Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Accusations of anti-semitism directed at the left....but the Right's increasing love affair with Israel not commented on

I think that's a curious phenomenon.

Perhaps when folks who object to kids getting shot in the street in Palestine for throwing stones, like I do, get tarred with anti-semitism, there are more issues at play than simply being concerned in an existential way with whether a person is actually promoting hostility or demonization of people who are jewish?

It seems to me that partisan issues are in fact at play, and that the right, from the neo-cons up to the Tea Party, has been using Israel and its actions, and by extension the memory of people who died in the Holocaust, as litmus tests to try to discredit folks who challenge their overall position as well.

Although the Tea Party is diffuse, there are interesting signs, like the often seen video of Tea Party people harassing a Muslim as he's praying, where one person is waving an Israeli flag in his face and other people are chanting "Je-sus! Je-sus!" That video is Here. It turns out that the video was of a person praying in front of the White House at the end of a kind of mock "pro-Sharia" rally lead by a person referred to by Salon.com as Fox News' favorite Muslim radical. Not surprisingly, this is what comes out when the Tea Party thinks they're fighting against Sharia. TPM has a good Link.

Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian who has gone on to talk incessantly about the dangers of Islam, and is a frequent guest on Fox, as another example, backs Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East", and said in a speech at Duke University on October 15th 2004 that

"The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism versus civilization. It's democracy versus dictatorship. It's goodness versus evil."

And Sarah Palin, talking about the mild criticism that the Obama administration gave last year to settlement expansion, said, via CBS

"And while Sarah Palin may no longer hold elective office, she weighed in as well. On her Facebook page, Palin complained "the Obama Administration has decided to escalate, make unilateral demands of Israel, and threaten the very foundation of the US-Israel relationship."

"The Obama Administration needs to open its eyes and recognize that it is only Iran and her terrorist allies that benefit from this manufactured Israeli controversy," she said."

Good 'old Michele Bachmann also chimes in, speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition:

"I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle."

And of course Glenn Beck supports Israel, but then again he'd probably include alien abductions in his grand conspiracy if Fox News would let him.

Across the pond, ultra-right politician Geert Wilders of Belgium has expressed his support and appreciation of Israel as the supposed "first line of defense" against radical Islam in Europe.

From an article about him posted on his website, this being his quote:

"The film will demonstrate that the fight against Israel is not territorial, and hence Israel is only the first line of defense for the West. Now it's Israel but we are next. That's why beyond solidarity, it is in Europe's interest to stand by Israel."

And let me say that in searching for this quote I came across an article on Wilder by Pamela Geller on Atlas Shrugs, and, let me say, batshit crazy has never sounded so interesing. She seems so much in her own little world that I won't generalize from her rantings to the greater beliefs of the Tea Party or the American (or European) anti-Islamic Right as a whole.



And, for the record, although I have an ethnic last name, I'm not Jewish. Instead, I'm simply a human being who opposes murder and the theft of land.

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