November 21, 2013

One of the mainstays of anti-Semitism is the assertion that Jews are disloyal to their countries of birth, a fifth column that is willing to betray its fellow citizens for Israel or Jewish interests or something. Calling someone a “dual loyalist” is an accusation of treason. Likewise, the claim that Jewish money dominates U.S. politics and influences elected officials to betray their own country for Israel’s benefit is an accusation that both the givers and receivers of money are traitorous.

President Obama speaks by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.<br />(Pete Souza for the White House via Agence France-Press)
President Obama speaks by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
(Pete Souza for the White House via Agence France-Press)

Since his column in 2011 in which he said bipartisan ovations in a joint session of Congress for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,” one can hardly be surprised with anything Thomas Friedman writes. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that Friedman is peddling anti-Semitic rubbish again, declaring that “never have I seen more lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s. I’m certain this comes less from any careful consideration of the facts and more from a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations.”

Certain is he? How, I wonder? Did he interview them? I don’t think I’ve seen evidence that nearly every member of the House and most senators — from Sens. Robert Menendez  (D-N.J.),  Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and/or Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who insist on Iran sanctions over the White House’s objections are actually looking out purely for Israel and are unconcerned about the global threat to U.S. security. I wonder if Friedman thinks there is French or Saudi money buying off these lawmakers, since both France and Saudi Arabia vehemently oppose Obama’s actions. Gosh, what happened to “dissent is patriotic”? To criticize the president is to be a traitor bought and paid for with Jewish money, if you believe Friedman.

Unfortunately, the right is not immune to such sentiments. The Daily Caller sees fit to publish a screed point blank accusing Jews of “dual loyalty” when it comes to Iran. I’m sure Patrick Buchanan is delighted.

The New York Times and the Daily Caller have every right to publish whatever slurs and anti-Jewish and anti-Israel tripe they see fit. But they cannot then escape the condemnation that goes with it. The decision to publish is an affirmation that, to borrow a phrase, the material is fit to print. Routinely, the right has called out anti-Semitic drivel (famously by William F. Buckley, Jr.). It is time for the left and for all people of good conscience to do the same when it comes to the handiwork of Friedman. The liberal Georgetown cocktail set and the drivers of Obama-stickered Priuses who don’t bother to question, let alone object to,  Friedman’s obsession with Jewish money should explain why their outrage over any hint of racism, homophobia or Islamaphobia is not matched by outrage over blatant anti-Semitic scribbling.

The bipartisan and international opposition to the president’s policy, which would undercut six U.N. (another body bought off by Jewish money, Friedman?) resolutions and leave the West at the mercy of a nuclear-armed Islamist revolutionary state, can be explained very simply: The president is dangerously wrong.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.