Thursday, February 08, 2007

TNR on the New Anti-Semites

In an article that looks somewhat reasonable in the New Republic they discuss the new [non] anti-semtitism.

Is there a growing trend among American intellectuals (and former presidents) toward anti-Semitism? That is what a number of recent articles, essays, and speeches--the latest on "The Poisoning of America" from Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive director of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the Herzilya conference--would suggest. Some of these statements stop short of saying that Tony Judt, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, Tony Kushner, and Jimmy Carter (to name some of the best know targets) are anti-Semites. Instead, they say that what they have written is anti-Semitic or encourages anti-Semitism.

Mathew Yglesias highlights this part of the piece:

There is a paradox that haunts these charges of anti-Semitism. On the one hand, Rosenfeld, Harris, and others want to deny that American Jews and American Jewish organizations like AIPAC suffer from dual loyalty in trying to influence U.S. foreign policy. It's anti-Semitic or contributes to anti-Semitism, they say, to make that charge. On the other hand, they want to demand of American Jewish intellectuals a certain loyalty to Israel, Israeli policies, and to Zionism as part of their being Jewish. They make dual loyalty an inescapable part of being Jewish in a world in which a Jewish state exists. And that's probably the case. Many Jews now suffer from dual loyalty--the same way that Cuban-Americans or Mexican-Americans do. By ignoring this dilemma--and, worse still, by charging those who acknowledge its existence with anti-Semitism--the critics of the new anti-Semitism are engaged in a flight from their own political selves. They are guilty of a certain kind of bad faith.




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