Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Ah, Nothing Like A Reminder... [UPDATED]

...that even in America, anti-Semitism still rears its ugly head. It's stuff like this that really gets me worked up.

Here I was, just about to hit the sack for the night (long day tomorrow), when I come across this pointer to Adbusters' latest discussion of 'neoconservative conspiracies.' (Yes, those are scare quotes - Reuters doesn't have a monopoly on editorial bias, thank-you-very-much!) What I discovered...well, read for yourself:

Drawing attention to the Jewishness of the neocons is a tricky game. Anyone who does so can count on automatically being smeared as an anti-Semite. But the point is not that Jews (who make up less than 2 percent of the American population) have a monolithic perspective. Indeed, American Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat and many of them disagree strongly with Ariel Sharon's policies and Bush's aggression in Iraq. The point is simply that the neocons seem to have a special affinity for Israel that influences their political thinking and consequently American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Here at Adbusters, we decided to tackle the issue head on and came up with a carefully researched list of who appear to be the 50 most influential neocons in the US...Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish.
I'm filled with a rather large portion of anger here (but I haven't completed my 'Angry South Park' .gif yet, so you'll just have to imagine him upset), and I want to write, screed, and blow this guy and his magazine out of the water - but I have to get to bed in five minutes (yeah, like I'm going to be able to sleep now). So, instead, I'll link you to a much calmer, more reasonable response from Michael Totten who, among other things, explains in detail exactly why Mr. Lasn's piece is a very dangerous kind of anti-Semitism.

Oh, and just to steal another link from a fellow blogger, I'll go ahead and point you to the 'official' definition of a "NeoConservative," in case all those buzzwords Lasn throws around start to confuse you. As Mr. Totten points out, "The word 'Jew' does not appear in [Irving Kristol's] essay."

Now I've just gotta figure out a way to blow off this anger...

Well, whaddya know? I got some sleep after all. Just before I go into take my next mid-term, let me point you to George Will's latest observations on the re-rise of anti-Semitism.
Like traditional anti-Semitism, but with secular sources and motives, the political version, which condemns Jews as a social element, is becoming mainstream, and chic among political and cultural elites, mostly in Europe. Consider:

- A cartoon in a mainstream Italian newspaper depicts the infant Jesus in a manger, menaced by an Israeli tank and saying, "Don't tell me they want to kill me again." This expresses animus against Israel rather than twisted Christian zeal.

- The European Union has suppressed a study it commissioned, because the study blamed the upsurge in anti-Jewish acts on European Muslims -- and the European left.

- Nineteen percent of Germans believe what a best-selling German book asserts: The CIA and Israel's Mossad organized the Sept. 11 attacks.

- On French television, a comedian wearing a Jewish skullcap gives a Nazi salute while yelling, "Isra-Heil!"

- If Israel is not the Great Satan, it is allied with him -- America. European anti-American demonstrations often include Israel's blue and white flag with a swastika replacing the star of David, and signs perpetuating the myth, concocted by Palestinians and cooperative Western journalists, of an Israeli massacre in Jenin: "1943: Warsaw / 2002: Jenin."

- Omer Bartov, a historian at Brown University, writes in the New Republic that much of what Hitler said "can be found today in innumerable places: on Internet sites, propaganda brochures, political speeches, protest placards, academic publications, religious sermons, you name it."
There's more, and it's worth reading.
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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