The Goldbergian principle: People who hate Jews are anti-Semites, anti-Zionists are anti-Semites, thus anti-Semites who like Israel are just fine.

on 12 Comments
After the break-up the latest plot by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to attack the U.S. by FedExing bombs set to blow up in mid-air, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic set out to use the attempted attack as a way to disprove ‘linkage‘ – ie, the notion that solving (or even pressuring Israel to solve) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a productive step towards helping the U.S. with its myriad problems in the Mid East, including international extremist Muslim terror.* 
Goldberg specifically offers a roundabout defense of settlements:

[T]he people… who manufactured these bomb are fundamentally annihilationist in outlook, meaning that they have as a primary goal the killing of Jews, everywhere. This shouldn’t be a controversial conclusion to make, but there are many people out there who believe that al Qaeda and its fellow travelers are angry over settlements. They are not. They are angry over the continued existence of Jews.

It’s a bit of a funny stance to take for someone who has participated in several loud attempts (despite his logic’s severe flaws) to characterize harsh criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism. Another poignant example of Goldberg’s conflation is his attempt to conflate Judaism with Zionism — cf, his attempt to label Weiss and other anti-Zionists as ‘not Jews.’  I’m in no way endorsing the logic (I’m a tireless advocate of non-violence to the point of dabbling in pacifism), but if you say that ‘all Jews are Zionists’ you no longer have the privilege of saying that those who attack Jews outside of Israel are not doing so because of Israel.

Goldberg tirelessly works to erase the very distinction he blames these terrorists for not seeing. In short, Goldberg wants to have his cake (Judea and Samaria, maybe) and eat it, too: Those who dare take on Israel do it because they hate the Jews, but those that attack the Jews don’t care a whit about Israel.

At some point, Goldberg will have to make the choice between defending all Jews everywhere (yes, Jeffery, even anti-Zionists) and defending/apologizing for Israel’s expansionist policies. Or, given his booming silence on the matter of Glenn Beck’s anti-Semitic tirade, maybe his choice is already quite clear.

* Linkage does not, as the common straw-man argument would have it, mean immediately solve these problems, mind you, but help to solve them by reducing one of the strongest recruiting points for violent Islamic radicals and one of the starkest points of contention between the U.S. and even ‘moderate’ Muslims worldwide.

12 Responses

  1. Bandolero
    November 14, 2010, 11:01 am

    “[T]he people… who manufactured these bomb are fundamentally annihilationist in outlook, meaning that they have as a primary goal the killing of Jews, everywhere.”

    On tis I agree with Goldberg, could be that it’s this way. But then we differ in the opinion of who has perpetrated the crime. I think, it was the Mossad, who send the bombs. And I think, it was “former” IDF soldier Rita Katz, who spread the accompanying propaganda to make the crime a success.

    I believe the goal was to create an “October surprise”, so that more of the followership of anti-semite Glenn Becks would gain seats in congress and senate and these people would strongy support racist Zionist policies.

    • annie
      November 14, 2010, 12:43 pm

      I think, it was the Mossad, who send the bombs.

      shocking! why didn’t i think of that? (snark)

  2. Richard Witty
    November 14, 2010, 11:30 am

    I don’t get how the quote the your provided has any relation to your thesis.

  3. potsherd
    November 14, 2010, 11:53 am

    When Glen Beck makes the most vile antisemitic attacks against Jewish George Soros, where is the condemnation?

    • MarkF
      November 15, 2010, 2:30 pm

      Beck’s as pro-Israel as you can get. He did his radio show there many years ago when Israel was paying hosts like Oli North, Gordon Liddy, etc. to come and broadcast from there for a week. I heard him playing the song, “My Boogie Shoes” on air when he found out Arafat died.

      It’s bad when you’ve got Beck, Oli North, Liddy, Bobby Brown and Witney Houston to call upon.

  4. eljay
    November 14, 2010, 12:01 pm

    >> They are angry over the continued existence of Jews.

    I get the very real sense that Jews and Christians are angry over the continued existence of Muslims. I mean, Muslims are dirty and sneaky and Ay-rab and they hijacked Judeo-Christianity and they hate freedom and they supported the Holocaust and they killed Jesus…oh, wait a minute, Jews did that. ;-)

  5. Mooser
    November 14, 2010, 12:28 pm

    “The Goldbergian principle: People who hate Jews are anti-Semites, anti-Zionists are anti-Semites, thus anti-Semites who like Israel are just fine.”

    We see that principle at work every day. You hit it right on the head.

    But than again, to a Zionist, is a person who wants to get rid of the Jews (and “Jewish influence”) in the US (and send them to Israel) really an anti-Semite? Why no, of course not, he’s pro Israel!

  6. annie
    November 14, 2010, 1:07 pm

    a primary goal the killing of Jews, everywhere.

    this is the numero uno most effective hasbara fear tactic. it certainly doesn’t begin and end w/’the terrorists’. i wrote about it in my post called the trap

    Beware, this is the strawman we are up against. That we are out to end Israel’s existence, to destroy Israel, which inevitably will lead to the final death knell of the Jews. That’s what it boils down to, we support the end of the Jews. And that is why these so called ‘Liberal Zionists’ are not out battling the forces of the rightwing Zionist blogosphere advocating transfer and supporting the settlers. Because I’m worse.

    Pinch me so I can wake up from this nightmare. Don’t fall for it people. Don’t let them define you as the problem, because we are not the problem. Human Rights Activists are not the problem. Don’t let them turn the argument into us defending ourselves against this ridiculous aggressive victimhood strawman ad hominem argument. This is a trap. How many times do we have to go on the defensive and say “No no I don’t want to destroy Israel and the Jews” ? We want Israel to be a nice place, so they should fix it and direct their energies towards those ruining it. Get off our backs, we are not your problem.

    as long as israel is perceived as necessary for the survival of world jewry anything that can be construed as a threat to israel’s security gets segued by hasbarists into a threat against the survival of world jewry. that is why those of us who argue against israel’s intransigence are accused of wanting to ‘destroy’ israel, and the trajectory into destroying jews is not far behind. maybe it isn’t always said directly but this is the underlying message. it is brainwashing.

  7. hughsansom
    November 14, 2010, 1:12 pm

    One thing to note here with respect to Goldberg’s lunacy appearing in The Atlantic: Can anyone imagine The Atlantic tolerating a writer asserting that “Likud and its fellow travelers are angry over the continued existence of Palestinians”? Martin Kramer, Avigdor Lieberman, Martin Peretz, Pamela Geller and a host of others, including member of the US Congress, have made statements suggesting just that. But when Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer offered a far more mild argument, The Atlantic turned tail and ran.

    Such is the atmosphere of anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hysteria in the US today.

  8. yourstruly
    November 15, 2010, 2:26 am

    Zionism is not Judaism because it’s the ideology of a colonial state, Israel, where Jewish settlers occupy another people’s homeland, something which violates the Jewish tradition of always siding with oppressed, never with the oppressor. Since Zionism is not Judaism no way can anti-Zionism be antisemitic. As a matter of fact it’s Zionism, not anti-Zionism that’s antisemitic, the reason being that Zionist Israel claims that it speaks for all Jews, thereby setting us up for blowback from violent Islamic movements that oppose the settler state’s conquest of Palestine. Thus it is that Zionist Israel, purportedly set up as a sancturary for Jews victimized by antisemitism, turns out to be the entity whose actions stoke the flames of antisemitism, a potentially dangerous development about which the settler-state couldn’t care less*. Why would its leaders when they’re so desperate for diaspora Jews to immigrate to Israel so as to ameliorate the so-called demographic problem?

    *no surprise this, since during WW II international Zionist leaders turned down deals with Nazi Germany that would have allowed tens of thousands of Eastern European Jews to attain sanctury in the West. What those actions amounted to was get thee to Palestine or die.

    means that anti-Zionism cannot be anti-Semitic.

    If Zionism = Judaism then prior to the late 19th century when Zionism was invented, there shouldn’t have been any Jews in the world. Except there were Jews, which tells us that Zionism does not = Judaism.

    • yourstruly
      November 15, 2010, 2:31 am

      where’s that edit button? I meant to end the comment with get thee to Palestine or die.

  9. Citizen
    November 15, 2010, 7:23 am

    On his anti-Soros show last Thursday, Beck himself preemptively invoked his support for Israel against charges of anti-Semitism:

    “I think the most popular is going to be – if I had to guess, their attack is going to be that I’m anti-Semite, which does not even make any sense. First of all, no one is a bigger defender of Jews and Israel than me. Name them on television.

    I’ll tell you what – George, you and I will walk down the streets of Israel together. Let’s go to Jerusalem – you and me. Let’s see which one of us is more popular. It doesn’t make sense.”

    The basic argument is that support for Israel and anti-Semitism are mutually exclusive.

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