Friday, March 21, 2003

I usually have fun reading The Talking Dog, but I feel that this recent post is very misguided. He quotes from 'an article circulating by former State Department official William R. Polk which he calls "Dark Matter"', which says among other things, "However, the suggestion that Israel and its American Christian and Jewish supporters are involved in the administration's Middle Eastern policy making has drawn much-feared and politically-lethal charges of anti-Semitism."

Seth Farber seems to agree with the general thrust of these remarks, but it is important to be careful. There are many in Isreal who felt and feel that this war will make their situation more dangerous and not less by inflaming terrorism. To the best of my knowledge, conservative and liberal American Jews react to this war much like conservatives and liberals of other religions, in the same proportions.

I think people are right to suspect anti-semitism when Jews or Zionists are accused of being 'behind' this or that policy which is unpopular in certain quarters without strong and methodically presented evidence. This is the only evidence reproduced from the missive that claimed to be from Mr. Polk.

How does Iraq fit into this picture? The rationale was spelled out in June 1999 by Paul Wolfowitz in a speech at the Israeli-sponsored Washington Institute. There he said that with Saddam Husain's regime destroyed, the Palestinians would be forced to make peace on Israeli terms. As the American conservative leader, Patrick J. Buchanan, pointed out in The American Conservative (March 24, 2003) "a passionate attachment to Israel is a 'key tenet of neoconservatism.

It sounds to me like Paul Wolfowitz was trying to convince people who were skeptical.

The United States is composed of many different ethnic groups. If there was evidence that a certain group favored a certain policy much more frequently than the rest of the country it might under some circumstances be worth discussing - along with the evidence of whether that group had made a signifigant impact on the administration or not. The fact that Paul Wolfowitz tried to persuade people at an Isreali sponsored institute to follow the administrations policies is evidence for neither one. Furthermore, claims with nonexistant or forged evidence that the Jews controlled and manipulated various institutions which were mainly non Jewish have indeed been part of antisemetic campaigns.

All the evidence points to anti-semites trying to rouse fear of Jewish control of the government by making claims they cannot support with evidence, and using the fact that they are being charged with anti semitism to support a pretense that people are refusing to listen to their evidence because of these charges, hoping in the confusion to conceal the fact that they have offered little or no actual evidence.

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