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Friday, June 4, 2010

The "Israel-Firsters" Slur Rears Its Ugly Head

According to the most recent Gallup poll, support among Americans for Israel over the Palestinians is at a near all time high. 63% of Americans (more than voted for Barack Obama) support Israel, while only 15% support the Palestinians, with 23% choosing "both/neither/no opinion."

Despite this overwhelming support, which must come overwhelmingly from American Christians given the percentages, supporters of Israel regularly are smeared with the term "Israel-Firster" by a wide spectrum of fringe players, from neo-Nazis to far leftists.

The term Israel-Firsters is a favorite term of outright anti-Semites like David Duke, who seek to portray American Jews as disloyal. This is just a variation on the age-old anti-semitic theme that Jews cannot be loyal to any country.

But the term is not limited to neo-Nazis and former Klan leaders. The phrase has been used by people and groups who urge a more "balanced" approach to Middle East policy, but who cannot make the argument on the merits, so they seek to paint Israel's supporters as disloyal. Groups such as The American Educational Trust and people like Michael Scheuer use the term.

In fact, the entire "Israel-Firster" theory is at the core of the complaints about the "Israel Lobby," the view that it is not possible that Americans come to support Israel on the merits. There must be some sort of Jewish cabal twisting public opinion and policy.

The term also is used by the far left of the Democratic Party. Phillip Weiss of Mondoweiss, a virulently anti-Israel Jewish blogger, uses the term, as does M.J. Rosenberg, who blogs at HuffPo and works for Media Matters. The use of the term by Jews is their way of proving their über loyalty.

Glenn Greenwald used the term just days ago to smear Rep. Anthony Weiner and others in Congress who voiced support for Israel over the Turkish flotilla provocation:
Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress -- Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel -- today not only defended Israel's attack (obviously) but also, revealingly, pronounced: "Even if we are the only country on earth that sees the facts here, the United States should stand up for Israel." In other words: who cares how isolated it makes us or what harm we suffer? What matters is not American interests, but Israel.
Joe Klein also used the term to attack supporters of Israel's interception of the flotilla: "Right on schedule, the Likudnik Israel-firsters over at Commentary throw down the gauntlet."

The "Israel-Firster" smear is as old as the oldest hate, so it is not surprising that it rears its ugly head at this time of international trouble.

The fact that the slur is used so frequently by leftist Jews reflects that in the information war against Israel, all is fair in the eyes of the American left.

Update: Joel Engel, who now blogs at The Death of Common Sense, wrote an interesting article for The Weekly Standard in 2004, From Me to Jews, on the ease with which Democrats embraced people like Al Sharpton:
The evidence is overwhelming that acceptable anti-Semitism has moved from right to left on the political continuum, and that its philosophical home now resides in the Democratic party, which has become less the party of liberals than of leftists.
I think the situation is far worse now. Leftist Jews regularly use verbiage and imagery which would be declared to be anti-Semitic if used by non-Jews, because they have lost the war for the hearts and minds of the American public. The reversion to ancient stereotypes and blood-libels is sickening and reflects the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

Related Posts:
Soldiers With Pens In The Information War Against Israel
Pallywood Meets The Gaza Blockade (Or, "Did You Hear The One About How Palestinians Can't Eat Chocolate?")
Eliot Spitzer Pwns Glenn Greenwald

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  1. Why should being Jewish inoculate someone from the charge of being an antisemite? I was baptized Catholic (even though not practicing), so under Catholic Church rules, I am as much Catholic as Joe Klein is Jewish. But if I say that all Catholics are child molesters, that makes me an anti-Catholic bigot, regardless. So why do lefty Jews get a free pass on antisemitic bigotry.

  2. ...reflects the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the left-wing of the Democratic Party.

    I wasn't aware there was another wing. A more correct statement would have omitted the words "the left wing of."

  3. "It could never happen here".

    Another delusional bromide from the past. One of the most frequently asked questions about Nazism and the holocaust has always been: "How could they let that happen?"

    As Glenn Beck said yesterday, it is happening here today and we should all be thinking about what we will tell our grandchildren when they ask "What did you do about it?"

    It starts with thinking, then saying, then doing. I have lots of confidence in Americans but not confidence at all in our government, all of it. Our government has been taken over by leftist pod people answering to some foreign alien master.

  4. The Democratic Party became morally bankrupt years ago when it was taken over, or more accurately, it embraced the New Left. In fact, when the Democrats embraced all the radicals of society in the '60s and '70s -- student protestors on college campuses, counterculture hippies, black nationalists, radical feminists, gay rights advocates, radical environmentalists, avowed Marxists and Socialists, and just about every radical variant thereof, it gave rise to the original neoconservative movement.

    New York intellectuals like Irving Kristol, Nathan Glazer, Daniel Patrick Moynihan among others, all loyal Democrats, opposed the radical leftward shift and created the neoconservative movement within the Democratic Party to counter it. Over the past 40 years, the Democratic Party continued its leftward shift, and the neocons ultimately lost their voice within the Democratic Party and either voluntarily left or were purged from it. The current generation of neo-cons are solid Republicans. There are a few "mainstream" Democrats like Evan Bayh, Blanch Lincoln, Mark Warner and Ben Nelson, but they are by far a small minority.

    Obama is the poster boy for the current Democratic Party - he was raised by a radical extremist parent and grandparents, who developed a close friendship with a radical domestic terrorist in Bill Ayers, and who sat in a black liberation theology church listening to anti-semitic and America hating rhetoric for 20 years.

    He represents perfectly what the Democratic Party has become over the past 40 years.

  5. "The term also is used by the far left of the Democratic Party."

    AKA, the Democratic Party establishment, and, "mainstream" Democrats.

  6. "...the view that it is not possible that Americans come to support Israel on the merits. There must be some sort of Jewish cabal twisting public opinion and policy."

    But it already is happening here, in a different sphere--doesn't this sound creepily similar to the claim that if you oppose Obama's agenda of change for America, it can't possibly be for any reason other than racism?

  7. There are people commenting here who are nurturing a glaring blind spot about the Republican Party. You are giving a free pass to a party that has yet to issuing even a peep about what is going on. Does it help to remind people that Weiner and Schummer, the only ones I've heard protest, are Democrats?

    No, we have a corrupt and entrenched one-party system and the elitist big government GOP (Assistant Democrats) is doing its usual "Ole!" as the latest bull charges past them and towards the Democrats. They are opting to bide their time until November when they expect to win in a landslide by virtue of not being Democrats.

    If CA is any indicator, we won't like the new GOP candidates that get elected anymore than we liked the ones we kicked out in 2006 and 2008. And it is no coincidence that the usual RINO retreads (Gingrich, Romney, Guiliani, Palin, Huckabee, etc..) are already being paraded past us in preparation for the 2012 presidential campaign.

    It is absolutely critical that we clean house in 2010 or 2012 will be a disaster. People like me will vote 3rd party again if we asked to again choose between a Democrat running as a Democrat and a Democrat running as a Republican.