Valerie Plame retweeted a link to this article.
I’m afraid that just yelling “anti-Semitism” does not shut down conversation like it used to.
Valerie Plame had to know what she was doing. The unmasked former CIA officer retweeted a virulently anti-Semitic article by a well-known bigot on the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah, which she characterized as “thoughtful.” Now she’s trying to make excuses, but they don’t wash.
The retweeted article by Phillip Giraldi itself contains the usual anti-Semitic tropes: Jews are guilty of dual loyalty; they control politicians, the media and entertainment; they want the U.S. to fight wars for the country to which they have real allegiance – Israel; they are dangerous to America. Giraldi has been pushing this garbage for years and Plame is one of his fans.
But this particular article goes much further in its neo-Nazi imagery. It states: “The media should be required to label (Jews like Bill Kristol) at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up …. That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison – translating roughly as ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”
In other words, Jewish supporters of Israel – like Kristol and me – should have to wear the modern-day equivalent of the yellow star Nazis forced Jews to wear before we are allowed to appear on TV and poison real Americans. Nice stuff that Plame was retweeting and characterizing as thoughtful.
This was not the first time Plame retweeted Giraldi’s garbage. In 2014 she retweeted one of his screeds with the following notation: “Well put.” And after retweeting the current anti-Semitic article she described it as: “Yes, very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish. Ugh.”
Nor is this the only time that Plame has retweeted other nonsense from the bigoted platform this piece came from – a platform of which she has pleaded ignorance. According to journalist Yashar Ali, Plame has retweeted at least eight other articles from the same website since 2014. Sounds like she is into some strange websites.
I actually read the Philip Giraldi article – before I was aware of the Plame tweet – on a neo-Nazi website, where Giraldi’s articles are frequently featured. That’s where his articles belong – on overtly anti-Semitic sites.
For Plame to claim that she was unaware of the anti-Semitic content of Giraldi’s article is to ignore reality. Plame had to be aware, since she was aware of Giraldi’s bigotry. Her apologies ring hollow.
Plame’s true feelings were revealed in what she said before she realized that she would be widely condemned for her original retweet. She must now do more than apologize.
The former CIA operative must explain how she came upon the article. Who sent it to her? Does she regularly read bigoted website? Why is she reading and retweeting a known anti-Semite? What are her own personal views regarding the content of the Giraldi’s article?
The Plame incident reflects a broader problem, which I wrote about in June for the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, in a piece headlined “A New Tolerance for Anti-Semitism.”
There is a growing tolerance for anti-Semitism. Even when some people themselves do not harbor these feelings, they are willing to support those who do, as long as the anti-Semites are on their side of the political spectrum.
This is an unacceptable approach, especially in the post-Holocaust era. Unfortunately, Valerie Plame is the poster child for this growing tolerance for hatred. She must be called out on it, as must others who follow the same path of bigotry.
The problem exists both on the hard right and the hard left. Both extremes see the world in racial, ethnic and religious terms. Both engage in identity politics: the hard left gives more weight to the views of certain minorities; while the hard right gives less weight to the views of these same minorities.
Both are equally guilty of reductionism and stereotyping. Neither group is prepared to judge individuals on their individual merits and demerits. Both insist on judging entire groups and of stereotyping.
American Jews – like other Americans – are deeply divided on important issues, such as the Iran nuclear deal, the current prospects for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the Trump administration’s foreign policies. To generalize about Jews is both factually and morally wrong.
What the hard right and hard left share in common is special bigotry toward Jews: the neo-Nazi right hates the Jewish people; and the hard left hates the nation-state of the Jewish people and those Jews who support it. Both views are bigoted and must not become acceptable among centrist liberals and conservatives.
Unz.com posts: “On the morning of September 21st Phil Giraldi was fired over the phone by The American Conservative, where he had been a regular contributor for fourteen years. He was told that “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” was unacceptable. The TAC management and board appear to have forgotten that the magazine was launched with an article by founder Pat Buchanan entitled “Whose War?” which largely made the same claims that Giraldi made about the Jewish push for another war, in that case with Iraq. Buchanan was vilified and denounced as an anti-Semite by many of the same people who are now similarly attacking Giraldi.”
I have read Philip Giraldi for years and every time I do, I find something thought-provoking. His passionate hatred for the Jewish state comes through again and again, which makes it difficult for people who don’t share his views to take him seriously.
I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”
It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.
Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.
And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.
Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “…a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”
And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.
So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews. Indeed, I would opine that most of the fury from Congress re Iran comes from the same source, with AIPAC showering our Solons on the Potomac with “fact sheets” explaining how Iran is worthy of annihilation because it has pledged to “destroy Israel,” which is both a lie and an impossibility as Tehran does not have the resources to carry out such a task. The AIPAC lies are then picked up and replayed by an obliging media, where nearly every “expert” who speaks about the Middle East on television and radio or who is interviewed for newspaper stories is Jewish.
One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan Administration and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby. Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East. Except for Israel, of course. Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel.
Add to the folly a Jewish U.S. Ambassador to Israel who identifies with the most right-wing Israeli settler elements, a White House appointed chief negotiator who is Jewish and a Jewish son-in-law who is also involved in formulating Middle East policy. Is anyone providing an alternative viewpoint to eternal and uncritical support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime of racist thugs? I think not.
There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don’t put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust. This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. Ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn’t you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by congress.
Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise first amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation. But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage.
For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g. Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.” That would be kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison – translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”
As none of the above is likely to happen, the only alternative is for American citizens who are tired of having their country’s national security interests hijacked by a group that is in thrall to a foreign government to become more assertive about what is happening. Shine a little light into the darkness and recognize who is being diddled and by whom. Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.
I hated his headline: “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars”
Surveys showed that American Jews were far less supportive of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 than other groups. In general, since WWII, American Jews have been less supportive of American armed intervention overseas than Americans in general. American Jews have been leaders in pacifism and anti-nuclear movements. You could just as accurately say, “America’s Jews Are Driving Opposition To America’s Wars.”
One leading criticism of Jews is that they don’t join the armed forces and fight for the gentile countries that host them (to the same proportion that non-Jews do). In certain instances, I am sure that is correct. For example, during WWII and the Vietnam War, all sorts of yeshivos sprung up for the primary purpose of allowing Jewish kids an opportunity to miss the draft by studying to be rabbis.
Different groups have different strengths. By and large, Jews are known more for their brains than their brawn while blacks, for example, are known more for their athletic and showbiz achievements than for their academic ones.
Regarding this claim from the article: “American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu”
American Jews are ambivalent about Netanyahu. To begin with, at least a third of American Jews do not care about Israel. Most American Jews are on the left. Netanyahu is a man of the right. I would estimate that twice as many American Jews are ambivalent or hostile towards Netanyahu as supportive. As for supporting armed intervention in the Middle East, proportionately, more American Jews oppose this than regular Americans.
Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.
Jews, in many ways, are influential and powerful above their 1.7% of the American population but the words “control” and “own” may be a stretch too far. The major media companies are publicly traded. Politicians don’t do everything that the organized Jewish community wants, including opposing the Iran deal. Jews do account for three-quarters of the donations of the Democratic party and at least 25% of money going to Republicans.
Ten years after their book The Israel Lobby, professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt reflected on WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago.
Stephen Walt: “AIPAC went all out against the deal, spending as much as $30 million to defeat it. The Israeli government was dead set against the deal and the Obama administration got it through. That illustrates something that we said in the book — the Israel Lobby is not all powerful. It doesn’t control every aspect of U.S. Middle East policy. When big strategic interests are on the line, especially when issues of war and peace are on the line, U.S. presidents can stand up to [the Israel Lobby]. AIPAC is not all powerful.”
John: “When we wrote about the Lobby, the Lobby didn’t have big disagreements… You are beginning to see a big divide opening up within the Lobby and within the American Jewish community. This will only get worse with time.”
“You can’t put meaningful pressure on Israel if you are an American president. What’s interesting about Donald Trump is that he realizes that and he’s given up. Why is Prime Minister Netanyahu such good friends with Donald Trump? Their attitude to the two-state solution. Donald Trump doesn’t give a hoot one way or another if you have a two-state solution or not.”
Yes, some American Jews have far more loyalty to the Jewish state than to America, but at least as many American Jews have more loyalty to America than to the Jewish state. I don’t think there’s a higher proportion of American Jews with primary loyalty to a foreign state than there is among Mexicans and Central Americans living in America or even among Japanese and Chinese living in America.
Giraldi writes: “But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country [Iran] that does not conceivably threaten the United States.”
Only a minority of American Jews want to go to war with Iran. Jews can’t force America to go to war. They can only lobby in their perceived self-interest, just as other groups do. If the goyim are too stupid or weak to resist an energized Jewish lobbying, is that the Jews’ fault?