Rep. Gary Ackerman speaking outside the United Nations in September 2011
The controversy over Howard Gutman’s remarks is proving to be a clarifying moment.
Similar to how the Democratic Party attacked Barack Obama over his call for peace negotiations to be based on the 1967 borders earlier this year, liberal Democrats are slamming Gutman, a big-time Democratic Party fundraiser. It’s one more example of this enduring truth: when it comes to Israel, there can be no deviation from the Israel lobby’s line, no critical thought–even when the guy doing it helps Democrats win elections. Gutman could become the latest casualty of the Democratic Party’s squeamishness on Israel.
The Washington Post’s neoconservative blogger Jennifer Rubin calls up some of the Democratic Party’s leading Zionists–and Gary Ackerman, the New York liberal who is one of the most hardline supporters of Zionism in Congress, seemingly calls Gutman an anti-Semite.
Pro-Israel activist and former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block had this response: “This is a very disappointing set of comments from the State Department, which refused to condemn the remarks from the Obama appointee and campaign bundler who said, speaking as US ambassador, that there are two kinds of anti-Semitism. Contrary to his comments, all violence and against jews is anti-Semitism, not ‘anti-Semitism’ in quotes! And is the fault of the society where it occurs, not caused by the justification of its perpetrators. “ He blasted the administration as well: “The Ambassador’s comments were reprehensible, and so is the State Department’s refusal to condemn them directly, and to recall this representative of the American people. Rather than seek to make excuses for anti-Semitism, and promote its justification, Mr. Gutman should spend his breath condemning those who countenance such violence…”
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) told Right Turn: “There is no difference between the anti-Semites who hate Jews because they hate Jews and those who feel a need to cite a reason for their hateful anti-Semitism. Anyone who thinks they are different is simply anti-Semitic.”
This is the same Ackerman who called efforts at holding Israel accountable through international law an expression of anti-Semitism. And now he is smearing Gutman for a speech that rings true.
As the Democratic Party begins to turn the heat on the Obama administration, just how long will Gutman last in his post?