Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Moment of Clarity

While I could never say times of changed, it does seem like a moment or two of clarity has entered the American debate on our foreign policy and the smears that are used to try and silence any debate US policy towards Israel.

It all started with the pathetic performance of xx to paint Professor Rashid Khalidi as an anit-Semite and then associate him with Obama, both of which are false claims. The attempt was exposed in an especially graphic way in this short interview of Michael Goldfarb, McCain Campaign manager on loan from uber-neocon Bill Kristol's The Weekly Standard.

Gleen Greenwald does an amazing job documenting the negiative response from including heavy weights such as Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic and this great quote from Joe Klein of Time.

Here we have the McCain campaign's execrable Michael Goldfarb slinging around accusations of anti-semitism--a favorite pastime, as we've seen this year, among Jewish neoconservatives. . . . I'd say that if we have a bigot here, it's Mr. Goldfarb who, if he's intent on calling people antisemitic--or any other epithet--should be required to provide chapter and verse, which he does not do on CNN. (I'd also like to know on what basis CNN's Rick Sanchez can stipulate that Khalidi is antisemitic.)

Joel Klein has take heat for calling out the Neocon bias towards Israel in the past. His specific calling out of "Jewish neconservatives" is extremely impressive.

Greenwald comments on this by saying:

Had it been 2003, [Klein probably would have been out of a job]. But it didn't end "badly" or "sadly" for Klein. Quite the contrary, he continued criticizing neocons at least as aggressively and unapologetically -- actually, even more so -- and not only was he undeterred by the standard neocon "anti-semitism" rants, he became increasingly defiant in his refusal to suppress his critiques.

I find his final comments heartening:

But this episode illustrates what neocons have been doing for years and, more significantly, signals that the efficacy of this tactic is finally coming to an end. Open debates about U.S. policy towards Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are vital, and people should be able to engage in those debates and be able to take legitimate positions, as Professor Khalidi has plainly done, without hordes of right-wing manipulators swarming on them with anti-semitism accusations.

We are far away from this, but at least now we can see occasional victories and glimmers of hope.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you think about an Israeli becoming Obama's Chief of Staff ?

11/07/2008 02:16:00 AM  
Anonymous daveg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/07/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I am not happy, but I won't be worried until I see another hawk appointed, like a Harman or a Ross.

If that does happen I hope the netroots crowd will react strongly.

11/07/2008 07:51:00 AM  

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