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A Trinity of Anti-Semitism

admit it

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 02, 2006.

There are three big concurrent stories in different arenas that all touch on anti-Semitism, which is a refined phrase meaning a phobia of Jews, and it is far more prevalent in Western climes than admitted. Actor Mel Gibson, whose father is a pathological hater of the Jews and a denier of the Holocaust, no doubt played a role in his son’s outburst as no doubt he did in his son’s drinking, but it’s to be doubted whether the actor’s rants reveal deep seated hatred of his own or merely the drunk’s attempts to start a fight for whatever reason of the cerebral cortex and emotional release after an evening partying with young women not his wife and perhaps feeling confined and frustrated. No excuse. Just saying.

Whether Gibson is or isn’t a bigot hasn’t been as interesting as the way his drunken behavior gave people an excuse to talk about anti-Semitism. Sorta.

The timing was perfect. Israel was on the loose in Lebanon, and pounding Hezbollah and in the process killing innocents, and the world was either enraged or feigning it, hard to tell. But what it suggested to me is that Israel gives many, many closeted anti-Semites a way to vent. You can hate Israel and damn it and call them horrible without using the word Jew, which would damn you as an anti-Semite, a bigot, a pogrom-enabler, a Nazi. Nice people aren’t Nazis, anymore, as they were when the Duke of Windsor, Henry Ford, and Charles Lindberg held such interesting views …..and friends, who gave them Nazi medals in the years before Pearl Harbor and Auschwitz. Today, they could just say Israel behaves like an animal and smirkingly know the code is intact.

A third story involves the rather recondite issue of a Connecticut Senator and former Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman, a decent man cheerfully and openly religious and Jewish. It looks like he has a good chance to be bounced from office, despite having been an effective and good Senator for his state, because he supports the Iraq War and President Bush. This is hammered on in the various media, but the cowardice of those hiding behind the war issue is rather stunning. The moderate to far left in this nation have been working to drop Lieberman for Ned Lamont as Democratic nominee, whose sole known endearing factor is he wants us out of Iraq now. And, true, Lieberman seems to have, since he ran on a national ticket, an overly elevated view of himself, and this in contrast to the view his running mate currently has of himself.

I truly think that what upsets the Left and unites those against Lieberman is that they fear he is actually manipulating the US to work as a tool of Israel, a sort of Masada Candidate, to keep the Hollywood theme to this. To a degree, no doubt Lieberman is prejudiced in Israel’s overall favor – it would take an idiot to think otherwise. But that’s no more ominous than our own prejudices towards our own distant homelands, be it Britain or Mexico. Nothing surprising or treasonous about that.

But Mexico and Britain don’t currently get the huge, incredibly huge, amounts of aid and money that we give to tiny Israel. If you’re conservative, you can bewail the taxes to pay for it. If you’re liberal, you can bewail the use to which it is put. Nobody notes the US underwrote other nations, but especially the British in the first half of the 20th Century, and for pretty much the same reasons. Those nations were fighting an enemy of ours, sometimes unadmitted. They fought while we profited, an accusation commonly made against others for two thousand years previous. Huh.

The American Left refuses to publicly make value judgments about governments and cultures. They pat it all under shape as concern for The People, rather than politics or - god forbid! – economic benefit, especially to corporations. To a degree, that’s true. To another degree, it’s cowardice. They aren’t willing to say that the current Islamic cultures – just about all of whom are currently and stupidly at war – are, bluntly, not competent or, in extreme cases, civilized at all. They would rather not be blamed by anyone, or shoulder any unpleasant decision for the long term, and would feign action rather than expedite it.

I see few differences in the disgusting content of Mel Gibson’s disturbance than in the President of Iran’s speeches, or half the world's mosques on any given day. Israel is convenient as enemy to cover Islam’s own failures to provide. Israel has behaved like a punk bully risen high often enough with its stupid settlements, its theocratic veto, and the odd attack on an ally’s warship. But in the grim light of history, and truth, Israel is a far better and ethical entity than its enemies.

That few will say that is not kinda like anti-Semitism, it’s the very definition of it. At some point, we need to admit it along with Mel.