Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: Anti-semitism sneaks into the anti-war camp
The Sunday Times ^ | October 20, 2002 | Andrew Sullivan

Posted on 10/20/2002 1:46:17 AM PDT by MadIvan

An article by a first-year student criticising what he regards as the anti-semitism tolerated at the United Nations appeared in last week’s Yale Daily News, the paper for the elite American university. If the article was typical fare the response to it was not. The author had touched a nerve and a torrent of anger was unleashed.

“I recently attended a forum focusing on the Israeli/Palestinian issue,” wrote one respondent. “Both sides made valid points but there was a heated exchange when the pro-Israel side initiated the ‘anti-semite’ slur. I am sick and tired of Jewish people always smearing those that merely disagree with their views as ‘evil’.

“I never thought I’d say this but a lot of what the so-called ‘white supremacists’ are saying (is) proving more accurate than I feel comfortable admitting.”

Then there was the recent Not In Our Name rally in Central Park, demonstrating against a potential war against Iraq. Around the edges of the rally copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the classic forged document of 19th-century anti-semitism, were being sold. According to the New York Sun, this peddling of anti-semitic tripe was not entirely accidental.

One protester said: “There are interest groups that want Israel to dominate Palestine. If Bush goes with them and is too critical, he might lose their support . . . the international financiers have their hooks in everything.” Ah, those international financiers. Remember them? America’s anti-war movement, still puny and struggling, is showing signs of being hijacked by one of the oldest and darkest prejudices there is. Perhaps it was inevitable. The conflict against Islamo-fascism obviously circles back to the question of Israel. Fanatical anti-semitism, as bad or even worse than Hitler’s, is now a cultural norm across much of the Middle East. It’s the acrid glue that unites Saddam, Arafat, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Iran and the Saudis.

And if you campaign against a war against that axis, you’re bound to attract people who share these prejudices. That’s not to say the large majority of anti-war campaigners are anti-semitic. But this strain of anti-semitism is worrying and dangerous.

Earlier this year there were calls for America’s universities to withdraw any investments in Israel. A petition at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard attracted hundreds of signatures, prompting Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, to say that “serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-semitic in their effect if not their intent”. He said views that were once the preserve of poorly educated right-wing populists were now supported in “progressive intellectual communities”.

Summers’s argument was simple: why has Israel alone been singled out as worthy of divestment? Critics cite its continued occupation of the West Bank. There’s no question that Israel’s policies there are ripe for criticism and that to equate such criticism with anti-semitism is absurd. Similarly, it’s perfectly possible to argue against Israel’s domestic policies without any hint of anti-semitism. But to argue that Israel is more deserving of sanction than any other regime right now is surely bizarre.

Israel is a multiracial democracy. Arab citizens of Israel proper can vote and freely enter society; there is freedom of religion and a free press. An openly gay man just won election to the Knesset. Compared with China, a ruthless dictatorship brutally occupying Tibet, Israel is a model of democratic governance. And unlike China’s occupation of Tibet, Israel’s annexation was a defensive action against an Arab military attack.

Compare Israel to any other Middle Eastern country — Syria’s satrapy in Lebanon, Mubarak’s police state, Iraq’s barbaric autocracy or Iran’s theocracy — and it’s a beacon of light. To single it out for attack is so self-evidently bizarre that it prompts an obvious question: what are these anti-Israel fanatics really obsessed about?

The answer, I think, lies in the nature of part of today’s left. It is fuelled above all by resentment of the success western countries, and their citizens, have achieved through freedom and hard work. Just look at Israel’s amazing achievements in comparison with its neighbours: a vibrant civil society, economic growth, technological skills, an agricultural miracle.

It is no surprise that the resentful left despises it. So, for obvious reasons, do Israel’s neighbours. The Arab states could have made peace decades ago and enriched themselves through trade and interaction. Instead, rather than emulate the Jewish state, they spent decades trying to destroy it. When they didn’t succeed, Arab dictators resorted to the easy distractions of envy, hatred and obsession.

Al-Qaeda is the most dangerous manifestation of this response; Hezbollah comes a close second. But milder versions are everywhere. And what do people who want to avoid examining their own failures do? They look for scapegoats. Jews are the perennial scapegoat.

This attitude isn’t restricted to the Middle East. In the West the left has seized on Israel as another emblem of what they hate. They’re happy to see Saddam re-elected with 100% of a terrified vote, happy to see him develop nerve gas and nuclear weapons to use against his own population and others. But over Israel’s occasional crimes in self-defence? They march in the streets.

Ask the average leftist what he is for, and you will not get a particularly eloquent response. Ask what he is against and the floodgates open. Similarly, ask the average anti-war activist what she thinks we should do about Iraq and the stammering begins. Do we leave Saddam alone? Send Jimmy Carter to sign the kind of deal he made with North Korea eight years ago?

Will pressurising Israel remove the nerve gas and potential nukes Saddam has? Will ceding the West Bank to people who cheered on September 11 help defang Al-Qaeda? They don’t say and don’t know. But they do know what they are against: American power, Israeli human rights abuses, British neo-imperialism, the “racist” war on Afghanistan and so on. Get them started on their hatreds, and the words pour out. No wonder they are selling the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Central Park.

Such negativism matters. When a movement is based on resentment, when your political style is as bitter as it is angry and your rhetoric focuses not on those murdering party-goers in Bali or workers in Manhattan but on the democratic powers trying to protect them, your fate is cast. A politics of resentment is a poisonous creature that slowly embitters itself. You should not be surprised if the most poisonous form of resentment that the world has ever known springs up, unbidden, in your midst.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Connecticut; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; andrewsullivanlist; antisemitism; blair; bush; iraq; osama; saddam; uk; us; war
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 121-140141-160161-180 ... 221-227 next last
To: aristeides; Nix 2
I think your hypothetical assumes that Nix 2 did not intend to hit you. If he did intend to hit you, he is to blame.

Oh, really? So in the fight, Nix 2 is going to cease his aggression agaist you momentarily to ensure that I'm not hit, even though I was the one who got too close Also, wouldn't you use that stoppage of his aggression to your advantage and pounce on him while he's distracted?

The point is, if I had not run up and put myself into that position, my jaw wouldn't be hurting. It's my fault, therefore. Also, in this scenario, I could have cost Nix 2 the fight.

Cause. Effect.

141 posted on 10/20/2002 4:29:04 PM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 135 | View Replies]

To: rdb3
Events have many causes. Those who helped to bring them about may bear secondary responsibility, under certain circumstances. But those who deliberately are the ones who actually commit the wrong bear primary responsibility.

You might as well blame Churchill and FDR for Auschwitz, because, if they had not resisted Hitler, there might never have been an Auschwitz. That's an extreme example, but it makes the point.

142 posted on 10/20/2002 4:31:57 PM PDT by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 141 | View Replies]

To: aristeides
I think you're implying I have nefarious intentions.

That's the problem. You're paranoid.

I speak and write extremely well. I have no problems with formulating the message I need to properly express myself and to aim it with precision so it hits its intended target and is understood in no uncertain terms. In other words, if I didn't explicitly state that you had/have nefarious intentions, I was not implying that you do or did.

Is that clear?

143 posted on 10/20/2002 4:34:36 PM PDT by rdb3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 140 | View Replies]

To: aristeides
I think it had to do with concealing Israel's military plans, perhaps the attack on the Golan Heights that was about to occur. Bamford thinks it was to conceal war crimes, atrocities committed by the Israelis against captured Egyptian POW's

Very far fetched. Doesn't ring as anything plausible.

How a plan to attack the enemy at Golan (something in future) would be covered by a deliberate attack on an ally's battleship?

How the committed atrocities (something in the past) would be concealed by the same senseless action?

Sorry, but I see only two possible conclusions from what you said:

a) In your opinion, Israelis a stump stupid.

b) In your opinion, Israelis are plain evil.

You choose for yourself. I disagree with both.

144 posted on 10/20/2002 6:15:22 PM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Nix 2
Evil must be defeated wherever it shows itself

How?! Here, Evil has shown itself 'en masse' in San Francisco... what to do? If it's Medina, I would suggest a glowing glass parking lot recipe, but for American campus...

145 posted on 10/20/2002 6:41:15 PM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: Neophyte
but for American campus...


146 posted on 10/20/2002 6:46:51 PM PDT by Cachelot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: Neophyte
Well, yes, I think the decision to attack the Liberty was borderline insane. But the evidence that Israel made that decision seems incontrovertible.
147 posted on 10/20/2002 6:50:59 PM PDT by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 144 | View Replies]

To: aristeides
If that's a dig at me for being an Oxford graduate

Another polite question to you:

Haven't you have a fellow countrymen pal called Bubba during your Oxford years?

Are you still hearing from each other quite frequently?

148 posted on 10/20/2002 6:51:54 PM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 91 | View Replies]

To: Neophyte
Bubba is not an Oxford graduate. He was asked, firmly, by the university authorities not to return to Oxford for his second year under the Rhodes Scholarship because of his rape of Eileen Wellstone. That meant he did not get the degree. Years later, Oxford gave him an honorary degree, because of the power of money.

And, if you are going to hold the Clinton-Oxford association against me, are you also going to hold it against Andrew Sullivan?

149 posted on 10/20/2002 6:55:11 PM PDT by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 148 | View Replies]

To: Nix 2
What are you, a clinton clone?

It looks they wre buddies when in Oxford... (it's a Liberty-fanatic style statement) :-)

150 posted on 10/20/2002 6:57:27 PM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 98 | View Replies]

To: Neophyte
If you think Clinton cares one bit about the Liberty, you don't understand the man.
151 posted on 10/20/2002 7:07:14 PM PDT by aristeides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 150 | View Replies]

To: Neophyte
Neophyte, you have to be confident in who you are and the Lord you keep faith with. It brings a quiet strength that no one can break. You do what you can when you can and pray for the strength to follow through. The feeling of never walking alone can do more wonders than most people can imagine. We change things one step at a time. Usually where there is one, there is one more and one more.
In every single thing I do, I pray that I can make a positive difference and have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. No one has to know. You don't have to brag. Like the commercial says, "JUST DO IT!"
I've been here awhile now. You have a pretty good idea of what I'm about so I wouldn't attempt to tell you anything that I don't believe and do myself.
152 posted on 10/20/2002 7:15:08 PM PDT by Nix 2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: Cachelot
The Liberty was piping battle-control data to the Arabs. It was, in effect, a combattant on the Arab side. More, when the US was asked rather urgently to stop that activity, the reply was for all intents and purposes "scr*w you".

If the U.S. was an ally of the Arabs, Israel would no longer exist after the criminal attack on the USS Cole.

But I see that your "point" is that the US expects only accolades when US policy is to knife an ally in the back.

Israel attacked the only nation that protects them from world opinion even in the face of an Israeli attack and killing of our own U.S. military forces.

What next? A nuclear strike against Tel Aviv to show Prince Fahd how much we're "bonding" with him? A crescent moon flag over the White House?

Reflect upon prior events.

153 posted on 10/20/2002 7:23:32 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 64 | View Replies]

To: UnBlinkingEye
If the U.S. was an ally of the Arabs, Israel would no longer exist after the criminal attack on the USS Cole.

I meant to write USS Liberty not USS Cole.

154 posted on 10/20/2002 7:33:10 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 153 | View Replies]

To: dennisw
thanks for the ping. It is a good one from Andrew.
155 posted on 10/20/2002 7:33:56 PM PDT by dalebert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: UnBlinkingEye; All
If the U.S. was an ally of the Arabs, Israel would no longer exist after the criminal attack on the USS Cole.

You are an utter, stinking fool. And the "Cole" statement, even though you're now backpedaling, is telling - especially in view of your previous posting history.

Govermnents do what is necessary to protect the people. That is one of the basic things that government is for - to provide for the common defense. Now, of course the US might want to obliterate Israel (that is, certain sick puppies inside gov circles, the kind you also find swimming in those fever swamps on the net where there's strange theories of how the Jooos blew up USS Cole, assassinated Kennedy, took down the WTC and are running the US) - but you don't really try that with a major nuclear power. If the US had tried that, it would be the duty - not the option, but the DUTY - of the Israeli government to attack the US with all the means available. How many million dead do you think is a reasonable price for a collection of nazis to get their rocks off? No, major confrontation was not in LBJ's interest. A furtive backstab was.

Btw, I received an email from someone who is reading the forum. He asked that I post his opinion on the matter.

The President of the United States will order your death. You, your spouse, your kids, even your dog.

He will do so with such regret that he may never have a restful night's sleep again as long as he lives.

The person who pulls the trigger to kill you will be a clean cut American hero. He/She too may never sleep peacefully again.

Now as you wonder what sort of lunatic I am, I will tell you the circumstance of this happening.

We all know that another hijacked airlplane heading towards as American city would be shot down. Even with many innocent Americans aboard. The President will order it, an American fighter will carry out the order.

If you are on that plane, you will be attacked by your own Government and you will die.

Under the circumstance the President has no choice.

Why was the Liberty attacked?

It was an accident or it was deliberate.

If an accident. It happens.

If deliberate, what could possibly cause Israel to attack an American ship at the height of war?

To a rational person, the only explanation is that the ship was doing something with such catastrophic consequences that there was no choice for Israel.

If the President ordered your death because you were on a hijacked plane- the cause and guilty party are the hijackers.

If Israel deliberately attacked the Liberty because they felt they had no choice, who was the responsible party?

156 posted on 10/21/2002 3:54:47 AM PDT by Cachelot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 154 | View Replies]

To: MadIvan
I am sick and tired of Jewish people always smearing those that merely disagree with their views as ‘evil’ many possible substitutions so little time.
157 posted on 10/21/2002 4:07:23 AM PDT by RWG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nix 2
Hey, I did have a need in something like your # 152! I take a heart in what you told me... cheers.
158 posted on 10/21/2002 5:30:25 AM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 152 | View Replies]

To: aristeides
Look, buffoon, somewhere several dozens replies ago I asked you a simple question: Why was the Liberty attacked?

For answer, you offered amazingly dull mumbling - something along the lines of "not knowing", "concealing plans to attack the Golan" or quotations from your only source of wisdom... a Bromfield(?).

Now in post #158 you have the answer:

...what could possibly cause Israel to attack an American ship at the height of war?

To a rational person, the only explanation is that the ship was doing something with such catastrophic consequences that there was no choice for Israel.

As a matter of fact, to do "something with catastrophic consequenses" for their ally isn't at all unusual for the USA, as, indeed, for any other state (Israel included).

Just not to dig too deep into history, I'll cite the US siding with the Muslim Nazis, terrorists, slave and drug traffickers against Christian Serbs and Macedonians in former Yugoslavia. It well may that there was no choice for the US, as there was no one for Israel in the "Liberty" affair...

159 posted on 10/21/2002 6:09:16 AM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 151 | View Replies]

To: Neophyte
Correction: you have your answer in post #156, not #158.
160 posted on 10/21/2002 6:12:19 AM PDT by Neophyte
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 159 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 121-140141-160161-180 ... 221-227 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson