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At Last, Jewish Paper Calls on Jewish Community to Repudiate Neocons, Not ‘Cover Up’ for Them

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The Philadelphia Jewish Voice has published a fine piece by Paul Maltby, an English prof at West Chester University, that calls on the Jewish community to repudiate the neocons as a "betrayal" of Jewish values.

[Jonathan] Tobin [editor of the Jewish Exponent, a defender of neocons to this day] is concerned – and rightly so – to remind us that not all
neocons are Jewish. Yet surely, if he believes so much in the virtues
of neoconservatism, would he not want proudly to proclaim the leading
role of Jews in the movement? The implication is that there is
something embarrassing about the prominence of so many
Jewish neocons.. Their presence in the public domain as intellectuals
and definers of public policy is conspicuous, the names
all-too-familiar: Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Donald Kagan,
Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Lewis
Libby …the list goes on. At least 11 of the 25 signatories to the
PNAC’s “Statement of Principles” are Jewish.

Perhaps one way to address the issue of the disproportionately
large Jewish presence among the neoconservative leadership is to sweep
it under the carpet, but that kind of cover-up only abets antisemites
with their theories about Jewish plotting in high places. (Search the
Web under “Jewish neocons” and you’ll find numerous websites devoted to
this theme.) Instead, a more effective way to confront the problem
would be for Jewish community leaders to come forward and publicly
denounce neoconservative thinking as a betrayal of Jewish values.
Indeed, such a denunciation would also serve as an opportunity to
reaffirm the values on which Judaism has long prided itself: compassion
and justice.

Notice that word cover-up? Some day Yivo and the Forward will be holding forums on the blight of the neocons, who gave America the Iraq War. Could be in a year, could be in five years. But it will come. And until that day comes, the body of American Jewishness will stay owned by Israel’s response to its neighbors: militarism and occupation.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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