The Spectacle Blog

Not In My Name

By on 6.25.08 | 1:32AM

If you weren't convinced that Joe Klein was a meshugener after reading yesterday's post, check out his follow-up tirade:


Then, what can one say about Jennifer Rubin, who accuses me of antisemitism? I must say that's rather thrilling coming from the Commentary crowd.You want evidence of divided loyalties? How about the "benign domino theory" that so many Jewish neoconservatives talked to me about--off the record, of course--in the runup to the Iraq war, the idea that Israel's security could be won by taking out Saddam, which would set off a cascade of disaster for Israel's enemies in the region? As my grandmother would say, feh! Do you actually deny that the casus belli that dare not speak its name wasn't, as I wrote in February 2003, a desire to make the world safe for Israel? Why the rush now to bomb Iran, a country that poses some threat to Israel but none--for the moment--to the United States...unless we go ahead, attack it, and the mullahs unleash Hezbollah terrorists against us? Do you really believe the mullahs would stage a nuclear attack on Israel, destroying the third most holy site in Islam and killing untold numbers of Muslims? I am not ruling out the use of force against Iran--it may come to that--but you folks seem to embrace it gleefully.

Furthermore, as a Jew, I find it offensive that the American Jewish Committee would support such an ideologically unbalanced publication as Commentary, one that spouts a Likudnik bellicosity that is out of sync with the beliefs of the vast majority of American Jews.


I have a few points, but first I want to note that I'll hereafter refer to Joe Klein simply as "Joe," because I don't want to besmirch the legacy of my great-grandfather, an honorable man who had the same name.

Joe continues to question the patriotism of Jewish supporters of the Iraq War, and now he says that the "divided loyalty" smear is true because anonymous Jewish conservatives told him (off-the record!!!) that invading Iraq would be beneficial to Israel's security. Even if I were to take Joe at his word, something I am not fully prepared to do, his assertion doesn't prove anything. Just because some people who happened to be Jewish and conservative supported the Iraq War and also thought it would be beneficial to Israel, it doesn't mean they supported the war because they thought it would help Israel. It's not clear from Joe's account how this came up in conversation anyway. Did he ask his anonymous focus group of Jewish neocons why they supported the invasion of Iraq, and they responded that they supported the invasion because it was good for Israel? Or did he pointedly ask the neocons how the invasion would affect Israel? And even if he did speak to a few Jews who held this view, how could he make the leap that it was those very people who determined U.S. policy in Iraq? And what does Joe think about the majority of Americans, of all religions, who supported the Iraq War? Were they just dupes of the Jews?

Joe writes, "Do you actually deny that the casus belli that dare not speak its name wasn't, as I wrote in February 2003, a desire to make the world safe for Israel?" It would be nice if he offered any evidence to back up his fringe claim that the U.S. went to war with Iraq for Israel's sake. Instead, he merely notes that he also made the charge more than five years ago, as if the fact that he keeps repeating it gives it more credence.

He goes on to assert that Iran, which has been a hostile regime toward the U.S. for nearly 30 years, which holds parliament sessions in which members chant "Death to America," which slaughtered American servicemen in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, which is currently sponsoring terrorist groups killing U.S. troops in Iraq, is not a threat to the America, and the only reason anybody would have any skittishness toward an Iranian nuclear program were if they were a Jewish conservative who put Israel before their own country.

Then Joe has the temerity to say that, as a Jew, he's offended that the American Jewish Committee supports Commentary magazine. Well, as a Jew, I'm offended that this hack thinks he can play chief Rabbi and declare that the only acceptable set of political beliefs for Jews is his brand of radical liberalism.

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