September 7, 2007

Anti-Semitism Is As Anti-Semitism Does

Clinton administration official Jeff Robbins wonders in today's Wall Street Journal why people like Jimmy Carter, Stephen Walt, and John Mearsheimer seem so obsessed with American Jews exercizing their right to political speech, and so silent about the influence of Wahabbist petrodollars competing in the same arena. The former American delegate to the highly anti-Semitic UN Human Rights Commission points out that Saudi Arabia drops millions of dollars and leverages political clout through its commercial partners to pursue its anti-Israel agenda, and yet these three (among many others) quake with fear when American citizens organize to refute it:

If the charge that American Jews are able to stifle criticism of Israel is simply silly, the leveling of the charge that there is something nefarious about Jews urging support for the Jewish state raises questions about whether Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer have descended into a certain ugliness. And the tactic of trying to neutralize those questions by loudly predicting that they will be asked, however clever a tactic it may be, does not neutralize them.

It is apparently the authors' position that, even in the face of the overwhelming leverage of an Arab world swimming in petrodollars, with a lock on the U.N. and an unlimited ability to pay for pro-Arab public relations, American Jews are obliged to stay silent. In essence, Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer have repackaged the "the-Jews-run-the-country" stuff which has long been the bread and butter of anti-Semites.

Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer deny that they are anti-Semitic, and that is certainly good news. But where they are apparently content with foreign oil money being used to advance a pro-Arab position on the Middle East, but devote themselves to criticizing American Jews for lobbying their public officials in support of the Jewish state, one may legitimately wonder what phrase would apply. Surely, one's denial that he is anti-Semitic, while welcome, is hardly dispositive; after all, the marked increase in anti-Semitism around the world is well-documented, and yet one rarely hears anyone actually announce that they are anti-Semitic, or that their views are anti-Semitic.

But if anti-Semitism is too harsh a term, and if the word "bigoted" is also taken off the table, perhaps one can be forgiven for concluding that "anti-Jewish bias" fits the bill here. After all, where there is nothing wrong with foreign money from Arab countries advancing a pro-Arab agenda in Messrs. Walt's and Mearsheimer's world -- but there is something very wrong with American citizens who are Jewish exercising their civic right to speak out on behalf of Israel and taking issue with the pro-Arab agenda -- even the most vehement disclaimers of any bias against Jews lack a certain credibility.

Robbins relates a personal experience with Saudi attempts to influence American politics. A defense contractor with major economic ties to the Saudis asked Robbins to arrange a forum with Boston's World Affairs Council, which Robbins headed at the time. Just after 9/11, the Saudis had launched a public-relations blitz in the US to profess its friendship and solidarity with America. Robbins agreed to arrange the forum, and relates how the Saudis paid all expenses for public relations, its lobbying organizations, and the expert speakers to travel to Boston to convince the audience that Saudi Arabia is a moderate, tolerant nation -- all evidence to the contrary.

The Saudi hearts-and-minds push raised eyebrows and objections at the time, but most people felt the Saudis should have the opportunity to make their case. However, it generated little of the conspiratorial Jewish-cabal-running-the-US-government inanity that Jimmy Carter and the researchers Walt and Mearsheimer endorse. (One exception was Michael Moore, of course.) That seems exceedingly strange since the Saudis making this effort are not American citizens, while American Jews come under suspicion of having divided loyalties every time they argue for the continuation of pro-Israeli policies.

Robbins wants to know why people like Carter, Walt, Mearsheimer, the UN Human Rights Council, and many others have a double standard for Jews. Merely proclaiming one's self to be free of anti-Semitism doesn't make it so, as Robbins knows from personal experience in many practical settings. When those people claim conspiratorial motives of American Jews for speaking out in favor of their political interests -- which actually are varied and contradictory, just like everyone else's -- they operate from a bigoted perspective, whether they acknowledge it or not.

UPDATE: On the other hand, I totally buy into this conspiracy theory. I'm not at liberty to say more; do you know how much a shillelagh upside the head can hurt? (h/t Brian P)


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Comments (30)

Posted by JAT | September 7, 2007 8:01 AM

100% accurate - Jimmy Carter and his like have been doing all they can to help the Middle East eliminate Israel.

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 7, 2007 8:13 AM

Why do Jimmy Carter and the researchers Walt and Mearsheimer get oxygen? A double standard for Jews continues because of the usual suspects.

Posted by gregdn | September 7, 2007 8:21 AM

Because Walt and Mearsheimer don't speak out about Arab petro dollars influencing our government in no way lessens the message about AIPAC's influence on our foreign policy.

Posted by Ripper | September 7, 2007 8:21 AM

Jimmy Carter - never a particularly good looking man in his prime - has turned spiritually and physically ugly during his advanced years. He hates not only Israel but America.

Posted by justamomof4 | September 7, 2007 8:56 AM

Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the Arab lobby today at DhimmiWatch

"Fitzgerald: Stop the Saudi lobby"

Posted by Jim | September 7, 2007 9:15 AM

Liberal talking point A:

"You can be anti-Zionist and critical of Israel without being anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic!! Why, I have Jewish friends, and they are critical of Israel's persecution of the Palestinian peoples too!!"

How often are forced to endure THAT load of crap? Oh, our Euro-elites are SO delightfully 'nuanced,' aren't they?

Liberal Talking Point A.1: In a slight variation of the above, or as a supplement to it (this is also trotted out by the paleocon extremists, like anti-semite Pat Buchanan, who has become an embarassment to conservatism - sorry that is just my opinion) - liberals sometimes, incredibly, discovery National Pride, Patriotism, Love of Country, and support of National Sovereignty!! (only when talking about Israel of course - don't get them talking about things like supporting American troops' missions, border security, etc. LOL) - with this one:

"Why should our National American foreign policy support a country that everyone else (translation; the Islamic world) hates?? How is THAT in our National Interest?" HaHa...I can almost see the Flag drapped dramatically around their shoulders.

Leftist talking point B:

"Right-wingnuts just support Israel because their Bible fantasy stories require it; with their superstitious "rapture" nonsense; and if we in the reality-based community don't gain control of this Christo-Fascist Regime (and quite frankly, who WOULDN'T want to see Cheney and Rumsfeld taken out back and shot?) - the wingnuts will intentionally lead us all into nuclear armageddon, just to make their prophesies come true!!! Oh, yeah, and 911 was an inside job too. Fire doesn't melt steel!!"

There, I saved the lefties who troll here, the trouble of having to post today. No thanks necessary. Have a nice day.

Posted by LarryD | September 7, 2007 9:47 AM

We don't even consider Pat Buchanan a conservative any more. Notice that he's very marginalized. And it's his anti-semantic and foreign policy positions that have done it. Paleocons weren't even solid on the Cold War, now days they are downright isolationist.

Jimmy Carter never met a tyrant he didn't try to legitimize.

Posted by reliapundit | September 7, 2007 10:06 AM

if we'd only given hitler the sudatenland then we coulda avoided ww2.



well no matter to messrs carter walt and mearsheimer: if we'd only give up israel we'd have peace.


even IF what these antisemites say is true - that israel has too much sway over us foreign policy (which is an anti-semitic lie)-

the idea that sacrificing israel would buy us peace is LUDICROUS.

these scu*ba*s posing as gents are either as dumb as they are anti-semitic, or merely willfully blind to the nature and extent of jihadism.

would jettisoning israel buy us peace in philippines or thailand or algeria or sudna or chechnya or nigeria or morocco or egypt or EVERYWHERE ELSE JIHAD HAS REARED ITS UGLY GENOCIDAL HEAD!?!?!


their entire premise and all of their corollary ideas and policy proposals are insane.

and antisemitic.

and postmodern leftist, too.

only people who see the usa as an arrogant hegemonistical empire could begin to entertain this crap.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 7, 2007 11:09 AM

Jim's talking point A is exactly my position to a "T". I guess I'm anti-Semitic by his compass. And a liberal too. I don't know which epithet hurts more -- the anti-Semitic one or the liberal one.

If a desire for Israel to do right with regard to the Palestinians it dispossessed during its War of Independence and afterward is anti-Semitic, I guess the charge sticks.

Of course, I cheer the recent anti-Semitic decision by the Supreme Court of Israel to force the government to give back to Palestinian villages lands seized for potential settlements behind the Wall, and to realign the Wall to allow those villages access to the land.

Oh, but I must have forgotten that the Palestinians are Semites as well. I guess I shouldn't cheer too much.

With regard to the Saudi Arabian position, when they allow open services by non-Islamic faiths, and allow the free importation of religious texts of all faiths into their country, at that point will I believe that the government there is tolerant.

When the Saudis allow the testimony of a non-Islamic female (or even an Islamic female) to be of the same weight as an Islamic male at trial, then will I believe the government there is tolerant.

When the Saudis allow the free travel of a married woman to and from the country (or restrict the travel of a married man in exactly the same way as the current restrictions on female travel), then will I believe the government there is tolerant.

I find it amusing that my home town hosts the Saudi-sponsored King Fahd Mosque. In terms of religious statement, that's sort of like the Episcopalians opening a King Henry VIII Church or us Catholics opening a King Ferdinand Church. Attaching the name of a religiously intolerant king to a place of worship is just so "in your face" it beggars the imagination.

Posted by naftali | September 7, 2007 12:30 PM


There a quite a few things you said with which I agree, although I didn't take your ironic statements quite so ironically. But do you have an equal desire for the Palestinians to do right with regard to Israel?

And if you do, could you name about five instances you would passionately like to see corrected? And could you make those statements is a clear fashion as opposed to a "Yes, but..." format? You know, where the Palestinians have clear unequivocal responsibility for their actions.

Posted by jerry | September 7, 2007 12:30 PM


You would like to the Israelis "do right" by the Palestinians. Would you also like to see the Arab world do right by the Jews they murdered and expelled? Don't you find it strange that the Jews who were driven from their homes in places like Iraq and Syria don't live in refugee camps while the Palestinians do? Says a lot about the respective cultures any way you spin it.

Posted by Jim | September 7, 2007 12:43 PM

Well, Uncle Lib, seems like every time Israel makes any sort of attempt to "do right" (your words) with people who have NEVER stopped calling for Israel's total and complete anniliation, they get kicked in the teeth. Yeah that Yasser sure was one honest and trustworthy fellow, now wasn't he. And his successors are even a classier bunch aren't they.

When any of the Palestinian political groups - a single one of them, acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as a nation, as opposed to the opposite, be sure to let me know.

I'm just not nuanced enough to be a diplomat but to me, that should be the step one PRE-condition to ANY sort of peace negotiations, or to ANY sort of talk of concessions, return of territory, setting of boundary lines, financial aid, development, access to Jerusalem, - you name it, etc. If it were up to me, you Paly loving bleeding hearts would REALLY get your panties in a knot! LOL. Because it would go something like this:

1. Are you willing to formally accept the existence of an independant nation-state called Israel, and to stop calling for its death and destruction in every media outlet and in every single political speech? Easy question. Yes or No? No, or a refusal to answer the question? Fine. No talk. Bombs away. After a while...Okay, now: Tired of getting bombed, killed, slaughtered yet? Okay, let's talk:

2. Repeat Step one......Tired of...yet? Okay, let's talk.

3. Repeat Step one......

Instead, summit after summit after is always "if we make this concession or that concession, will you pretty please stop doing things like sending suiciders into our shopping malls and pizza parlors, and will you pretty please stop doing things like shooting scud missiles at us placed and shot from civilian neighborhoods?"

Was it Golda Meir who said something like: "There will be peace in the middle east when Arabs finally decide they love their children more than they hate the Jews."

Amen to that.

Posted by David M | September 7, 2007 1:36 PM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/07/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 7, 2007 1:43 PM

So many responses, so little space....


Yes, I do have a desire for the Palestinians to do right by Israel. Do I think they will? No.

Do I think the Israelis will do right by the Palestinians? No.

I believe the two sides are capable of coming together, but years may pass before it happens.

You ask for five -- how about one, which I'll give below in my answer to Jim. The Captain has a limit on how big a post can be before it goes to the bit bucket.


I believe in Israel's right to exist, and the right of its people to live free of terrorism.

That said, some of Israel's problems are of its own making. Moshe Dayan's autobiography indicates that Isreal systematically undertook a program of ethnic cleansing in order to create secure boundaries for the State of Israel. If I were a victim of such cleansing (in which my family was chased off our property and our possessions destroyed because of our ethnicity), I might be a little bitter too. Think Native American. Think Japanese American.

Now, a specific (one for :

When did the people of 'Imwas call for Israel's destruction? Why was the pleas for mercy by the priest of the local Catholic church ignored? The citizens of 'Imwas took their expulsion from their property and its subsequent destruction to the Israeli court system and attempted to gain restitution. That to me indicates a level of acceptance of Isreali sovreignty which you claim the Palestinians universally don't have. [BTW, they lost.]

From we have this encapsulation of the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians:

But, Canada Park also covers the remains of the Palestinian town of Imwas (or Amwas), a name which preserves the ancient name. After the Israeli military victory in the 1967 Six Day War, Imwas was evacuated, along with neighboring Yalu and Beit Nuba. Some 12,000 inhabitants were forbidden to return. The Israeli army then demolished all the homes. An Israeli explained the bulldozing policy in this way: "We thought we would have to give up all the land we gained in the Six-Day War, so we cleared our borders of hostile villages. If we had known that ten years later we would still have all this territory, we would not have torn them down. It was for security."

The area now seems haunted by the ghosts of the former villages. Casual observers assume the land was always empty. But the Arabs know better. The cacti that grow in definite patterns on the hills are not indigenous, but were planted by the Israelis. Farmers who once lived and worked here are refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. They and their children are restless to return to their former lands.

Actually, the refugees from 'Imwas were marched down the road to Ramallah, so a goodly number are now probably in the West Bank. And the village of 'Imwas was nonhostile -- it had a good, nonviolent relationship with nearby Jewish settlements.


Yes, I do find it strange that the Law of the Return works for some but not for others.

And the wrongs done by Syria and Iraq don't justify the wrongs done by Israel. Your argument in favor of Israel's actions reminds me of a similar argument I had with a guy who attempted to justify the internment of Japanese American citizens. He claimed that because he as an American citizen was interned in the Phillipines and brutally treated by the Japanese occupiers, it was OK for America to do likewise with its own ethnically Japanese citizens. After a bit of argument, he realized that he had been an enemy alien in the Phillipines during the Japanese occupation, but the people the US put into the camps weren't just enemy aliens but our own citizens as well.

Posted by naftali | September 7, 2007 1:59 PM


You didn't even come close to answering my question. I asked you to put it in a clear format, not a "Yes, but" reply.

You could not state unequivocally wrongs done to Israel that were completely the responsibility of the Palestinians.

I hope you see the connection--but it's time to talk a little bit about anti-semitism. What kind of person is an anti-semite? (Not rhetorical) Are they working for the betterment of mankind? Was Hitler working for the betterment of mankind, in reality? Was Yasser Arafat working for the betterment of mankind, in reality? No, of course they weren't. In fact, they actually hated the people they chose to champion. Who inflicted more pain upon the German people, physical, psychological, and spiritual than Hitler? What kind of love for the Palestinian people can Arafat have if he develops a culture where the children want to die before they become twenty?

No, the anti-semite is a person who cares nothing for the rest of mankind, is obsessed with their own facade of an ego, and is absolutely repulsed and disgusted by their own existence. This I derived from watching the History Channel's shows about the Nazis, Hitler and his inner circle.

So the second sentence in your first post--not ironic at all. Thanks for telling the truth.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 7, 2007 4:56 PM


You are welcome.

Posted by naftali | September 7, 2007 5:11 PM


No problem. And I got this piece of info from a site called Professional Tradesman:

When you clean mirrors avoid anything with abrasives, alcohol and alkali. Use a soft cloth, and Windex will work just fine.

This is in case you ever decide to look into a mirror and find that it's hard to see what's there.

And good luck with that.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 7, 2007 6:24 PM


Actually, I use 90% rubbing alcohol to clean my mirrors, except for the ones in my cameras -- they need distilled water due to the possibility of deterioration of the foam anti-bounce mechanism by either the alcohol or naptha (the other recommended camera cleaning solvent).

Windex should not be used for cleaning mirrors. It contains ammonia, which may interact with the silver or aluminum coating used to plate the back of the mirror, causing darkening or pitting. Alcohol does not cause this chemical reaction and hence is the safest of the solvents to use for this purpose.

Ditto for computer screens, by the way -- either lcd, plasma, or crt.

I seem to have no trouble afterward seeing what is in my mirrors.

While I can't use your advice, thank you for your concern about their cleanliness.

Posted by naftali | September 7, 2007 6:45 PM


Well that's a good news/bad news situation alright. If your mirrors are good, and the glass isn't bent or distorted, then we're looking at you having to see an ophthalmologist (I think Assad might know a few, but then again you might not want to go by his recommendation), and if that doesn't help, then there may be damage to the optic nerve, and if all that doesn't help, then we're looking at neurology. Wow. That's pretty tough. Prayers are with you, dude.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 7, 2007 7:18 PM


No need. I saw the opthamologist just a few months ago, and got two new pairs of glasses -- one set of polarized driving glasses, and one set of daytime glasses.

I got real glass ones because my prescription is so slight that they aren't thick enough to cause discomfort or pain. I also got the double coating (both sides of the lenses) -- when I wear the clear ones, some of my coworkers commented on how it didn't look like there was any glass at all.

As for the rest, well, what kind of psychologist would you recommend, seeing as you have a bit of experience here....

Posted by patrick neid | September 7, 2007 8:31 PM


you know, as you were told all that irish history as a child, that you were never to discuss it in mixed company. now you go and link to an article no less. davey crockett is rolling over in his grave along with jim bowie.

danny boy might be a stretch when the time comes!

Posted by naftali | September 7, 2007 10:58 PM


Ironically, I do have some experience in that area, on the end that received the fee. I just get all warm/fuzzy knowing that you trust me on this delicate issue.

Now, I'm a great believer in the old paradoxical style of therapy pioneered by the legendary Milton Erikson.

So, I'd recommend you get an Israeli therapist. Someone who's background is also with the IDF. And remember, you'll only get results commensurate with the work you put in. So hang in there and work hard.

And don't let your co-workers get you down. Because you really don't look like an idiot wearing frames without lenses. As long as you know there are lenses there--that's all that matters.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 7, 2007 11:59 PM


With regard to the IDF, I'm sure they don't have time for me -- they've got their own theraputic issues to address -- something about Lebanon, inept generals, and inept war plans, I believe. Others need to deal with the consoling of families of soldiers apparently lost for naught in that slapdash effort, and with anger managment for the Regev and Goldwasser families, who justly feel betrayed by the IDF and the government.

And I understand that their opponents didn't make it any easier for them by announcing that, had the fight gone on for another week, hezbollah would have been so depleted of supplies that they would have had to surrender... It's not comforting to know that the IDF is capable of the same mistakes that the Democrats are. Talk about loss of will and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

Posted by naftali | September 8, 2007 12:43 AM


You mean you weren't serious about seeking therapy? I had such hopes for your recovery.

Israeli, IDF, RETIRED, therapist. Would have been perfect for you. See the issues that just those words touch off for you? Your last post was practically foaming at the mouth.

And speaking of retiring, let's say we're done for this round. You want the last word? Take it. Enjoy. Bask in the glory.

Posted by gaffo | September 8, 2007 10:29 AM

Uncle is right to condemn any side that is unjust to the other - and in this case it include BOTH sides.

He is also right to correctly see which party is the descrinimated one and which is generally doing the descriminating. i commend him for is reasoned posts here and is concern for justice. I think he is a Conservative too (though not sure - sure is good to see the rare Conservative that does not champion fascism these days).

the rest of you ask yourselves if you defended South Aftica in the 1980's.

Posted by Gianni | September 8, 2007 1:45 PM

I wish we could find some "liberals" that didn't champion fascism. It's quite clear you do.

Posted by glasnost | September 8, 2007 7:07 PM

Troll post and troll commenters. No one here knows a thing about Walt & Mearshimer's positions on Saudi Arabian lobbying. Their standard for statements like "How come W & M don't oppose pro-Saudi Arabian media?" is "How come *I* haven't *heard* W $ M oppose pro-Saudi media?" Well, who the heck are you, and are you informing yourself?

Besides, W & M make no argument that AIPAC should be disallowed to speak. They argue that America should stop listening. I think it's pretty likely that they don't argue for the censorship of any lobby. If they aren't writing books about the undue influence of the Saudi Arabian lobby, maybe it's because they don't feel the Saudi Arabians really have all that much of a fan club. Except for the Bush Administration, which has decided to sell them a record-breaking pile of weapons recently.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 9, 2007 5:12 PM


Twasn't me that was foaming at the mouth -- it was my stuffed bear. I had to sew his mouth back shut.

My apologies to the rest of the crew for dropping the conversation down to your "ad hominem" level even briefly.

Plus, if you'll notice, I've added quite a bit of reality to the conversation we've been having. My two favorites are: Regardless of what you may have seen in "my big fat greek wedding", don't use windex on everything, and, most importantly, don't assume the IDF or the Israeli government are both always right and always invincible.

Posted by unclesmrgol | September 9, 2007 10:59 PM


I don't believe I've said a word here about who I think "started things". Who "started things" is a whole 'nuther argument.

What I have spoken to is the damage suffered by noncombatants, and the rights of return of noncombatants to their homes and land after combat has ceased. This right is guaranteed by the GC, which I do think is an important treaty to follow.

And I certain have not taken the position that the Palestinians who rocket or bomb civilians are correct in their actions. In fact, I feel and state the opposite. They certainly are justified, however, in attacking IDF positions, since the IDF for them constitutes an occupying force. And if they attack those positions, and are shot at or killed, that is the right of the IDF to defend itself.

How do we feel about firebombing Tokyo and Dresden and dropping Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? All those cases deliberately targeted civilians. If we think that kind of attack was correct, then by that twisted reasoning 9/11 was also correct.

I'm not in the group that thinks the above attacks were correct. Israel has the right to defend its citizens, and the Palestinians have a right to their land. But unarmed civilians shouldn't be involved in any violent actions or reactions.

How can anyone feel empathy for a people whose military forces deliberately target and kill civilians?

And I'm trying to wrap my mind around your concept that fascism is a conservative ideal, and I'm failing miserably. Fascism is where all rights are subordinated to that of the state, while conservatism tries to maximize the rights of the individual over those of the group (the state included). If anything, fascism is what happens when you take the leftist knob and crank it all the way over; community is more important than individual. Under fascism, things like eminent domain/expropriation/compulsary purchase become normal ways of doing business; look to Hugo Chavez for a prime example.

Posted by cliffy | September 18, 2007 1:53 PM

You said"Oh, but I must have forgotten that the Palestinians are Semites as well. I guess I shouldn't cheer too much"

Do you mind explaining for us AIPAC types what an
anti-semite is then?
Seems you are making up stuff as you go along.

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