Thursday, March 13, 2008
in loyalty to our kind we cannot tolerate your obstruction:
The American Jewish community's rightmost faction is an increasingly pernicious force in domestic politics. Consider this casual racism from Marty Peretz:
"We Desire Death Like You Desire Life"
That says it all for the Palestinians.
If someone had written the headline "[Israeli Arabs Should] Pack Their Bags And Go To Hell," with the observation "That says it all for the Jews" or "That says it all for the Israelis," everyone would rightly understand that as antisemetic/anti-Zionist. Why? Well, because it takes a fringe extremist politician and portrays him as representative of the body politic. But you can get away with that sort of thing if you're a rightwing diaspora Jewish asshole.

The immorality of Marty's statement is one thing. But it's not the end of the discussion. There's still the issue of how astrategic it is, from the perspective of the Jews and from the perspective of the United States. For Marty's statement is designed to get American politicians to view Israel's disengagement from the territories as a giveaway to the psychopaths of Hamas, rather than the legitimate and just aspirations of the Palestinian people. Yet Marty is constantly described as a Zionist. In truth, he is merely a racist. And Zionism is not racism.

See, if Marty gets his way, two things will happen. First, Israel will become either an apartheid state or a binational state. That means Marty and his ilk will be responsible for the destruction of the state of Israel. And that's just for starters. Then, the world's 1.6 billion Muslims will view the U.S. -- the guarantor of Israeli security -- as implacably opposed to the just ambitions of the Palestinians, and a significant-enough portion of them will inflict enough pain upon us that our empire retreats. So Marty and his ilk are also threats to our national security. Double Guantanamo, indeed.

OK, so I'm being overheated. But someone who isn't overheated is the Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg, whose excellent new blog South Jerusalem surveys the American political scene and asks why those whose policies mean certain doom for Israel are called... pro-Israel.
Folks, if your rabbi gives a kashrut certificate to a restaurant serving ham and cheese sandwiches, it’s time to find a new rabbi. This is the Rev. John Hagee who has said,
“It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day…”
and the Hagee who has offered a thinly veiled defense of Yigal Amir, assassin of Yitzhak Rabin.

So if Aipac says Hagee is kosher , the question is whether anyone should credit Aipac with speaking for Jews. The same applies to Joe Lieberman, who seems interested in achieving the same status among Jews that Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas have achieved among Africa-Americans. (Abbie Hoffman to Judge Hoffman, Chicago, 1969: “You shtunk. Shande vor de goyim, huh?”) I urge any journalistic colleagues who accompany the McCain Medicine Show to Israel to ask the candidate at each question session: “Senator, do you still accept John Hagee’s endorsement?”
We are American Jewry. We are left and we are pro-Israel. We cast you out.
--Spencer Ackerman