… you don’t do these things even if you think they might advance your friend’s interests. So don’t try to bullshit me with “the Republican Party is Israel’s best friend,” because really all the Repubs are doing is telling Israel, “Let’s you and him fight” and hoping that their interests will be served.

Smiling Mortician

What Dan said. And also, there are many, many

people who love life and who live to create and rejoice in that life

throughout the ME and the world. Those of us on the left tend to recognize the existence of such people even when they’re living in countries whose leadership is abhorrent. In my experience, most people around the world are capable of comprehending the difference between people and their governments — not a single person I’ve encountered in Arab and/or Muslim societies in the past five years has looked at me and seen George Bush. The people incapable of distinguishing people from their leaders seem to belong to intensely narrow, ideologically fundamentalist groups such as al Qaeda and the neocon wing of the republican party.


Dan Someone,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I don’t have time now to respond in detail, though I would like to.

The question on the table is which party is a better friend to Israel? I would answer the Republican party, no matter how much you impune its


Like the post, Retardo.



That’s “impugn”.

Besides that, it’s clear who the greater friend to Israel is: the one that will tell her the truth. Enabling afriend to embark on a desperately stupid course is not friendship. Encouraging a friend to engage in mass round-ups of young men or shoot into refugee camps is not friendly behavior, any more than buying a friend a couple more highballs and then giving him the keys to his Chevy.

And to impugn the motives of the Republican Party is to do no more than to accurately report the truth.


So the 90s conservative trick of substituting ‘Liberals’ for ‘Jews’ in order to recycle old propoganda tricks comes full circle.

I’d say something about a palimpsezt if it were later in the day.



I’d be able to type palimpsest if it were later in the day.



Jose, I think it’s a canard to say “Who is the better friend to Israel” – as if the two parties base their entire beings on Israel. As if the question of which party is the best friend to Croatia or Japan or New Zealand is ever brought up. We are a nation with two parties based on social and political ideas, neither of which involves an official stance on Israel.

As for who is a better friend in recent history, Clinton worked toward peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians (regardless of which side kept it from working) while Bush Jr. has made the point from day one that he has no interest in talking to Palestinians, essentially killing all of the work Clinton did. Whatever their intentions, Republicans are hardly very pro-active friends of Israel, otherwise they would have moved for sanctions when the first hostages of this crisis were taken. Instead, they sit back and cheer Israel into a fight like kids on a high school yard.


The question on the table is which party is a better friend to Israel?

I’m not sure this question is relevant, or at least not meaningful. If you mean which party is more likely to support Israel’s existence and help protect it from real enemies, I think both parties are equally committed, because it has been U.S. policy for decades and neither party is likely to change that. If you mean which party is more likely to let Israel’s current administration do whatever the hell it wants and support it in violent assaults on the neighbors, then I would agree that the Republicans are ahead on that count — but that’s not what friends are for. (I realize that there are some on the far left who call for total disengagement from Israel, which I also believe is not what friends are for, but that is not a Democratic Party policy.)

The real question, in my mind, is which party’s policies and platforms are in Israel’s best interests. It is possible for reasonable people to disagree on what “Israel’s best interests” really are, but as I suggested above, I do not think its current course is ultimately in its best interests, so I do not believe that Republican policies in support of Israel’s current state of war are in Israel’s best interests.


What I find amusing is that the Right’s “heads I win, tails you lose” identity politics rhetoric is such an obvious symptom of desperation. As Bush’s poll numbers continue their downward pirouette in the toilet, as all generic polls indicate a strong preference for democrats over republicans and most importantly, as opposition to the neocon’s Iraq adventure continues to rise, last year’s hubris by the Right’s pundit class has fallen flatter than a Pat Boone performance at a Bar Mitzvah. In a few weeks we’ll have the first anniversary of the Katrina clusterfuck and images of then and now will serve to continue pounding GOP support into a course powder suitable for snorting only by the truly addicted. Even the foiled terror plot in the UK had zero political capital (despite cable news histrionics).

Prepare for the volume on the vitriol to get cranked to Eleven over the next few months. Hopefully, most of the voters will notice that the Kool-Aid has a slightly acrid taste of cyanide.


The question on the table is which party is a better friend to Israel?

Israel the country, or ‘Israel’ the American political concept? The two are quite distinct.

I very much doubt that a majority of Israelis would vote for Republicans over Democrats, if given the two-way choice.

Smiling Mortician

When Jose asks which party is a better friend to Israel, his vision of Israel seems to be limited to Israel’s current leadership — in the same way that he (and others who share his views) conflate America with Bush and therefore posit that those who are strongly opposed to Bush somehow “hate” America. For the record, I absolutely oppose Bush’s policies because I love America. My vision of Israel includes the millions of people living in that country, some of whom agree with their current government, some of whom don’t, and all of whom deserve a real chance at peace in their lifetimes. The better friend does what it can to help them achieve peace rather than doing everything in its power to keep them in a constant state of war.


Uh, Retardo, a bunch of us read the long posts . . . every word!

<blogwhoring> For a particularly wingnutty recent example of the claim that liberals are anti-Semites, the National Review’s Cathy Seipp certainly beats the stuffing out of this make-believe piñata.</blogwhoring>


You can’t just ascribe a quality to the Republican Party merely by showing that Republicans have said they support Israel right now. What Republicans have done is exactly equal to what the right-wing bloggers have done for Israel, not a thing. In fact Bush and the Republican congress have put Israel in the position it has fear most since the nation was founded. They have to go it alone. It should be surprising, though not entirely justifiable, that they are overreacting. The US has signaled that it is either unwilling or unable to work towards a solution. The US is not going to support Israel in any way other that stand aside. Republicans have effectively eliminated foreign aid as a means of effecting it diplomatic goals. So there is no credibility in America asking for concession from any Arab state that doesn’t otherwise benefit from an economic relationship with the US. Forget about the US’s credibility in the region. And lastly any threat of military intervention isn’t going to be credible. There is no carrot and no stick. Just what has Republican America done for Israel to justify American Jewish support? Bush’s choice to ignore implementation of the Road Map is what gave the green light to Hizbollah to escalate it attacks and we know what the IDF does in reaction if left unchecked as they are now.

The best analogy I’ve heard for “my country right or wrong” is “my parent drunk or sober.” Obviously Bush thinks that Israel violence against Hizbollah and Lebanon is useful, so for the American Jew, both parents are drunk.


“Whether the actions taken by [the Israeli] government constitute self-defense or a particularly inclusive form of self-immolation remains an open question. The question of course has a history, a background involving many complicit states and non-state actors and going back most recently to, but by no means beginning with, the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. This open question, and its history, are discussed rationally and with considerable intellectual subtlety in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv…Where the question is not discussed rationally—where in fact the question is rarely discussed at all, since so few of us are willing to see our evenings turn toxic—is in New York and Washington and in those academic venues where the attitude and apprehensions of New York and Washington have taken hold. The president of Harvard recently warned that criticisms of the current government of Israel could be construed as ‘anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.’

The very question of the US relationship with Israel, in other words, has come to be seen—at Harvard as well as in New York and Washington—as unraisable, potentially lethal, the conversational equivalent of an unclaimed bag on a bus. We take cover. We wait for the entire subject to be defused, safely insulated behind baffles of invective and counterinvective. Many opinions are expressed. Few are allowed to develop. Even fewer change.”
—Joan Didion, Fixed Ideas: America since 9.11


Israel the country, or ‘Israel’ the American political concept? The two are quite distinct.

Good point

….and hardly unique to Israel – this kind of projection is common in politics.



mikey said,

August 12, 2006 at 2:41
… Just as they know it’s not traitorism and they know that a free press and true journalism is not a threat to a free democratic America. These are red-meat words they use in hyperbolic expression to manipulate voters and control public discourse. And should, in fact, be treated dismissively, if at all…

This is all very nice for those of us already on THIS side of the fence. My question is: Why aren’t more conservatives at least insulted that their elected officials find it necessary to pander to the lowest common denominator among them? (Talk about your “soft bigotry of low expectations….”) I don’t think that the Republicans are so much afraid of losing in November. If we get complacent, they can still pull that off. In the long run, however, their appeals to the “wingnuts” and apocalyptic “religious freakazoids” at the expense of their more “normal” constituents could cost them politically for decades.


Reading Goldstein is cheaper than huffing paint.

I do SO want this on a t-shirt….



Jose Chung said,

August 12, 2006 at 19:03

“….The question on the table is which party is a better friend to Israel? I would answer the Republican party, no matter how much you impune its

The question on the table should be: Which party’s policies are ultimately in the best interest of the people of the United States?


Where is the evidence for lefty anti-Semitism? And just once, I’d like someone to turn to Kristol and ask him, “Which of your predictions about Iraq actually come true? Name one.”


[…] Well you certainly don’t call them “born-again Christians” — because they are 100 percent supportive of Israel and Dear Leader, which is what really counts (no matter that they think Jews are Christ-killers); therefore, for wingnuts, real anti-semitism is excused on the grounds of political necessity, but bullshit “anti-semitism” is played up as a smear. Wingnuts don’t give a shit about real anti-semitism; this Grass thing is just something else for them to use, especially against Leftwing Jews, whom they consider traitors. […]


Who’s Israel’s best friend? Certainly not the right in this country.

support for the creation of Israel certainly did not come from the right, or the Republican Party, of the 40s or 50s. (any more than support existed in that party for the civil rights movements of the 40s and 50s.) Republicans have never been big on “your” rights, just “my” rights. Yet now the Republican Party and conservatives are trying to claim the success of both as their own, and benefit from them. (“Shuuuuurrrre. I was right behind you. all the way. didn’t you see me standin there?”) when exactly did the Right acknowledge their obstruction of the rights of both Jews and blacks?

And the Right certainly hasn’t developed a love for “Christ killers.” (note the proselytizing and intolerance [and the subsequent lawsuits aimed at those fostering religious intolerance] at such places as the Air Force Academy; certainly deliberately planned policies of the Right.)

This is just political expedience and hustling.

Concern for Israel? making them a proxy in OUR (such as it is) fight? much like the the Right’s loving embrace of the mujaheddin in Afghanistan during the Russian occupation. and when we’re done with them…

and trying to con black Americans into now thinking “we’re your friends” after decades of disenfranchisement?

Republicans hope attention spans are short. but minorities have long memories. “never to forget.”


[…] As was, by the same reasoning, Richard Nixon. As is, the screaming WingNet insists, Ann Coulter. And since this formula has become the standard line among wingnuts, it’s inevitable that its corollary — that leftists (even the Semites among them) who are insufficiently enthusiastic about Israel are ipso facto anti-Semites — has been strongly asserted. […]


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