Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2007 / 27 Sivan, 5767

Anti-Zionists Left and Right

By Jonathan Tobin



Printer Friendly Version

Email this article



A strange alliance of extremists links traditional anti-Semites with Israel's foes


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What happens when the far right collides with the hard left? Will the universe explode? Will the laws of physics be distorted by some anti-Newtonian implosion of logic? No, they won't. Not as long as the two ends of the spectrum are uniting to slam the Jews, that is.


Such a moment arrived when the pre-eminent journal of the far right, Pat Buchanan's American Conservative opened its pages to Phillip Weiss, a stalwart of the left. Why would paleo-conservative Pat lend his bully pulpit to Weiss? Simple, so he could promote him as yet another Jew who opposes Zionism.


Weiss, a prominent liberal New York author and magazine writer who's been flailing against a variety of Jewish targets for years has lately found himself in the unlikely position of becoming an honorary member in good standing of the troglodyte right.

'DON'T BECOME A NUT'
He is also the latest of a growing group of Israel-haters claiming to be the victims of the Zionist conspiracy. In Weiss' case, he ceased writing a blog on the Web site of the New York Observer because his editor and publishers were no longer willing to support his "right" to use their publication for attacking Israel and its supporters for being disloyal to America and for being, at least indirectly, to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


In his piece in the American Conservative, he related that his editor Peter Kaplan urged him to can the paranoia about the Zionists. "As your friend," he says that Kaplan advised him, "Don't become a nut." He thought that Weiss "shouldn't allow the political crank to crowd out the storyteller and humorist" in him because he had become "unhinged by politics."


But being a "nut" on the issue of Jews backing Israel is too important to Weiss because as he wrote in the same piece, "The towers fell [on 9/11] in part because of our support for Israel's occupation of Arab lands. Now Israel's policies toward the Arabs were ours. On my blog, I raised the issue of dual loyalty."


So now, Weiss is finding a new literary home with, as he has put it, his "new friends" — the followers of the brazen anti-Semite Buchanan.


Weiss' tale of woe is just one more example of an Israel-hater, even one with a Jewish background, who finds himself drawn to rhetorical violence against Israel and the Jews.


Norman Finkelstein, who was recently denied tenure at DePaul University after his pseudo-scholarly smearing of Israel as a Nazi, apartheid state brought him some rather strange allies among the Holocaust-denying loony right, is another. Finkelstein's supporters have branded Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz a "bully" and a "McCarthyite" for pointing out Finkelstein's lies and his unsuitability for tenure.


Why should anyone care about anything that Weiss or Finkelstein or their acolytes say?


The problem is that for all of their wailing about the ruthlessness of the "Israel Lobby" in destroying them, they are far from alone in putting forward the notion that the vast majority of Americans who ardently support the State of Israel are somehow the victims of a nefarious campaign of manipulation by disloyal Zionists.


This theme was championed by John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, two distinguished figures in American political science who co-authored a now famous essay "The Israel Lobby," which took the sort of conspiracy theory bigotry long put forward by former presidential candidate and pundit Buchanan, and brought it into the mainstream.


The willingness of others on the left to denounce Zionism, including prominent Jewish "progressives" like playwright Tony Kushner and New York University professor Tony Judt, drew the attention of a pamphlet published by the American Jewish Committee last winter.


In it, Indiana University Professor Alvin Rosenfeld wrote of the dangers of allowing such ideas to leach into the political mainstream at a time when such Israel-bashing was fueling a frightening revival of anti-Semitism in Europe, and throughout the Arab and Muslim world.


But the response to Rosenfeld has not been encouraging. He was roundly denounced by many in the secular and Jewish press for unfairly tarring liberals with the brush of anti-Semitism, even though he did no such thing.


Even worse is the notion held by many in positions of influence that somehow, the Jewish community's angry response to Walt, Mearsheimer and even Finkelstein has been over the top.


At a panel sponsored last week by the Jewish Council on Public Affairs to discuss Rosenfeld's thesis, in which I participated, Leonard Fein, the venerable lion of American Jewish liberalism mooted the notion that what was at play here was the fact that Jews were very good at "playing the victim."


Fein, whose long record of support for Israel is not in question, believes it is more important to focus on the admissibility of dissent from Israeli government policies than fighting the anti-Zionists. He worries that by seeking to hound these foes of Zion from the public stage, we are not only flailing at an insignificant target but also turning off young Jews who want no part of the knee-jerk, pro-Israel spin of the organized Jewish world.

NOT MERE DISSENT
Fein is right that the right of dissent against specific Israeli policies — or support for the Israeli left's stand on borders or settlements — ought not to be questioned. But it is support for Israel that's more likely to be unpopular in the secular media and on college campuses these days than opposition to it.


What Weiss and Buchanan, not to mention Judt and Kushner, have put forward are not legitimate differences with Israeli government policies, but a dismissal of the state's right to exist and the legitimacy of its right of self-defense against bloodthirsty terrorists, whose aim is the mass murder of Jews.


It is not "playing the victim" to point out that the treatment of Israel and its supporters in Europe is provoking haunting memories of the 1930s. How can we sit back and allow these ideas and their supporters to expand their beachheads on American soil? Failing to respond ultimately plays into the hands of marginal figures like Buchanan and others who hope to turn American foreign policy against Israel.


Fein, who worries that Walt and Mearsheimer have been misinterpreted, warned that it was a mistake to say that the questions they raise about pro-Israel activism ought not to be dismissed. But when is it okay for any American to allow his patriotism to be unfairly besmirched? Or for any Jew to be made to feel as if there is something unwholesome about a love for Zion that is shared by so many of our non-Jewish fellow citizens?


The Weiss-Buchanan alliance is an overt acknowledgement of what many on the Jewish left know is true, but won't face up to. The connection between this brand of Jewish anti-Zionism and traditional anti-Semitism is now in the open. Ignoring it is no longer an option.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

Jonathan Tobin Archives




© 2005, Jonathan Tobin