‘Atlantic’ writer provides no evidence for allegation that Harvard professor is anti-Semitic

Israel/Palestine
on 131 Comments

A friend just brought this to my attention, from two weeks ago. Jeffrey Goldberg on “Chuck Hagel and the Jews”:

[A reader asks] “Don’t you think it’s dangerous for groups like the American Jewish Committee and the ADL, etc., to get so identified with stopping Hagel, to associate Jews with this cause? Couldn’t this backfire?”
Jews are unpopular when they’re powerless. They’re unpopular when they’re powerful. They might as well be powerful, no? Do you think Stephen Walt is going to suddenly like Jews when Jewish groups lose whatever political influence they have?

It’s amazing that the Atlantic would give Goldberg a platform for such a malicious statement. But he’s gone even further in the past.

[Walt] makes his living scapegoating Jews… grubby Jew-baiters like Stephen Walt.

It is devastating to be accused of anti-Semitism. Peter Beinart:

The core truth is this: In American punditry today, you can casually accuse a decorated war hero of bigotry against Jews or Israel secure in the knowledge that while the accusation may destroy his career, it will never imperil your own. Until that changes, nothing will. 

Most remarkably, Goldberg provides no evidence whatsoever to support his charge. None. Walt, a Harvard professor and former dean at the Kennedy School, has been sharply critical of Israel in the book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy and in his blog on Foreign Policy, but where’s the anti-Semitism? In that book, Walt and his co-author John Mearsheimer repeatedly cite the dark history of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States, and point out that Jewish persecution was fed by overblown theories of Jewish influence– then take care throughout their analysis to distinguish between “an interest group whose ranks are mostly Jewish” and Jews generally. They echo JJ Goldberg’s view in the book Jewish Power that “an entity called the Jewish community” has played politics in “rough-and-tumble” style and say it is “fair and indeed necessary” to examine the effects of interest-group politics. The idea that Steve Walt is anti-Semitic is preposterous and outrageous. He has made his career in a largely Jewish community, his chair at Harvard is endowed by a Jew, he was introduced by a Jewish friend at a speaking engagement I went to last summer. After the Washington Post implied he was anti-Semitic a few years ago, I asked Walt if it was true as I’d heard that he was married to a Jew; Walt wrote to the New York Observer to explain that his wife is from “a culturally Jewish extended family” in New York and added:

As you might imagine, I find this whole type of discussion disheartening. Our country shouldn’t be debating important issues by focusing on people’s individual characteristics and backgrounds. That is what racists and anti-semites do: they look at someone’s heritage and claim to know what they think, what they believe, and how they will act. Instead of focusing on our arguments and evidence, people want to look for some hidden motivation.

Normally, when a supposedly serious journalist tells repeated falsehoods (i.e., he lies), he can expect to suffer some professional consequences.  But not in this case.

Update: Goldberg also writes for Bloomberg.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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131 Responses

  1. OlegR
    January 3, 2013, 10:02 am

    You forgot to add that some of his best friends are Jewish…

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 3, 2013, 12:05 pm

      Yes, Oleg, as Walt is one of the subhuman goyim, he is incapable of demonstrating a lack of anti-Jewish feeling. You must be demonstrating that famed “Jewish liberalism” I keep hearing about…

    • Boston
      January 3, 2013, 3:55 pm

      The real problem is that you have to qualify any criticism of Israel or anyone who is Jewish (well, excep those who dare roam outside the mainstream on Israel — they are fair game) with declarations of your love and admiration for Israel and the Jewish people.

      This is, or course, not required at all when people rip Muslims, arabs, brown immigrants, etc.

    • ritzl
      January 3, 2013, 4:31 pm

      Oh FFS, Oleg. If you’re going to use that phrase as an innuendo smear, you have to use the whole phrase which, IFF both conditions are true about a person, then becomes a valid negative observation.

      “Some of my best friends are [blank], BUT I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one.”

    • Mooser
      January 4, 2013, 1:11 pm

      “You forgot to add that some of his best friends are Jewish…”

      You can make a pretty good determination of who Oleg’s best friends are by clicking his name above his comments, which links you to his comment archive.

    • EUR1069
      January 4, 2013, 6:05 pm

      How very juvenile of Goldberg. What’s next? Sticking his tongue out at Walt? They are clearly panicking over the Hagel nomination.
      As for how to fight hollow accusations of anti-semitism, suing for defamation/libel would do just fine – giving the Abe Foxmans a taste of their own medicine.

    • EUR1069
      January 4, 2013, 6:08 pm

      Nah, Oleg.. [why the Russian name tho?].. having Jewish friends won’t help f they want to demonize & destroy you.. even being a Jew won’t – just ask Norm Finkelstein

  2. Steve Macklevore
    January 3, 2013, 10:13 am

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Phil.

    While it’s true that in the past the lobby could finish people’s careers off for good, the situation is much changed now.

    Thanks to our opponents crying ANTISEMITE! far too many times and in far too many situations, the charge itself has zero weight in Europe and is diminishing by the day in the USA. Consider just how many genuinely great and good figures have been accused of antisemitism in the recent past, and the accusation becomes nonsensical, simply a bad joke.

    Steve Walt’s post and reputation is secure, no matter how much Jeffery Goldberg might wish otherwise.

    • EUR1069
      January 4, 2013, 6:16 pm

      Steve, very true. The accusation of anti-semitism, pushed ad absurdum will lose its weight & ultimately self-destruct. Recommended flick on the subject: “Defamation” by Yoav Shamir. Abe Foxman, who is pulling half a mil in annual salary, among other things, worries about Polish dolls depicting Hasidic Jews. You think Jews are subhumans? You’re an anti-semite. You criticize Israel? You’re an anti-semite. You don’t like gefilte fish? You’re an anti-semite. LOL

  3. amigo
    January 3, 2013, 10:41 am

    Beinart—In American punditry today, you can casually accuse a decorated war hero of bigotry against Jews or Israel secure in the knowledge that while the accusation may destroy his career, it will never imperil your own. Until that changes, nothing will.

    Well then, when they have destroyed Israel, they will have destroyed their own Careers.

    Israel must be the most unlucky nation on the planet, having these bimbos,(Goldberg/Koch/Kristol et al) defending or should that be destroying it.

    • Mooser
      January 4, 2013, 1:13 pm

      “Israel must be the most unlucky nation on the planet, having these bimbos,(Goldberg/Koch/Kristol et al) defending or should that be destroying it.”

      I don’t know, Nationalist China might run a close second.

  4. Sin Nombre
    January 3, 2013, 10:41 am

    What bothers me stems from the facts that Goldberg obviously believes this (he knows full well that saying this promiscuously just devalues the charge, and doing so invalidly against a guy like Walt could only incite distrust of jews in the most elite of spheres), and that there seems to be lots of support for Goldberg’s views.

    So … what are gentiles supposed to think of jews if we are all just a moderate comment or observation or so away from being regarded by jews as “grubby” anti-semites?

    If indeed they feel themselves utterly surrounded by 300+ million either gross anti-semites or subtle ones or merely nascent ones, do they really feel themselves part of this nation? Part of this community?

    I wouldn’t. Nor do I think any normal person would.

    And so again how are gentiles supposed to feel about this?

    I can well understand—and indeed agree with—the idea that because of the Holocaust especially, but also just because of simple human courtesy, politeness, consideration and etc. that one should avoid giving unnecessary offense. Be sensitive to natural and normal and even extra-sensitive feelings.

    But aren’t we in essence being asked to say *nothing* unless it’s laudatory? To avoid any and all comments or even questions—such as Walt and Mearsheimer made and asked—that might upset the hyper-sensitive too?

    Quite clearly that’s not just the desired rule but indeed very close to the situation in the U.S. at least.

    It’s funny, but all we can seem to hear in any discussion of jewish/gentile issues is the question of … how jews feel. Not unlike reading about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict where so often we’re told that no, the Palestinians really don’t care about the settlements, but that of course there’s no question but that any peace deal has to accept the biggest of those settlements. (Because, apparently, what the Palestinians really want is up for grabs, and because what the Israelis want just has to happen as if God had decreed it.)

    Oddly though, I never seem to see any discussion of how jews feel that *gentiles* should feel about being regarded apparently as just one tiny step away from being genocidaires.

    Or, to put this another way simply reversing the Goldbergian sensibility: If I believed that jews—in the main and on the whole, and to some realistic degree—were really just a step away from wishing to kill or subjugate me as a gentile or a Christian, I don’t think anyone would deny that this would be anti-semitism of the worst sort.

    So how come, when we merely flip that proposition, nobody’s calling Goldberg or all the similar believers—which would seem to include whole rafts of mainstream jewish spokespeople at least—”anti-gentile,” “anti-Christian,” or “Christian-haters”?

    Seems intemperate, but why given the logic involved? Someone please tell me: Why are these labels invalid?

    Phil? Adam? Anyone?

    • Donald
      January 3, 2013, 1:33 pm

      I wouldn’t quite say it was Christian hatred–it’s more a sense of ownership on the victimhood label, where because of centuries of Christian anti-semitism all Christians are on permanent probation as possible anti-semites. This connects with our disagreement in the other thread on a point where we agree, because it is a form of politically correct bullying. It’s convenient, because it gives the owner of the victim mantle the moral high ground (at least in his own mind.) In reality Goldberg is a Long Island boy who moved to Israel and became a prison guard and then back here to become a hack journalist who helped lie us into the Iraq War, but in his own mind he’s the judge of who is a bigot and who isn’t. I think a big breakthrough will come when people realize that there’s no automatic dispensation of virtue that comes from being a member of a group that has been persecuted, and no automatic dispensation of guilt for being a member of the group that had been the persecutors, and the victims of bigotry in one set of circumstances can turn right around and be the perpetrators of it in another.

      • American
        January 3, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Well said donald.

      • stevieb
        January 5, 2013, 12:53 pm

        ‘Christian hatred’ is not the only part of it – but it most certainly is a part of it. Whether it is formed on the basis of Christianity’s ‘antisemitic’ past is debatable – but it is most certainly a part of it…

    • lysias
      January 3, 2013, 2:04 pm

      As an Irish-American, I do not feel that I or anybody else has the right to demand that, because of Cromwell’s genocidal policies four centuries ago and/or because of the British genocidal-in-effect policies during the Potato Famine a century and a half ago and/or because of the English/British centuries-long tyranny over Ireland that ended in 1922, people have any obligation to be particularly deferential to the feelings of myself and other Irish people. It’s enough if they observe the common politeness due any other group and avoid being gratuitously and deliberately offensive.

      The Holocaust is now 70 years in the past.

      • American
        January 3, 2013, 3:38 pm

        Another well said lysias.

      • piotr
        January 4, 2013, 5:04 pm

        I disagree. I think that as an Irish, lysias deserves my deference. By the way, Ireland get the rotating presidency of EU and there is some teeth gnashing in Israel on that account.

      • RoHa
        January 4, 2013, 9:11 pm

        “I think that as an Irish, lysias deserves my deference”

        But lysias isn’t Irish. He’s American.

      • lysias
        January 6, 2013, 3:01 pm

        And Jews in this country aren’t Israelis or European Jews either.

    • Boston
      January 4, 2013, 7:32 am

      I think it is a distortion of reality to view the Jews as an historically persecuted group. It seems to me if you want to see what groups have been systemically and consistently persecuted by society you just need to see who is at the bottom of the barrel today. Natives of the Americas and Pacific Isles, black people throughout the world. How the wealthiest, most influential group of white people manages to sell themselves as the all time biggest victim is a monument to the power of propaganda

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2013, 1:05 pm

        How the wealthiest, most influential group of white people manages to sell themselves as the all time biggest victim is a monument to the power of propaganda

        that’s sorta my take on things too. which doesn’t negate anyone’s past suffering nor diminish others suffering as ‘lessor than’. who suffers most isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a competing narrative. in terms of the ‘throughout history’ category there are lots of ‘peoples’ who didn’t make it and ‘peoples’ literally threatened with extinction today we probably don’t even know about.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 2:47 pm

        “How the wealthiest, most influential group of white people manages to sell themselves as the all time biggest victim is a monument to the power of propaganda”

        Well, Annie, I hate to break it to you, but in America, Judaism is almost entirely a voluntary association, and if you don’t like the current ethos, it’s much, much easier to limit your contact with it than it is to change it.
        And that leaves the “jewish leaders” with pretty much free rein. Money, megaphone and mimeograph, that’s all you need. They don’t actually need any Jews to lead, so there’s very little back-talk.
        Perfect for a completely fungible self-definition and infinitely corruptible.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2013, 5:12 pm

        And that leaves the “jewish leaders” with pretty much free rein…. there’s very little back-talk…..Perfect for a completely fungible self-definition and infinitely corruptible.

        well, there’s been some back talk lately. i think the victim mantel has worn a little thin.

      • libra
        January 5, 2013, 11:25 am

        Mooser, this may well be true:

        Well, Annie, I hate to break it to you, but in America, Judaism is almost entirely a voluntary association, and if you don’t like the current ethos, it’s much, much easier to limit your contact with it than it is to change it.

        But does it mean this following statement is equally true?

        And that leaves the “jewish leaders” with pretty much free rein. Money, megaphone and mimeograph, that’s all you need. They don’t actually need any Jews to lead, so there’s very little back-talk.

        Are you seriously trying to have us believe that one by one disillusioned American Jews have nearly all left the room till there are only the “jewish leaders” on stage talking to a scattering of Witty’s, Hophmi’s and Biorabbi’s?

        If true this is quite shocking news to me. Have Phil, Adam and Alex joined this apathetic majority? Because they certainly haven’t bothered to report on this development. Can anyone else confirm it?

      • Philip Weiss
        January 5, 2013, 11:38 am

        It’s an interesting question; and the atherosclerotic nature of Hoenlein and Foxman’s opposition as “Jewish leaders” to Al Jazeera coming to the US supports Mooser’s view that it’s an authoritarian house of cards

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2013, 7:41 pm

        “Are you seriously trying to have us believe that one by one disillusioned American Jews have nearly all left the room till there are only the “jewish leaders” on stage talking to a scattering of Witty’s, Hophmi’s and Biorabbi’s?”

        Not at all. I am saying that since Judaism is voluntary, and since Jews can choose the degree and type of association they have with it, those Jews who are not happy with it in its entirety, or in any aspect, generally leave it or modify their relationship with it to avoid that conflict. Is that fair enough to say? And remember, Judaism has that same right in regard to its followers!! Okay? So just as I, say, can leave Judaism, or relate to it the way I please, the religion can do the same to me. Anotherwords, if I leave or modify my relationship, they have no obligation to run after me and ask me why, or tell me we have to work out some compromise. They just shrug and say, well, if he doesn’t agree, he can go. They don’t say, “he’s (or they in the case of a group) a Jew, and therefore must be accounted for, and included in some way” Nope, they just go “he’s no longer a Jew, so he doesn’t count”. Nor does anybody else say: “He (or they) are yours and you must find a way of including or compromising with them.
        (And of course, in a democracy like the US, nobody should say those things.)
        Is that not, although very clumsily expressed, the reality of the nature of the relationship between individual Jews and organised Judaism? And isn’t that perfect for, since it does not include any mechanism or process whereby those Jews who are not in agreement with what might be called the “Jewish establishment” must be included and accounted for, because they are Jews, producing a pretty good unaminity? That’s why I say followers are really, just an impediment to what one might call ‘professional Jews’

      • piotr
        January 6, 2013, 11:44 am

        Remember the groups that are no more. Look up “Caedite eos”.

    • Mooser
      January 4, 2013, 12:39 pm

      “And so again how are gentiles supposed to feel about this?”

      It would almost pathetically presumptuous to tell you how to feel. You are responsible for your own feelings. However if you need a suggestion which might comport well with Gentiles, I would suggest reading what’s usually called”The Sermon on the Mount”or the “Beatitudes” or something. I can’t see Gentiles getting the wrong feelings out of that. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you Gentiles are Christians, right?
      But again, it’s hardly for us to tell Gentiles what to “feel” or even think. You can manage that on your own, right?

  5. Krauss
    January 3, 2013, 11:31 am

    As always, it intrigues me why the Atlantic keeps Goldberg on.
    If you discount Goldberg, there’s precious few left on that site who are Zionists. Many probably do not like Zionism; after all, why should they? Zionism isn’t liberalism. Zionism is aggressive ethnic nationalism. It’s the very anti-thesis to a liberal.

    But before I speculate, let me just note one more thing about Goldberg.
    Goldberg, in his ‘memoirs'(the best way I can put it), admitted that in his youth he was a follower of Kahane, not organizationally, but an admirer from distance.
    If you don’t know who Kahane is, I’d recommend googling the guy. It’s revealing look into the connected sewers that make up the mind of Jeff Goldberg.

    What really struck me was when he wrote about Kahane’s funeral.
    As I read the passages, I was shocked to see just how amazingly ambivalent he was about that fascist, even neo-Nazi(if there could be sucha thing), Jew, despite the fact that Kahane’s notorious and deranged racism was well, well known by then.

    As I read one, he reluctantly conceded that Kahane’s violent, ultra-aggressive fantasies of outright ethnic cleansing was “unhelpful”, he nonetheless stated ambivalent admiration, even after the old man’s death.

    This truly stunned me. Can you even imagine a self-proposed white Gentile ‘liberal’ who openly sympathized with David Duke and/or other neo-Nazis and wrote of their reluctant admiration of the men if/when they die, even if they put in a tactical “they were wrong” as a pure tactical concession? I tell you, they wouldn’t even get a second look on their CV.

    Yet it keeps amazing me how the Jewish variant, of essentially the same thing, of the violent white racist version, keeps somehow getting forgiven. Zionists like Goldberg keeps talking about double standards. He probably knows deep down that a racist like himself operates under one.

    Second, just a quick note, about just another nail in the supposed liberal coffin of Goldberg. Namely: whenever he ‘attacks’ Israel he always empores the racist ultra-right in his next post. Notice the premise, a premise Goldberg doesn’t challenge(!), about how all those who are for Hagel, or at the very least “those driving the conversation”, are supposed anti-Semites. Goldberg buys this line completely. His thuggish racist side rears its ugly head. He emphasizes completely with this sentiment, and gives it ample room.

    But, finally, returning to why Goldberg is somehow kept on. Well, he did diversify to Bloomberg. I don’t think that is a coincidence.
    He probably feels less wanted. James Fallon, a typical careless liberal WASP, is the most important person editorially at the Atlantic. He subtly nudges Goldberg about his Zionism, but never really bites thoroughly. My guess is access. Goldberg has tremendous access to the most bigoted, and most powerful, corners of the Israel lobby. He is also the mouthpiece of Israeli propaganda(like his support for the Iraq war, or his support for the Iran war).

    Yet Fallon has to, at some level, actually think that Goldberg is an independent journalist. He isn’t. He’s a lobbyist. But that’s another story.

    • seanmcbride
      January 3, 2013, 12:46 pm

      Krauss,

      As always, it intrigues me why the Atlantic keeps Goldberg on.
      If you discount Goldberg, there’s precious few left on that site who are Zionists. Many probably do not like Zionism; after all, why should they? Zionism isn’t liberalism. Zionism is aggressive ethnic nationalism. It’s the very anti-thesis to a liberal.

      This is why it is absolutely inevitable that Israel and Zionism are going to lose the support of authentic liberals all around the world.

      But Israel and Zionism can’t count on the support of the right either — many right-wingers are ethnic or religious nationalists with their own agendas, ones which often conflict with Israel’s.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 2:52 pm

        “This is why it is absolutely inevitable that Israel and Zionism are going to lose the support of authentic liberals all around the world.”

        But Israel and Zionism will always have the support of the hard-edged elite meritorious global technocracy and corporations, so there’s always a place for you in Tel Aviv, Sean.
        Or do you want to banish Judaism, with its “four core drivers” from the Western Civilisation and technological elite? Wouldn’t it be better to eliminate the “four core drivers” so the hand of the market will be more gentle?

    • Donald
      January 3, 2013, 1:14 pm

      “James Fallon”

      James Fallow.

      • seanmcbride
        January 3, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Let’s get his name right: James Fallows.

        He is one of top 25 pundits on the planet, and everything that Goldberg would like to be, but isn’t. He isn’t shackled by obsessive-compulsive ethnocentrism. He looks at the world whole.

      • RoHa
        January 3, 2013, 7:54 pm

        “James Fallows. He is one of top 25 pundits on the planet”

        Really? I’ve never heard of him. How much of the planet has heard of him?

      • seanmcbride
        January 3, 2013, 9:03 pm

        Fallows is one of the top 25 pundits on the planet in my opinion. Maybe within the top 10 when I think about it. By “top” I mean smart, thoughtful, gifted with a wide-ranging mind, impeccably literate, balanced temperament, tech-savvy, well-educated in the broad humanist sense, good instincts, etc. Much more impressive than the neocon and neolib regulars at the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. I’ve been reading him for quite a few years.

        Feel free to disagree and share your list.

        Let’s see: Fallows, Greenwald, Sullivan, Weiss, Cole, Ashbrook, Taibbi, Kevin Kelly, Giraldi, Parry, Clemons, Scahill, Drew…. I need to think more about this.

        Goldberg? Non-stop ethnocentric drone without any resonance for 99% of the human race — he barely has it under control — the tone, I mean. Walt really derails his sanity. Everything with Goldberg always comes back to his eternal battle against his ethnic enemies. When I discovered that he had been a Kahanist, it came as no shock. That is how he is wired.

        Oh, by pundit I mean someone doing regular political/social commentary. Visionary is an entirely different and higher order of mind. Brin, Page, Kurzweil, Bezos, etc.

      • RoHa
        January 3, 2013, 10:37 pm

        “Fallows, Greenwald, Sullivan, Weiss, Cole, Ashbrook, Taibbi, Kevin Kelly, Giraldi, Parry, Clemons, Scahill, Drew”

        If Weiss is our own Philip, I know him. Who are all the rest? Columnists in American newspapers? There are an awful lot of newspapers on the planet, and an awful lot of columnists.

      • Donald
        January 3, 2013, 11:36 pm

        “Let’s get his name right: James Fallows.”

        Darn, you’re right. I should have looked him up.

        Top 25 pundits on the planet–what a scary notion. With a few honorable exceptions it’d be like listing one’s favorite serial killers. You have a list fetish.

      • seanmcbride
        January 4, 2013, 11:09 am

        Donald,

        You have a list fetish.

        You have no idea.

        Actually, there are minds at the cutting edge of AI and Semantic Web research who are firmly convinced that all the knowledge in the world can be expressed as a single manipulable and machine-inferencable list of centillions of simple semantic assertions. Building this list is the Holy Grail of a grand project that could revolutionize human civilization more than any previous technology. There is much more to lists than meet the eye.

        Regarding the best pundits in the world: it is easy to filter and trim down that list from the outset by eliminating any pundit who supported the Iraq War — the worst foreign policy disaster in American history. In fact, their licenses for practicing punditry should be removed and they should be shipped to Siberia.

      • libra
        January 4, 2013, 11:27 am

        Donald: You have a list fetish.

        Donald, judging by Sean’s (short) list of visionaries you may have a point. Let’s quickly run down this list:
        Page, Brin – the Internet sorted into an indexed list
        Kurzweil – optically scanning any list and speaking it back to you.
        Bezos – your shopping list online

        Now this list of list pioneers seems curiously incomplete. Why did Sean omit Craig? I think we should be told.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 12:44 pm

        “You have a list fetish.”

        Careful there, Donald! A list can be “a machine of great cognitive power”.
        Let me give you an example; if those twenty-five top pundits Sean listed were laid end to end, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit!

      • seanmcbride
        January 4, 2013, 1:19 pm

        libra,

        What you need to be thinking about is how many lists Google and Amazon.com now have in their possession and what they can do with them. That is quite a topic.

      • RoHa
        January 4, 2013, 8:48 pm

        “Regarding the best pundits in the world: it is easy to filter and trim down that list from the outset by eliminating any pundit who supported the Iraq War ”

        I really admire your dedication. It must have been a mammoth task reviewing every pundit on the planet from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. I shudder to think of your bill from the translation services.

    • Boston
      January 4, 2013, 7:33 am

      To compare David Duke with Kahane does Duke a great disservice.

      • seanmcbride
        January 4, 2013, 1:21 pm

        Boston,

        To compare David Duke with Kahane does Duke a great disservice.

        Forget about Meir Kahane — Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett are much more extreme in their ethnic nationalism than David Duke. Certainly most Likud Zionists are. And liberal Zionists are providing cover for Likud Zionists.

  6. American
    January 3, 2013, 11:35 am

    “Jews are unpopular when they’re powerless. They’re unpopular when they’re powerful. They might as well be powerful, no? Do you think Stephen Walt is going to suddenly like Jews when Jewish groups lose whatever political influence they have?”…..goldberg

    This is the brain on ziocaine.
    As always I am struck by the hypocrisy of bigots calling other people bigots.

    And Goldberg reminds me of Jackie Rose’s theory in the’ Question of Zion’ that some people are attracted to zionism (and other cults) because of personal mental or emotional disorders.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 3, 2013, 12:32 pm

      for the most part, jewish americans are not unpopular in american culture. that’s ridiculous. he’s just perpetuating a stereotype because for some reason it serves his argument.

      • American
        January 3, 2013, 12:45 pm

        annie……I think goldberg really believes what he says….I think he does think people hate Jews (as much as he hates non Jews) …it’s the way he express this—- using very slimy terms and descriptions, it’s personal for him. There are others who always talk about persecution of the Jews and vicitm hood and so forth but more in historical terms and etc..
        Goldberg goes very dirty and nasty in his language, very visceral when he does it.

  7. Stephen Shenfield
    January 3, 2013, 11:43 am

    Professor Walt: Won’t you please sue Goldberg for libel? Surely you would have a very strong case. Maybe it will create a deterrent to such defamation.

    • NickJOCW
      January 4, 2013, 9:35 am

      If The Atlantic is sold in England, he could certainly sue there and confidently look to substantial damages, and costs. It would make a fascinating and valuable case.

      • Rusty Pipes
        January 4, 2013, 5:02 pm

        Since the original Israel Lobby article by M&W was published by the London Review of Books, Walt’s suing the Atlantic’s Goldberg for defamation in England would have a certain balance.

  8. HarryLaw
    January 3, 2013, 11:45 am

    Only when well known people like Professor S Walt sue for libel or slander will people like Goldberg cease tarring opponents with the false anti-Semitic accusations, in many cases the accusations can end a career in Goldberg’s case he asserts it with actual malice designed to bring professor Walt’s reputation into disrepute, how about it professor?

    • American
      January 3, 2013, 12:30 pm

      link to injury.findlaw.com

      I agree more of these slanders should be sued but in Walt’s case I don’t believe he has suffered any actual ‘injury’ from it which is a requirement in these kind of suits.
      But there have been many, many more less renowned academics who really have been ‘injured’ ..suffered some career, job or livelihood lose they could prove was directly connected to the zio accusations.
      Why they don’t do this is probably mostly a matter of legal cost and distaste for getting into that kind of battle.
      It would be good if one of the big legal arms in civil rights arena took on some cases like those. Wouldn’t take too many wins in court to make the zios think twice before they opened their mouths and lost their shirts in legal fees and damages to the plaintiff.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 3, 2013, 12:39 pm

      Walt would lose the suit. Walt is a limited public figure when it comes to this issue, so the stricter standard is applicable and Walt almost certainly can’t demonstrate it.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2013, 12:46 pm

        And I don’t think Goldberg is ready for the suit he can win. I mean, who sues themself? But wow, the damages he owes himself, he’ll never be made whole again.

      • piotr
        January 5, 2013, 1:12 am

        I think 30% of the award goes to lawyers. So if you win 1 M $ for damaging your own reputation, you have to give 300,000 to those lawyers who won. But who would represent Goldberg on contingency fee?

      • piotr
        January 4, 2013, 2:01 pm

        Indeed, for some segment of the public, the esteem of a person improves after such an attack.

  9. MRW
    January 3, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Beinart’s comment is so accurate:

    [Y]ou can casually accuse a decorated war hero of bigotry against Jews or Israel secure in the knowledge that while the accusation may destroy his career, it will never imperil your own. Until that changes, nothing will.

    But when it does change, and it will, it will depend on how it changes. If people like Jeff Goldberg are reined in by his publisher, spanked, or curtailed by the community (doubtful), then the change will be harmonious because no one will really notice. If the change arises because the non-Jewish American population grows vocally weary of the faux self-righteousness, arrogance, and sinister lack of fairness–and US non-Jewish journalists have not forgotten Nasr, Sanchez, and Thomas, so don’t expect their help when the dam breaks; Sullivan on Kristol recently is a good example–and it combines (somehow) with the current global anti-Israel sentiments, the backlash will be vicious.

    • MRW
      January 3, 2013, 12:33 pm

      Particularly, this one.

      • American
        January 3, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Sullivan let loose in that one didn ‘t he?

        SENATE AIDE: SEND US HAGEL AND WE WILL MAKE SURE EVERY AMERICAN KNOWS HE IS AN ANTI SEMITE

        What can one reply to this…..except maybe this?

        KEEP IT UP AND WE MAKE SURE EVERY AMERICAN KNOWS YOU AND YOUR KIND ARE ANTI AMERICA.

        Works for me, I am beyond tired of these thugs.

      • MHughes976
        January 3, 2013, 4:28 pm

        If people would say what they meant by ‘anti-Semitism’ that would help. Neither Goldberg nor Sullivan does as far as I can see. Currently there is a spectrum from ‘negative opinion applying to some who are or are regarded as Jewish’ to ‘irrationally negative opinion based on the fact that someone is or is regarded as Jewish’. The second would make ‘justified anti-Semitism’ a contradiction in terms, the first would not, since someone who is Jewish can in principle do wrong as much as someone who is Buddhist or British. The term bounces about along this spectrum and by its shifting meaning gives great scope to confusing rhetoric.

      • American
        January 4, 2013, 11:00 am

        @ Hughes

        There is so much twisting and inventing of the definition of anti semitism these days I just stick to the short form….Anti Semite for this group is anyone who doesn’t give them and Israel whatever they want.

  10. HRK
    January 3, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Could Goldberg be behaving in the manner in he is to provoke anti-Semitism? Perhaps that’s what he wants.

    (Let’s not give it to him!)

  11. seanmcbride
    January 3, 2013, 1:24 pm

    When Jeffrey Goldberg pulls out his knife and starts slashing at Stephen Walt, he looks like an ugly fanatic, the same Kahanist he once was, the very antithesis of the jovial high-minded liberal he pretends to be. The truth is, Goldberg is a liberal Zionist, not a liberal — that is, a Likud mole, like Dennis Ross, who has burrowed his way into the liberal establishment.

    Stephen Walt would be well within his rights to sue Jeffrey Goldberg.

    Pro-Israel militants like Goldberg are turning the entire world against themselves and their own cause with their relentless torrent of obnoxious verbal abuse against anyone who disagrees with them — who isn’t a full-tilt enthusiast for Jewish ethno-religious nationalism and endless bankrupting Mideast wars on behalf of Greater Israel.

  12. doug
    January 3, 2013, 1:41 pm

    This is such nonsense. Americans are pretty philo-Semitic from what I see.

    But there’s a country even more Philo-Semetic: China. Check out this remarkable conversation with an Israeli doing biz in China. It’s really interesting how similar stereotypes play out so differently. I know successful biz people and some, less than honest, that I avoid but I haven’t personally encountered any unethical Jews in my biz dealings nor have I ever encountered any non-Jews in biz that, AFAIK, held beliefs that Jews were not as honest as any other group. I have run across that in other, non biz, circumstances though not very often.

    link to bloggingheads.tv

  13. Avi_G.
    January 3, 2013, 4:46 pm

    “Chuck Hagel and the Jews”

    Sounds like a 70s rock band.

    Let me guess, their greatest hits are “Get that Goy” and “Who Do You Think you Are?!”.

  14. DICKERSON3870
    January 3, 2013, 4:51 pm

    RE: “The core truth is this: In American punditry today, you can casually accuse a decorated war hero of bigotry against Jews or Israel secure in the knowledge that while the accusation may destroy his career, it will never imperil your own.” ~ Peter Beinart

    BERNARD AVISHAI: “I think it is time to acknowledge, bluntly, that certain major Jewish organizations . . . along with their various columnists, pundits, and list-serves—are among the most consistent purveyors of McCarthyite-style outrages in America today.”

    SEE: “The New McCarthyism of Jewish Organizations: Where Is Our Murrow?”, by Bernard Avishai, bernardavishai.blogspot.com, 12/26/12

    [EXCERPT] I am just old enough to remember grown-up disquiet when speaking of McCarthyism—the first thick book I read was Louis Nizer’s My Life in Court, which was largely about the libel case of Quentin Reynolds against Westbrook Pegler, the impresario of the scurrilous Red Channels—and I remember feeling a certain pride in the very large number of Jewish liberals who, like Nizer, helped bring America back to its senses.
    Let the galoots disgrace themselves attacking war-heroes like General Marshall. Let weird groups like the John Birchers and Daughters of the American Revolution and Republican Tafters impugn a man’s integrity, then repeat each others’ insinuations, then spread them to widening circles in captive media (where sympathetic pens were waiting). Let them point to the public doubts they themselves manufactured “out of whole cloth,” as my father used to say. Jews, and Jewish organizations, knew where they stood in the face of such smears. They stood for fairness, patience, sanity. We knew for whom an unfair, impatient, insane America would not “be good for.”
    There was Fred Friendly, who collaborated with Edward R. Murrow in challenging McCarthy on CBS. There was Arthur Miller, whose 1953 play, “The Crucible,” about the Salem witch trials, was a thinly veiled attack on the House Un-American Activities Committee. There was I.F. Stone who, forced to strike out on his own, proved the grandeur of the first amendment. There was Commentary Magazine before Norman Podhoretz lost his mind. In the America I knew, which only grew more so during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, American Jews—with their worldly souls and experience of the social margins—were the natural opponents (because potential victims) of the fear, flocking, and fanaticism that produced political libels.
    Which brings me to Sen. Hagel. I think it is time to acknowledge, bluntly, that certain major Jewish organizations, indeed, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations—also, the ADL, AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, political groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition, along with their various columnists, pundits, and list-serves—are among the most consistent purveyors of McCarthyite-style outrages in America today. Are there greater serial defamers of public officials in fake campaigns against defamation? Starting with Andrew Young and the late Charles Percy, and on to Chas Freeman and (now) Chuck Hagel, the game has been to keep Congresspeople and civil servants who might be skeptical of Israel’s occupation and apologetics in a posture that can only be called exaggerated tact.
    Fault Israel and you are accused of faulting Jews in our collective state, or, the same thing, overlooking the venality of our enemies—things only an anti-Semite would do and, of all times, in the wake of the Holocaust. This is not a charge anyone in public life wants to suffer or try to deny. My Israeli friends love that old Borsch-belt joke, that anti-Semitism means disliking Jews more than necessary. For American Jewish organizations, the very idea that dislike is ever warranted is proof of bigotry, like Philip Roth’s early novels were proof of “self-hatred.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to bernardavishai.blogspot.com

  15. ritzl
    January 3, 2013, 5:13 pm

    I still want to know how an unrepentant Kahanist (a listed, terrorist org) sympathizer (Goldberg) gets to sit a few feet away from (or come anywhere close to) the President of the US? I mean didn’t Kahanist Yigal Amir assassinate Rabin, a man who was wrangling with the very same issues and portent that Obama is theoretically wrangling with? These Kahanists and their sympathizers (like Goldberg) are very violent people who DO assassinate leaders they see as threats.

    Maybe an email/letter campaign to the Secret Service is in order.

    Don’t care (about any marginal question about the legitimacy of the comparison). Smear right back. Fire v. Fire. Unload (rhetorically) on this malicious f..k.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 3, 2013, 5:54 pm

      is goldberg an unrepentant Kahanist? i thought he called them fruitcakes?

      • ritzl
        January 3, 2013, 7:27 pm

        Missed the “fruitcakes” quote. I was going with Silverstein’s take here: link to richardsilverstein.com

        and here: link to tikkun.org

        on how he used Kahane to instruct himself about ending his “passivity” as a Jew (Kahane’s quote: “Every Jew with a .22″).

        Maybe Silverstein isn’t the right person to quote on this, but then maybe he is since Goldberg seems to feel no compunction about smearing others, while himself saying as late as his death (1990), that Kahane had “profound thoughts.”

        Goldberg needs to spend some time explaining (explaining again, and then again) which of Kahane’s thoughts he found to be profound and/or when he shed them. It might keep him constructively occupied.

        And yes, I did write the original comment to link Jeffrey Goldberg with Yigal Amir, Kahane, terrorist, President, and Secret Service in the search engines. D’oh! I did it again. :)

  16. lysias
    January 3, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Piece by Elizabeth Drew strongly defending Hagel in the new New York Review of Books: The Preemptive War on Hagel.

  17. gingershot
    January 3, 2013, 7:06 pm

    I am an anti-AIPAC-ite, anti-Likud-ite, anti-ApartheidIsrael-ite, anti-neocon-ite, anti-Kristol-ite, anti-JoeLieberman-ite, anti-Krauthammer-ite, anti-RichardPerle-ite, anti-Wolfowitz-ite, anti-IsraeliLobby-ite, anti-Apartheid-ite. I could go on and on.

    I hate them all – I really do.

    If that makes me ‘anti-Semitic’ – so what? I could care less

    Even better – one of my ‘best friends’ is Glenn Greenwald – just to complete the circle.

    Israel has pulled off the biggest con on the world ever by hiding behind their holocaust card and their gold plated ‘anti-Semitic’ smear. They are so cynical they have hidden ethnic cleansing of Palestine behind it and thought themselves clever for doing so – while the Goyim tip toe around them.
    I have never seen a Jew pay any kind of price – political, social, reputational – for smearing someone as anti-semitic – whether it is Ben Stein smearing Ron Paul, Bill Kristol smearing Chuck Hagel, or any of the rest of them

    The problem with American policy is we have not been ‘anti-Israeli’ enough, not anti-Israeli Lobby-ite enough – or even appropriately ‘anti-Semitic’ enough – if the term ‘anti-Semitic’ means/includes anti-AIPAC-ite, anti-Likud-ite, anti-Israel-ite, anti-neocon-ite, etc – and that has been exploited to the max by the Israeli Lobby as well as Israel.

    It’s time for it to end – time to end the ‘get out of jail free card’ these monsters have been using and playing the US for suckers with. The boundaries should be the same as they are for every other ‘group’ – women, Hispanics, Inuit, etc.

    And if the Inuit start setting up an Apartheid state then they’re the same losers as the Israelis.

    I’ve taken to calling the Likudniks ‘Pro-Apartheid Anti-Semites’. They often back and tell me they have a patent on the term ‘anti-Semite’.

    You can’t be worried about being called an ‘anti-rapist-ite’ if by doing so you can’t stop rapists.

    Israeli politicians are on record saying it – they just pull out the ‘anti-Semitic’ slurs and just watch people cower until they get their way

    • Talkback
      January 4, 2013, 8:48 am

      gingershot says: “If that makes me ‘anti-Semitic’ – so what? I could care less.”

      I still remembered when I cared. But then I found out that the accusers were unable to reasonably argue why anything I wrote or said would be antisemitic, because I never said a bad word about any people as such. And than I found out that the accusers were only trying to divert from their blatant racism.

    • Chu
      January 4, 2013, 12:41 pm

      You can only cry fire for so long before it loses it’s importance. Watching Ben Stein attack Ron Paul was embarrassing for Stein. What a pathetic wimp, I was laughing so hard when I saw that. The problem is that the media agents throughout the American press should have brought this to the forefront. Only blogs covered it. People are steaming mad and the resentment is bigger than we think.
      In the end, the Anti Semite ruse, is just piling on the anger toward Israel and it’s henchmen. They’re asking for it.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2013, 12:55 pm

        do you have a link chu? i think i missed that.

      • Chu
        January 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

        i think this is it:

      • Annie Robbins
        January 4, 2013, 4:41 pm

        thank you chu.

  18. Nevada Ned
    January 3, 2013, 7:11 pm

    CounterPunch published a useful book a couple of years back, The Politics of “Anti-Semitism”. Contributors include Alexander Cockburn, Uri Avnery, and many others.
    The accusation of Anti-Semitism gets thrown around a lot as a way of warding off criticism of Israeli policy. Even fully justifiable criticism. ESPECIALLY fully justified criticism.

  19. RoHa
    January 3, 2013, 7:40 pm

    “Jews are unpopular when they’re powerless. They’re unpopular when they’re powerful.”

    If he really believes this, perhaps he should ask why they are unpopular.

  20. clubroma
    January 4, 2013, 3:56 am

    I think that jews, world-wide, have to realise very quickly why Isreal is ‘internationally’ unpopular. Isreal is ‘unpopular’ because of the activities of the State of Isreal and world-wide jewry. That UN vote say’s it all !!!
    This arrogant, discriminatory, war loving State is getting out of control!!! Jews, around the world, have to become more vocal. Otherwise, when ‘history comes knocking on your door’ , don’t complain!!!

  21. Kathleen
    January 4, 2013, 7:01 am

    Goldberg is a fool who gets away with his racist statements all of the time. Walt brings up such great points about “the whole conversation being disheartening” Focus on the facts not Goldberg’s hollow claims.

  22. eGuard
    January 4, 2013, 8:12 am

    He has made his career in a largely Jewish community, his chair at Harvard is endowed by a Jew, he was introduced by a Jewish friend at a speaking engagement I went to last summer.

    I do not see how these are arguments in a discussion about anti-Semitism.

  23. Chu
    January 4, 2013, 12:34 pm

    I feel sorry for Goldberg. Allowing him to serve in another countries military must provide a great disconnect for all things later in life. His priorities time and time again, show that he is a confused person.
    Walt shows a lot more class than Goldberg’s spoiled accusations.

  24. PilgrimSoul
    January 4, 2013, 3:13 pm

    The moral and psychological core of Goldberg’s religious McCarthyism is in this observation: “Jews are unpopular when they’re powerless. They’re unpopular when they’re powerful. We might as well be powerful, no?” As a rationalization for evil this reminds me of an exchange that is supposed to have happened between Peres and Sharon, as the latter was planning some new murderous outrage.

    “If we do this, the world will hate us,” Peres is supposed to have said.

    “The world will hate us anyway.”

    “Well,” replies Peres, “maybe we should leave the world.”

    If by that Peres meant we should learn to imagine a better world, I’m with him. Too bad he didn’t have more backbone.

    This can’t be said enough: it’s good for Jews to have power, considering what has happened to them in the past. The problem with Israeli power is that it comes from a form of systemic evil driven by religious nationalism, and it is kept in place with all the oppression, torture and murder that colonialism requires. To see that is not antisemitism. Neither is the perception that the US Israel Lobby often prefers to attack the person rather than debate the issues.

    I think what Sullivan (see Phil’s comments on Sullivan’s new column) is doing is something most of us have gone through, or will. At a certain point you simply have to say, “To hell with it, I’m going to tell the truth as I see it no matter what, these so-called leaders are nothing but the two percent of American Jewry, and their smears and gutter tactics are harming civil society and making a sane Middle East policy impossible.” Sullivan has had to face down his own doubts, anger and sorrows concerning the pedophile coverup within Catholicism, and I think it’s made him a better and more spiritual person. We need truth-tellers, and I think he’s already one of the best.

    • MHughes976
      January 4, 2013, 4:12 pm

      ‘Let them hate as long as they fear’ is not really a formula for security against all comers.

      • American
        January 4, 2013, 5:05 pm

        No it isn’t…….not working for the US either.
        Respect works better than fear.

  25. American
    January 4, 2013, 5:03 pm

    “This can’t be said enough: it’s good for Jews to have power, considering what has happened to them in the past”…Psoul

    Depends on how you use power. Those Jews who have some power levers haven’t used it well in the US or Israel..for anything except their own agenda…very noticeably.
    It’s always particulary dangerous for a minority of any kind to misuse what power they have…usually ends in coups, rebellions and wars.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 4, 2013, 5:38 pm

      Those Jews who have some power levers haven’t used it well in the US or Israel

      i think we could be on the cusp of a changing of the guards within the american jewish community. nothing over night but generational. link to israelpolicyforum.org

  26. German Lefty
    January 4, 2013, 6:25 pm

    The Wiesenthal Center included a top German publisher on its 2012 list of leading anti-Semites alongside the Muslim Brotherhood and Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
    link to spiegel.de

    • Annie Robbins
      January 4, 2013, 6:51 pm

      The Wiesenthal Center included a top German publisher on its 2012 list of leading anti-Semites

      and they included latuff! i follow him on twitter and he’s been tweeting it all over including some new cartoons about it.

      • German Lefty
        January 5, 2013, 12:26 pm

        latuff’s been tweeting it all over including some new cartoons about it.
        Thanks a lot for the info, Annie. I am checking out the new cartoons now.

  27. Klaus Bloemker
    January 4, 2013, 7:34 pm

    Of course, the book ‘The Israel Lobby’ was anti-Jewish because Israel defines itself as a ‘Jewish state’, overwhelmingly supported by diaspora Jewry. – A Jewish friend of mine once told me – concerning Iraq’s support of attacks on/in Israel: “That’s a crime against Jews.” – Attacks on Israelis/the Jewish state is ‘a crime against Jews’ – Period.

  28. Klaus Bloemker
    January 4, 2013, 8:03 pm

    BTW, I didn’t like Walt/Mearsheimer arguing that their political analysis was not only in the interest of America but also in the best interest of Israel – as if they were also part of the Israel Lobby wishing all the best for Israel.

    The Israeli/Jewish point of view is this (as Foxman said): Israel’s best interest is none of Walt/Mearsheimers business (since they are not Jewish). – Period.

    • Rusty Pipes
      January 4, 2013, 8:43 pm

      … while at the same time, there should be no daylight between American and Israeli foreign policy. Even though many American politicians will sign any napkin AIPAC puts in front of them, few articulate that unthinking alignment of American with Israeli policies as clearly as Romney, when he said that his Middle East policy would be anything that Netanyahu wanted. Shut up and sign.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 4, 2013, 8:45 pm

      The Israeli/Jewish point of view is this (as Foxman said): Israel’s best interest is none of Walt/Mearsheimers business (since they are not Jewish). – Period.

      are you american? america’s best interest is none of your business (since you are not american). – Period. whereas Walt/Mearsheimer are american. and since our tax dollars are propping up israel you better believe it’s our business how that money’s spent. Period.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 4, 2013, 11:27 pm

        Annie –
        What I mean is that everybody who criticises Israel (as Walt/M do) feels obliged to claim that their criticism is also in the best interest of Israel.
        When arguing against Israel people simultaneously pretend to argue in
        Israel’s own best interest (out of fear to be labeled anti-Jewish). That’s cowardly, stupid and dishonest.

        It’s better to say up front: Your Israeli interests are not ours.

      • German Lefty
        January 5, 2013, 12:06 pm

        @ Klaus:

        “When arguing against Israel people simultaneously pretend to argue in
        Israel’s own best interest (out of fear to be labeled anti-Jewish). That’s cowardly, stupid and dishonest.”

        I agree.

        “It’s better to say up front: Your Israeli interests are not ours.”
        I disagree. It’s not a matter of “your interests” or “my interests”. It’s a matter of justice. I wouldn’t mind supporting something that is against Germany’s interests … if it serves justice.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2013, 10:23 pm

        klaus, i respectfully disagree. first of all, i do have an opinion about what is best for israel and in general don’t think (or worry or concern myself) about fear of being labeled anti-Jewish. i tend to just speak my mind. Walt and Mearsheimer are scholars and analysts. therefore, it’s in the nature of their work to give opinions about what’s best for different parties. it’s not really that different than dear abbey expressing her opinion about what’s best for someone else’s marriage. one can always say ‘stay out of it’ but thinking one knows what’s in the best for another person or country is a natural phenomena for many people and i don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      • libra
        January 5, 2013, 11:04 am

        annie: are you american? america’s best interest is none of your business (since you are not american). – Period.

        Let’s apply this philosophy to another situation:

        “You’re a Pakistani? So if it’s in America’s best interest to fly drones over your country and launch missiles at whomever it chooses it’s none of your business (since you are not American). – Period.”

        You know annie, you might be surprised just how many people around the world really do have a legitimate interest in what America does. It staggers me to believe you can work for Mondoweiss and think otherwise.

        In this instance you know very well that Klauss is German. So your remark (with that very telling “-Period.”) really was both very unpleasant and deeply ironic. Because of the major Western countries, few are better global citizens than Germany. Of course Germany does supply submarines to Israel to be used as nuclear-missile platforms. Is that really none of our business because we’re not German?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 5, 2013, 12:10 pm

        “your [Annie's] remark (with that very telling “-Period.”) really was both very unpleasant and deeply ironic.”

        libra –
        I had been using this “Period” twice and Annie was just making fun of it.

        Overall her reply didn’t fit what I had said about “Israel’s best interest is none of Walt/M’s business” – according to Foxman. What’s in the best interest of a Jewish state is for the Jews to define not for American gentiles like W/M. They should stick to the American interest. – Period. That’s an understandable argument from an Israeli/Jewish point of view. It’s always somewhat implausible and not very credible when outsiders claim to know the ‘best interest’ of the insiders.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 5, 2013, 1:05 pm

        libra, i am afraid you misinterpreted my comment. i copy/pasted klaus’s comment here: link to mondoweiss.net

        and flipped his meaning which to me basically stated that Walt/Mearsheimer had no business discussing what was in israel’s best interest because they were not jewish. and then he ended it with “Period” (which does seem very final, and abrupt).

        well, it seemed very strange to me because it would not occur to me to tell a foreigner they could not have an opinion about what’s in america’s best interest because they were not american. especially in countries we impose upon. so i reversed it to see how he responded to his own logic.

        so please excuse me for not making it clear what i was communicating. and i appreciate your honesty even tho i think you (completely) mistook my meaning.

      • libra
        January 5, 2013, 2:48 pm

        annie, I clearly did mistake your meaning even though it did seem out of character. So I rather think it is me who should apologise and I hope you accept my apology.

      • libra
        January 5, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Klaus Bloemker: That’s an understandable argument from an Israeli/Jewish point of view. It’s always somewhat implausible and not very credible when outsiders claim to know the ‘best interest’ of the insiders.

        Klauss, that’s generally my view when it come’s to how a country conducts itself within its own borders. Israel’s problem of course starts right there as it doesn’t have borders that it respects (even if it can remember where they exactly are). If the world turns its gaze on Israel and doesn’t like what it sees then Israel only has itself to blame.

        But rest assured Klauss, I’m not going to start telling you how German beer should be brewed.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 5, 2013, 10:49 pm

        “But rest assured Klauss, I’m not going to start telling you how German beer should be brewed.”
        ——————————–
        Yes libra –
        In case you don’t like that beer, it’s better to just say ‘I don’t like your beer’ than saying: ‘I’m of course a friend of German beer but you should brew it in
        a different way’ (out of fear to labeled an anti-German).

  29. irishmoses
    January 4, 2013, 9:11 pm

    I too was incensed by Goldberg’s slur of Walt so I immediately sent him this long email, beginning with the quote of his outrageous accusation that Walt doesn’t like Jews:

    ________

    “Do you think Stephen Walt is going to suddenly like Jews when Jewish groups lose whatever political influence they have?”

    Jeffrey, what exactly makes you think Stephen Walt doesn’t like Jews (i.e. is anti-Semitic)? He certainly is a critic of Israel’s policies and of the Greater Israel Lobby’s influence over US Middle East foreign policy, not to mention US politics, but that’s not evidence he doesn’t like Jews. That was a scurrilous comment unbecoming of someone possessing the intellect and influence you have. You owe Mr. Walt an apology particularly since your comments show you agree in large part with Mr. Walt’s criticisms of Israel. e.g.:

    ” I think Israel is heading down a dangerous path, toward its own, eventual dissolution, because it refuses to contemplate even unilateral half-measures that could lay the groundwork for a Palestinian state. I’ve been arguing for years that the settlers are the vanguard of binationalism, and now they’re closer to the center of power than ever before.”

    and,

    “Today’s path leads, eventually, to pariah status, and a small state like Israel can’t survive as a pariah”

    Finally, comments like ” There are many people around the world with their knives out for the Jewish state, because it’s a Jewish state. That’s just the way it is. Israel has to figure out the smartest way to counteract the ancient, bestial urge to eliminate to hurt Jews” are counterproductive even if partially accurate. Israel’s status as a pariah state stems directly from its behavior toward the Palestinians, not some “ancient, bestial urge to eliminate and hurt Jews”.

    If you care about Israel’s future, your focus needs to be on Israel’s behavior. Snarky comments about Mr. Walt may play well to your peanut gallery but they undermine your ability to influence and change minds that need to be changed if Israel is to be saved, and you are fast running out of time.

    Jesus, Jeffrey, don’t you think Walt and Mearsheimer’s “Lobby” thesis has proven out since they wrote it? Look at the undermining of Obama’s attempt to resolve the conflict. Look at the Republican primaries. Look at the undermining of Hagel. That’s all the work of the Greater Israel Lobby (Andrew Sullivan’s characterization is spot-on and brilliant). You clearly recognize the importance of having competent people with guts who will stand up to the Israelis, such as Hagel. Yet, his nomination is toast because people of influence like you aren’t organizing and screaming bloody murder about the harm the Greater Israel Lobby is doing to Israel by hobbling the US from using its power to make it change course.

    The only power capable of stopping Israel’s suicidal march toward religious extremism (a threat you have recognized) is the US government. But, it cannot act unless people like you create enough noise and space so people like Obama, Hagel, and Kerry feel they are free to act and use the immense power available to them to force Israel into a fair agreement with the Palestinians.

    The Greater Israel Lobby has made toast of President Obama’s attempts at resolving the I-P issue, and has now made toast of his desire to appoint Chuck Hagel. But, if people of influence like you don’t organize and stand up to the Greater Israel Lobby, Israel itself will be toast, a fact you well realize and have written about.

    You and other people of influence like you, need to quit weaseling around by throwing sops to the Greater Israel apologists and draw a firm line between you and them. If you don’t do it, its all over for the Israel you love. Soon it will become the religious extremist state you fear, and a nuclear power at that.

    Gil Maguire
    http://www.irishmoses.com

    ________

    Jeffrey has yet to respond, but he is a busy man writing vital pieces like today’s on how women who carry guns have small penises.

  30. piotr
    January 4, 2013, 10:03 pm

    “The idea that Steve Walt is anti-Semitic is preposterous and outrageous. ”

    This is methodologically incorrect. When we consider an individual, the baseline assumption has to be that he or she is anti-Semitic (and perhaps also self-hating, but AFAIK that would not apply to Steve). Then we have to inspect the record to see if there is any proof to the contrary.

    Walt wrote about Israel and the Jewish lobby. Did he show a love and admiration for Israel? Can you provide a quote (I here crickets chirping, pins dropping, but no quote). And what does he advocate as the basis of the policy toward Israel? American interests. That facile statement does no pass a smell test — the stink is rank indeed. The way it is pithily phrased insinuates that Americans, who love Israel (at least the healthy majority) can be happy when Israel, which is cherished and loved, is unhappy. Some degenerate elements may indeed be happy when Israel is unhappy, and some of those may have chairs at Harvard, but this is clearly an opinion outside the American mainstream. Steven loathes fellow Americans who love Israel, and most probably he loathes Israel itself.

    It was also cited that Walt claimed that policies he advocates would be also good for Israel. How generous! But would those policies make Israelis happy? And given how sad Israelis may become watching with a heatache how some very, very Jewish settlers, each 10 times more Jewish that some marginally useful scoundrels and idiots in Diaspora, are driven from their homes for the sole crime of being Jewish. Can a non-anti-Semitic person advocate such senseless suffering?

    • NickJOCW
      January 5, 2013, 3:00 am

      Piotr, I fear you have it wrong. It is a peculiarity of our age that everyone is assumed to have an opinion for or against every issue. If I were asked whether I like Jews and obliged to answer Yes or No, I would be unable to do so because I have no emotional response to Jews collectively. That means I neither like nor dislike, neither love nor hate them; the same is true of Eskimos, armadillos and ski-lifts. One shouldn’t be assumed to be against something simply because one isn’t for it. Why on earth should your baseline be that a person is anti-Semitic? Doesn’t that invert the normal Western view that it is the prosecution that must prove its case?

      Israel acts in contravention of numerous internationally defined laws, regulations, and generally accepted standards of behaviour, and that I decidedly do not like but the fact that the Israelis behind those actions are Jews is neither here nor there, their actions would be repellent whoever performed them. Furthermore, only a modest proportion of Jews are Israelis and if one were in a position to ask all Jews whether they approve of using Palestinian children for military target practice, I am confident the vast majority would tick No. Anti-Semitism is used indiscriminately to swat anyone who opposes Israel’s actions, and ‘methodological’ examination of that phenomenon would demonstrate that to lead inevitably to a false syllogism.

      What would help clear the air on this tortuous matter is a good libel action brought by someone like Walt, preferably in an English Crown Court where it would be less distractingly confrontational and less subject to any suspicion of vested interference. If The Atlantic is sold in England that would be enough, and if Walt didn’t want to risk putting The Atlantic out of business he could demand only token damages and costs.

      • German Lefty
        January 5, 2013, 11:39 am

        “If I were asked whether I like Jews and obliged to answer Yes or No, I would be unable to do so because I have no emotional response to Jews collectively. That means I neither like nor dislike, neither love nor hate them. One shouldn’t be assumed to be against something simply because one isn’t for it. [...] Israel acts in contravention of numerous internationally defined laws, regulations, and generally accepted standards of behaviour, and that I decidedly do not like but the fact that the Israelis behind those actions are Jews is neither here nor there, their actions would be repellent whoever performed them.”

        Exactly!

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2013, 1:12 pm

        “If I were asked whether I like Jews and obliged to answer Yes or No, I would be unable to do so…”

        …until they specified how the Jews were prepared. With a light sauce, okay, but nothing deep-fried.

      • German Lefty
        January 6, 2013, 9:04 am

        “…until they specified how the Jews were prepared. With a light sauce, okay, but nothing deep-fried.”

        Your comment is really stupid, Mooser.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 6, 2013, 9:56 am

        “Your comment is really stupid, Mooser.”

        No Lefty, Mooser is right. It depends on how Jews are prepared and served.
        Unfortunately, most Jews are now served as Zionists, so Mooser doesn’t like them either. They make him throw up.

      • German Lefty
        January 6, 2013, 12:11 pm

        Most Jews are now served as Zionists, so Mooser doesn’t like them either. They make him throw up.
        I know. And I don’t take issue with the meaning of his comment. It’s the cannibalism metaphor that I find offensive.

      • sardelapasti
        January 6, 2013, 12:31 pm

        D leftie – Guessing what your squeamish refinement will find offensive or not shouldn’t be one additional concern in writing here. We already have a sibylline editorial policy hurdle. Not only were you not obliged to read, you asked for it.

      • Ellen
        January 6, 2013, 12:33 pm

        it is, ideed, offensive….and not clever or funny.

      • German Lefty
        January 6, 2013, 1:06 pm

        Guessing what your squeamish refinement will find offensive or not shouldn’t be one additional concern in writing here.
        If the opinion of a commenter is irrelevant, then why does this comments section exist at all?

        We already have a sibylline editorial policy hurdle.
        I know, but that’s not my fault. So, don’t take your anger out on me but on those who are responsible for this policy.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 6, 2013, 5:04 pm

        “the classical anti-anti-Semitic syndrome”
        ——————
        I just explained what I meant by that. But my comment was immediately cancelled. Let me give it another try.

        If someone displays one feature of an ‘anti-Semite’, someone who dislikes Jews/Jewishness, say he criticises the empolyment of a Sabbath goy as ‘Jewish hypocracy’ – it is assumed that he must have all other features of classical anti-Semitism also: Jewish conspiracy, Jewish money ruling the world etc.
        He must be a dangerous individual, up to the point of a Jew-killer.

      • seanmcbride
        January 6, 2013, 6:04 pm

        Klaus,

        I just explained what I meant by that. But my comment was immediately cancelled. Let me give it another try.

        Feel free to post any unposted comments here:

        link to friendfeed.com

        I am curious to read all of your comments, unedited. I make the same offer to every other commenter here. Express yourself fully and in real time, without delays. It can be liberating to get a real conversation flowing without interruptions. :)

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 6:29 pm

        “Your comment is really stupid, Mooser.”

        I’m sorry Lefty. It was an obscure, and as you correctly point out, and inappropriate reference to an old “Twilight Zone” (American TV) episode (called “To Serve Man”)
        But in this case it was uncalled for. I’m sorry. And there will be no more anthropophagy jokes from me.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        January 6, 2013, 6:50 pm

        I am still far from being an accomplished Mooserologist, but if I had to try to interpret his culinary metaphor I would conjecture that he is attributing to NickJOCW the sentiment that it’s OK to be Jewish so long as you are not “too Jewish”. Of course, it is arbitrary and offensive of him to make such an attribution, for which he has no evidence except his own paranoia. Perhaps I misunderstand him, but by being so delphic he is really asking to be misunderstood.

      • Mooser
        January 6, 2013, 6:52 pm

        “it is, ideed, offensive….and not clever or funny.”

        You are right, and I apologise. And there’ll no more of its type.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 6, 2013, 9:34 pm

        “I apologise”
        —————–
        Hell Mooser,
        why do you apologise? I had a friend who worked in a clothing store selling socks. A customer asked him: “Can you boil the socks?” He replied: “Yes, but
        I don’t know how they will taste.”

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 6, 2013, 10:02 pm

        Sean,
        I elaboreted on something Norman Finkelstein once wrote to me –
        tongue-in-cheek:

        “The basic assumption of Jews is that they are such a wonderful people that everybody who criticises them must suffer from a mental disease.”

        I didn’t mention Finkelstein and I didn’t quote him.

      • seanmcbride
        January 7, 2013, 11:03 am

        Klaus,

        I recently came across this quote by Leon Pinsker, one of the most important founders of Zionism:

        Judeophobia is a psychic aberration. As a psychic aberration it is hereditary, and as a disease transmitted for two thousand years, it is incurable…

        At first this comment of yours above to which I am responding seemed disturbing and possibly antisemitic in tone and intent — but then I remembered the Pinsker quote.

        One needs to aggregate quotes like this with Ovadia Yosef’s infamous remark about non-Jews — cult outsiders (goyim) — who are regarded as subhuman beasts of burden — to see what is going on.

        Is there anyone here who would hesitate to characterize Pinsker’s remark as racist? If so, speak up and explain.

        But it would be a mistake, and greatly offensive, to generalize Leon Pinsker’s and Ovadia Yosef’s racist views to all Jews — that point must be emphasized with force.

      • German Lefty
        January 7, 2013, 2:05 pm

        @ Mooser:
        Apology accepted, Mooser.
        In general, I really hope that the tone among the commenters will become less disparaging and the comments policy less mysterious. No wonder that the Zionists are so successful when the anti-Zionists are at each other’s throats all the time, accuse each other of anti-Semitism and things like that.

        @ Stephen:
        He is attributing to NickJOCW the sentiment that it’s OK to be Jewish so long as you are not “too Jewish”.
        Yes, that’s how I interpreted it, too. To me, Mooser is a bigger mystery than the new comments policy.

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2013, 7:07 pm

        “Hell Mooser,
        why do you apologise?”

        Because I was wrong. It was way too far a stretch humor-wise, and was offensive in content, and not directly related to the thread. I don’t see where that leaves me much choice.

      • Mooser
        January 8, 2013, 7:10 pm

        “Apology accepted, Mooser.”

        Ah good! I was hoping you would see it, and thanks for accepting it. Immediately upon reading the comment the next day I saw you were right.

      • libra
        January 5, 2013, 12:41 pm

        Nick, piotr’s post was so weighted with irony you’d need a crane to lift it. And up to now I’d had the strong impression you were English.

      • piotr
        January 5, 2013, 1:39 pm

        Thanks, libra.

        From what I have read, there exists paleo-anti-Semitism, and it is hard to see how Walt can be included, and “new anti-Semitism”, characterized by concern for human rights (selective! what about the rights of the settlers!), lack of proportion and so on, and Walt can be convicted 10 times according to that definition. We have to move on, concede, and add a bit to Aviva Eldar: only (new) anti-Semites can save Israel.

        In a nutshell, accusations of anti-Semitism have to be parsed: old or new? If new, then there is nothing particularly negative in it. For example, some people use “liberal” as an accusation, or “godless” etc. “Godless” is a good example: it is used as a “fighting word”, and for those purposes it is packaged with the visions of totalitarians outlawing religion and destroying all that is precious, but it may mean simply denying that geology, climate science and ethics can be reliably derived from books written when you could not explain isotope dating methods to the best of philosophers, and when it was considered a just deed to offer your daughter to be raped by the neighbors. And yes, some totalitarians had such views too, but it is not that we should detest buckwheat kasha because Stalin was fond of it.

      • NickJOCW
        January 6, 2013, 6:05 am

        My apologies! And to Piotr, irony like the best wines rarely travels that well.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        January 6, 2013, 10:34 am

        “anti-Semitism … old or new?”
        ——————-
        Also the ‘old’ (pre-racist) anti-Semitism had criticism of Jews that was considered legitimate by the Jews of the Enlightenment. For instance, in
        19th century Germany there were Jews who advocated the abolishment of
        the Purim feast because it was too loaded with violent anti-gentile sentiments.

  31. piotr
    January 7, 2013, 4:19 pm

    I am not even sure if such criticism alone would qualify as (paleo-) anti-Semitism.

    I am somewhat familiar with old anti-Semitism because I am from a mixed family, Jewish father and Catholic mother, with practicing Catholic grandfather. Before WWII grandpa subscribed to a Polish literary monthly magazine “Rainbow” which was politically aligned with the right wing, and volumes of that magazine give example of various type of “criticism”. I also lived through “anti-Zionist” campaign in 1967-69 in Poland, very much on the “receiving end”.

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