Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blood Libel! Antisemite! Homobphobe!

My Note:: Neocons, Israel First Liberals "Zionists" if you will, have been confronted, outed and their hithero unquestioned power is being challenged, and they are reacting with the same old tired tactics. As this article insinuates, those tactics no longer work. It's about time - they crossed the line into treason long ago, and have been trying to shamelesly manipulate our sense of decency to support their bigotry. Enough.

New Republic Readers Decry Old Demagoguery

After reading James Kirchick’s article in The New Republic, which bashes Ron Paul as a racist, homophobic, anti-semitic nutjob conspiracy theorist, I couldn’t be more bored. (Angry White Man, The New Republic, 1-08-08)

First of all, the article itself is almost 4,000 words (where is the editor?) Secondly, the nasty newsletter accusations have already been in on wikipedia and in the New York Times for months. And even the New York Times retracted the story after a while because there was so little there. Thirdly, is it too much to ask for some creative muckraking now and again? How many times do expect us to hear “racist!!!” before we fall asleep?

The only new development in Kirchick’s article is the fact that he’s posted .pdf copies of the newsletters he supposedly dug up. However, given that these newsletter have already been combed over by the most malignant reporters for several years, I don’t see the point. They will show, as they have already shown before, that there are no bylines and are not characteristic of Paul’s style.

Appropriately, only about 10% of the first 80 or so comments posted on the New Republic’s website are impressed with the article. I didn’t look much further than that (there are 1285 comments so far). The other 90% call it what it is: stale, hollow propaganda.

PS: The New Republic has already had to post three corrections to misstated fact from the original article. Surprise, surprise.

It really is just a big smoke screen and Phi. Weiss alludes to:


Nationalism as a 'Blinding Force' in Jewish Identity

When Walt and Mearsheimer's paper appeared in LRB eons ago, one of the controversies surrounded their statement that citizenship in Israel is based on "blood kinship." Alan Dershowitz said they were reviving the blood libel.[Alan Dershowitz advocates torture and collective punishment of Palestinians. Alan Dershowitz claims when Zionists commit acts of terrorism, oh like hanging British POWs with piano wire or blowing up the King David Hotel, its not terrorism. God, I hate that man.]Benny Morris said that it was an "outrageous" claim, because Israel has Arab citizens (who are not allowed to serve in its army; how would you feel if blacks couldn't serve in the American army?). I believe in their book, W&M were more careful in their language.

I bring this up now because the latest issue of Raritan has a fabulous piece by Eyal Press about Jewish identity and Israel, "Death and Sacrifice in Israel," in which blood plays a role. When an Israeli is victimized by terrorism, members of the Knesset send out telegrams saying, "We share in your mourning and may God avenge his blood. " His blood. The same expression has been taken up by the settlers' movement. So whether or not the idea of blood kinship is legally correct, it sure is important culturally.


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