Sullivan wants Rosenthal to be called an “antisemite” but neocons disappoint him … as they have in the past

This is how my colleague Jeffrey Goldberg responded to this comment:

Talk about sticking your nose in places where it doesn’t belong. The Obama Administration official charged with monitoring worldwide anti-Semitism makes her first target… the Israeli ambassador to the United States? I’ll be taking bets now on how long Hannah Rosenthal lasts in the job.

First, this is untrue. As you can see, in this same interview she is highly critical of the UN and brutally frank about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East.

Well, I don’t know if Goldberg is being “untrue,” but he was overgeneralizing. Goldberg was trying to say that her first official statements include criticism of a representative of Israel, as opposed to criticizing the official acts or representatives of any specific country, as it relates to Jews or Israeli Jews. For example, she could have mentioned  democratic countries that voted in the UN to support the Goldstone Report and explained why these votes were short-sighted and feckless, and could help contribute to antisemitism.

Goldberg’s actual position that Sullivan decides to glide past for his own convenience is that Rosenthal’s opinion on Oren and the J-Street conference ( — does Sullivan even know how many anti-Zionists it attracted, according to the accounts of Jonathan Chait and Maththew Yglesias, for example? — ) was not fit for the interview she was giving as antisemtism envoy in the same way comments about the UN Human Rights council would be.

But for simply criticizing Oren’s direct intervention in domestic Jewish-American politics, and his picking and choosing which pro-Israel group to snub or endorse, she is beyond the pale.

How long before she too is called an anti-Semite? Or has she been already?

No, she hasn’t been called an “antisemite,” and based on the interview, of course she won’t be. Is Andrew for real?  Or is he just letting his rhetoric get ahead of his dedication to “the constant struggle” required “to see what is in front of one’s nose” [his favorite Orwell quote] ?

As I wrote yesterday, she hasn’t been accused of being anti-Israel by Radosh or any of Andrew’s neocons. In the same interview im which Radosh and others are complaining about, it’s obvious that Rosenthal is “pro-Israel” so they don’t dispute that. It’s equally obvious (but maybe not to the Dish) that many others who support J-Street stretch the meaning of the phrase “pro-Israel” until they sound as pro-Israel as Israel’s formal “ally,” the President of Turkey.

Sullivan’s dark neocon stereotype does not seem to have been confirmed by the facts of the case, and he seems unable or unwilling to grasp this.

(BTW, we learn from the Ha’aretz interview that Rosenthal, like Allen Dershowitz, is a member of AIPAC and Americans for Peace Now, a leftist organization about which neocons don’t complain and which disagrees with AIPAC — sorry, AS, for the getting a degree more complex on this than you might appreciate.)


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