Dr. Dawg

The anti-Semitic savaging of Maureen Dowd

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Several years ago I noted that a bogus charge of anti-Semitism against Venezuela’s Hugo Chavéz contained its own anti-Semitic leitmotifs.

His mention of Christ’s crucifixion in a Christmas Eve message, we were told, was obviously a reference to Jews. And “wealth in a few hands?” Jews again.

But maybe not. Chavéz was explicitly talking about the world’s elites, not Jews (who, to take two references from the speech, had nothing to do with Bolivar’s death, and are not anywhere near 10% of the world’s population). To read the presence of anti-Semitism into a speech that doesn’t even mention Jews requires implicit anti-Semitic mental associations on the part of the accusers: that Jews are collectively responsible for the death of Christ, and subsequently became the owners of half the world’s wealth.

Now, once again, conservatives who deploy the a-word anytime it suits their sleazy political agenda have been hoist by their own petard, or rather by prominent journalist M.J. Rosenberg. The scurrilous Usual Suspects are calling US journalist Maureen Dowd anti-Semitic for writing this column, wherein she is critical of neoconservatives who have climbed aboard the Romney campaign.

You attack neoconservatives at your peril. The word is supposedly anti-Semitic code, because, dare I mention it, there happens to be a strong Jewish presence among the neocon fraternity. (But don’t take my word for it.)

Dowd was particularly critical of one neocon, Dan Senor, now a senior advisor to Romney’s clueless running mate, Paul Ryan:

Senor is emblematic of how much trouble America blundered into in the Middle East — trillions wasted, so many lives and limbs lost — because of how little we fathom the culture and sectarian politics. We’re still stumbling in the dark. We not only don’t know who our allies and enemies are, we don’t know who our allies’ and enemies’ allies and enemies are.

As the spokesman for Paul Bremer during the Iraq occupation, Senor helped perpetrate one of the biggest foreign policy bungles in American history. The clueless desert viceroys summarily disbanded the Iraqi Army, forced de-Baathification, stood frozen in denial as thugs looted ministries and museums, deluded themselves about the growing insurgency, and misled reporters with their Panglossian scenarios of progress.

“Off the record, Paris is burning,” Senor told a group of reporters a year into the war. “On the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.”

Before he played ventriloquist to Ryan, Senor did the same for Romney, ratcheting up the candidate’s irresponsible bellicosity on the Middle East. Senor was the key adviser on Romney’s disastrous trip to Israel in July, when Mittens infuriated the Palestinians by making a chuckleheaded claim about their culture.

But Senor is Jewish. Whoops. Didn’t Dowd realize that by being critical of him she was denigrating all Jews, everywhere? Rosenberg is scathing:

So, you can attack individual African-Americans including the president and not be indicted for racism. You can condemn the Pope for indifference to sex scandals in the church and not be deemed anti-Catholic. You can excoriate Justice Sotamayor and not be deemed anti-Latino.

But you cannot attack individual Jews because we are all the same and thus attacking one is attacking all.

The neoconservatives and their defenders have now crossed over from just fueling anti-Semitism. Now they are directly spreading it themselves.

Hang in there, Maureen Dowd. Do it for us Jews. And for our country too because, if these guys come back, we will have war.

Speaking only for myself, and not some imaginary constituency—amen to that. I’m not as sanguine as former Democratic advisor M.J. Rosenberg, by the way, that the Obama folks are all that committed to world peace. But that’s another discussion.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on September 17, 2012 7:04 PM.

Media, government, and minorities was the previous entry in this blog.

Lori Douglas case: "a reasonable apprehension of bias" is the next entry in this blog.

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