Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Every Anti-Semite Has Their One "Bad Gentile"

Sigmund Freud. Edward Bernays. George Soros. Cass Sunstein. Andy Stern. Walter Lippman. Frances Fox Piven. Edward Rendell. And Richard Trumka.

If you scarcely recognized any of those names outside of Freud, congratulations, you're a regular American.

If you recognized a few more of the names -- two-thirds or so -- but have no earthly idea what they all have in common, congratulations, you're a relatively well-informed, but still normal, American.

If you answered "the foremost enemies of America and humanity", by contrast, you must be a Glenn Beck viewer (no kudos for you). And, in what is of course just a massive coincidence, with the exception of AFL-CIO president Trumka, all of the names are Jewish.

Surely, just a coincidence. It's not like Beck has accused the Jews of killing Christ or anything. I mean, the ADL-honored Rupert Murdoch would never employ anyone with even a whiff of anti-Semitism in his bones. Right?

James Besser says folks like Beck raise
a difficult question that could define the job for the ADL and other "defense organizations" in this age of angry talk shows, cable news commentaries and blogs: what do you do about those who profess love for the Jewish people and for Israel, but whose ideology echoes age-old canards about malevolent Jewish conspiracies?

With due respect to Mr. Besser, I don't think it is that difficult at all. In post-1970s America, nobody admits to, or even thinks of themselves as, a bigot -- towards Jews, towards Blacks, towards Latinos, towards anyone. Any and all political positions are held with the firm stated conviction that they are perfectly consistent with liberal equality, just as Martin Luther King, Jr., commanded.

Folks like Beck don't raise any difficult questions, they just make it easy to see the facility of this analysis. The fact that one can proclaim one's love for the Jewish people even while promoting nearly-all Jewish lists of evil mind controls out to destroy the country simply shows the hollowness of the proclamation. It's simply not a reliable way of gauging who our friends are.


N. Friedman said...

Antisemites almost never claim to hate Jews. So, your statement that there is something unusual post 1970 is factually confused. Historically, Antisemites have typically stated that, while they do not hate Jews, Jews have done this or that wrong. That, I am sorry to say, David, has been true for centuries, in the US and everywhere else in the West.

Further, it is true that hatred of Blacks became somewhat less respectable in some quarters post 1970's but, if you watched the recent Oprah show reminiscing about the great Dr. King, you will find that as recently as 1989, large numbers of people had no problem at all (and on TV including on Oprah's show) professing their hatred for African Americans and calling them all sorts of terrible names.

I am not sure what we have with Mr. Beck. Did he find Jews to despise or did the people he finds politically obnoxious just happen to be Jewish? Who knows? I think we have little to go on but, as with Ms. Palin's use of "blood libel," a whole cast of people who want to find bigotry whether it is there or not. Again, it might be a concern with Mr. Beck. Or, it might not be.

While I am not a Murdoch fan, I rather doubt he would tolerate an open Antisemite. At the same time, evidence of the type you have uncovered is not much to go on. So, my suggestion is to keep watching him. Maybe, real evidence will be uncovered. Or, then again, we may have here another example (and I am not blaming you, since you are repeating what has appeared on other blogs) of branding political enemies as being beyond the pale - which is bad politics and, frankly, a morally offensive political strategy.

joe said...

Actually you don't even need to play six degrees of Rupert Murdoch here. The ADL has complimented Beck pretty directly. Guess Foxman couldn't be bothered to care while there's mosques that could sprout, weed-like, out around Ground Zero at any moment.