Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mearsheimer/Walt again...

A victim of anti-Semitism?

A victim of Racism?

A few online pals emailed to ask me what I thought of Eliot Cohen's Yes, It's Anti-Semitic
op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post in which the veteran neocon military thinker implies that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" is, well, anti-Semitic.
If by anti-Semitism one means obsessive and irrationally hostile beliefs about Jews; if one accuses them of disloyalty, subversion or treachery, of having occult powers and of participating in secret combinations that manipulate institutions and governments; if one systematically selects everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group and equally systematically suppresses any exculpatory information -- why, yes, this paper is anti-Semitic.
I've commented in the M/W paper in earlier posts, and included some of my reservations. But "anti-Semitic?"
I don't have time to do that. But I wish someone would do a parody on Cohen's op-ed titled, "Yes, It's Racism" in which, say, Cornell West contends that when a Capitol police officer detained Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) from entering a congressional office building, he was racial profiling her. I can already imagine how neocon pundits would mock such an op-ed as "pathetic example of victimology" or "exploitation of the race card to score political points and intimidate rivals" or something along these lines.


Damian Lataan said...

Ever since the Mearsheimer and Walt paper on the ‘Israeli Lobby’ hit the streets there has been a discernable decrease in the fear of being called anti-Semite by those that criticise right-wing Israeli politics and right-wing Zionism. The initial reaction from the pro-Zionists and the Israeli-supporting neoconservatives in America was highly predictable – they, of course, called Mearsheimer and Walt ‘anti-Semites’. They did it so loudly and so often that it became clear that it was the Israeli Lobby itself that was doing the name calling. Problem is they went overboard with it. They did it to such an extent that it doesn’t mean anything anymore.

It’s got to a point now where people no longer care about being called an anti-Semite because they know that is just a bit of name calling that no longer has any relevance or meaning. People are now very much aware that those that criticise right-wing Israeli politics and right-wing Zionism are going to be labelled by those that are being criticised as anti-Semites, just as a matter of course. It has become expected. But now everyone knows that really they are not anti-Semites but just critics of right-wing Israeli politics and right-wing Zionism. The right-wing Zionists have clearly failed in their attempt to introduce criticism of right-wing Israeli politics and right-wing Zionism as the ‘New anti-Semitism’.

The real anti-Semites are those that have been around for centuries. These are the racists and white supremacists that have always been there. They are the ones that were totally discredited at the end of World War Two as the world realised that their blind hatred had resulted in the systematic deaths of millions of those that they hated. There are a few still around but, thankfully, not in any significant numbers. These people don’t hate because they dislike right-wing Israelis or right-wing Zionists. They just hate Jews because, well, just because they are Jews. The hatred that real anti-Semites have has nothing to do with politics. And the politics of anti-right-wing Israeli Zionism has absolutely nothing to do with race.

Anonymous said...

Zionism cannot be onfused with Judaism. Zionism is a politcal social movement. Many Jews would argue that it hijakced Judaism for its own purposes and is a travesty.

I sure would not call such thinking Anti Semitic. Those who want to repress fair and honest debate will. Cohen has tried to do this with his off base op ed.