“antisemite” is now meaningless, when spoken by people The Dish calls neoconservatives

The post on Jeffrey Goldberg’s blog right now that should be most important to Andrew Sullivan is a response to Sullivan’s cries about “neocons” looking to brandish Rosenthal’s “scalp” and his seeming to align Jeffrey Goldberg’s criticisms of Rosenthal with the neoconservative line. Sullivan chooses to cowardly bypass Goldberg’s direct response and critique of The Dish, by highlighting a different post on Goldberg’s blog, more specifically one line from a Goldblog reader:

Now Jeffrey Goldberg Is An Anti-Semite!

Or, at least, according to one of his readers, moving ” towards the gutbucket swampland of blood libels” because he dares to criticize some settlers who are “a more or less normal group of people who are living in the land of their forefathers.”

Actually, Goldberg’s reader was not accusing him of being an antisemite, just contending that he was falling back on a good-people-vs-bad-settlers argument that seemed to map on to other people’s blood libels. (And the reader doesn’t allude to an impulse of “self-hate” at all.)

Furthermore, Sullivan is misrepresenting this reader, who did not base his argument on “the land of their forefathers” but rather on the demographic and colonial problem the settlers bring upon the Israeli state:

You completely misrepresent the situation – and move towards the gutbucket swampland of blood libels – when you claim that Israelis have lost patience with the settler movement because it’s murderous. That’s simply not true. Many Israelis are fed up with the settlers because of the demographic problem, the pressure of international opinion, and the moral problems that arise from ruling over another people. And judging from the results of the last election, many more Israelis believe that giving up the West Bank means missles over Ben-Gurion Airport.

So the reader’s argument is in fact based on a different way of criticizing the Israeli’s settlers, having to do with the dangerous potential of Israel’s settlement policy. Sullivan agrees with those ramifications. Yet his eyes don’t let him see his area of agreement with the reader but rather a degree of disagreement that somehow signifies “the neocons” for him. Sullivan continues:

The neoconservative use of the anti-Semite card is so ubiquitous and so vile and so cheap it has become meaningless.

Q: Where is the elaborate political ideology in the Goldblog reader’s email that exposes him as a neoconservative? A: Nowhere … err, except in Andrew head.

So the take-home implication of this post is, unfortunately: if you disagree with Andrew Sullivan about Israel, just one degree closer to Israel’s current settlement policy, he has the right to call you a neoconservative … and reject anything you see as antisemitism.

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3 Responses

  1. […] you have told us means any complaint about antisemitism from a person you determine to be with the […]

  2. Don’t you know? He’s a neocon because he’s transparently Jewish (or at least Israeli).

  3. […] Um … into the hands of Andrew? […]

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