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HATRED OF ISRAEL AND JEWS IMPERILS US ALL

by Cinnamon Stillwell

  

All around the world, a perfect storm is brewing. Under the guise of anti-Zionism or opposition to Israel's existence as a Jewish state, forces from all walks of life are converging. An unholy alliance has formed of Islamists, leftists, conspiracists, Jewish anti-Semites, Neo-Nazis and certain Paleoconservatives, the one commonality among them all being hatred for Israel and Jews. Whether it's medieval blood libels, Holocaust denial, belief in Jewish domination of the media and undue influence over American foreign policy or demonizing Israel and exonerating its enemies, the old canards are alive and well.

Such beliefs have long infected the ranks of the American left, whose newspapers during the first Gulf War in 1990-91 featured screaming headlines about how it was all the fault of the "Zionists." As a leftist myself at that time, I saw this de-evolution taking place and as a post-9/11[1] pro-American, pro-Israel counter-protester, I witnessed firsthand[2] the virulence of such hatred. Seeing Jewish leftists parrot the same propaganda made it even more nauseating. The stain of anti-Semitic conspiratorial thinking, along with anti-Christian sentiment, had conveniently traveled from the Muslim world to American shores.

This trend was propelled forward by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Almost immediately after 9/11, a ridiculous rumor began circulating that 4,000 Jews had been warned beforehand about the attacks by the Israeli government. It was based on a Jerusalem Post article[3] describing the Israeli government's attempt to account for the number of its citizens in the area of the WTC and the Pentagon on 9/11. This conspiracy theory was dismissed by many at the time as irrational and short-lived. But today, there are thousands of 9/11 conspiracists who believe it, among other inanities, to be true and their numbers are growing.

The remarks of Prince Alaweed Bin Talal, the Saudi sheik whose check for $10 million was refused by then-Mayor of New York City Rudy Guiliani, was another early indication of where things were heading. Bin Talal's comments at Ground Zero about America's support for Israel being the cause of the attacks would soon become mainstream fare.

There are certainly those on the right who share in such thinking. Paleocons such as Pat Buchanan, an otherwise intelligent and articulate speaker for the cause of conservatism, have a blind spot when it comes to America's alliance with Israel.

Arguing from an isolationist standpoint, Buchanan feels that America is endangered by its alliance with Israel. He seems to suffer from the mistaken belief, shared by many on both the left and the right, that were the U.S. to stop supporting Israel, Islamic terrorism would cease to exist. But in doing so, they buy into the logic, such as it is, of America's enemies.

It is not Israel that is causing Islamists to embark on a genocidal mission to kill the world's "infidels," along with any Muslims who stand in their way. Indeed, the Islamists' hostility towards Israel demonstrates not a nationalist struggle, but rather a supremacist ideology that refuses to tolerate non-Muslims living as equals in their midst.

As two western democratic nations facing the same ideological foe, America and Israel are natural allies. Israel's contributions[4] to this relationship are rarely if ever mentioned by its opponents, as no other ally provides the U.S. with such incredible military, agricultural, technological, medical and scientific advances. Unmanned aerial vehicles, rotorless helicopters for military rescue missions, a device that detects explosives in small electronic equipment, a hydrogen car that runs on water, drip irrigation, a new drug treatment that halts the spread of cancer cells, the first ingestible video camera, Pentium MMX Chip technology, the firewall, Avid video editing software and the world's largest solar plant are just a few examples. And this is the ally some would have us toss to the wolves?

If former congressmen Paul Findley and Pete McCloskey[5] had their way, this would indeed be the outcome. They use their previous membership in America's political establishment to spread the worst sort of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic canards. In fact, they formed an organization for this very purpose called the Council for the National Interest[6](CNI).

The CNI's most recent outreach effort came in the form of a full-page advertisement[7] in the New York Times in November featuring an offensive cartoon and a headline asking, "Who is Holding Peace Hostage?" Predictably, the CNI ad blamed the Mideast conflict, the war in Lebanon and the war in Iraq on the "Israel Lobby." Never mind that Israel has rarely if ever been the initiator of violence with its neighbors. Or that the Israeli government stood to gain no more from the deposing of Saddam Hussein in Iraq than any other hostile regime in the region. Or that American Jews overwhelmingly opposed the war in Iraq. Once again, Jews must be held responsible for all that's wrong with the world.

If any dare stand up and speak out against such fallacies, they are immediately vilified as being part of the "Israel/Jewish Lobby." But what's wrong with Jews getting involved in politics and defending their interests like any other group in America? It's interesting that the various Arab, Hispanic, Asian and Black "lobbies" don't seem to cause quite so much consternation. Yet for some reason when it comes to Jews, it's seen as the result of a nefarious plot.

Former President Jimmy Carter seems to think so.[8] At a time when anti-Jewish sentiment is at its apex, Carter comes out with the inflammatory and inaccurately titled book, Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid. Putting forth the usual litany of anti-Israel talking points, Carter's book also touches on the "Israel Lobby." While careful not to use that exact term in his book or during interviews, Carter has indeed spoken of what he believes to be the undue influence of AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and other pro-Israel activist groups in the United States. But claiming that such forces impede true dialogue about the Mideast conflict while traveling the country on a book tour and appearing on CSPAN's BookTV and countless other media outlets seems just a tad disingenuous.

When confronted with charges of bigotry, Carter has reacted with wounded indignation. But the incredible damage his book is doing to the climate of anti-Semitism, both within this county and without, is undeniable.

That it was publicized against the backdrop of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's international conference on Holocaust denial last week didn't help. The conference was a chance for Islamists, Neo-Nazis, the self-hating Jews of the anti-Zionist Naturei Karta sect and so-called historians to gather in Tehran and expose what they called the "lie of the Holocaust."

At the root of Ahmadinejad's holocaust denial[9] is a desire to perpetrate the next holocaust against the Jewish people. But this time, it will be nuclear. By trying to illegitimize the founding of the nation of Israel, he hopes to make its destruction more palatable. Ahmadinejad daily expresses his desire to "wipe Israel off the map" and to live in a "world without Zionism" even as he strengthens Iran's nuclear capabilities in the face of a waffling international community.

Just as in the 1930s when Adolph Hitler was on the rise and the world looked the other way, many today dismiss Ahmadinejad's threats as the ravings of a madman. But if the history of WWII has proven anything, it's that such individuals can do incredible damage. What began as an obsession with killing Jews led Hitler to slaughter[10] millions of Germans, Russians, Poles, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Catholics, Christians and the disabled, not to mention trying to conquer the world, beginning with Europe. As has often been said, what befalls the Jewish people has a nasty habit of spreading outward.

America too is in the crosshairs of today's perpetrators of hatred. If we allow them to create a world without Israel, just imagine what a world without America would look like.

Footnotes

1. http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/homeland.php?id=119531

2. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2005/02/24/cstillwell.DTL"

3. http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/02/10/JerusPost120901.html

4. http://www.newsoftheday.com

5. http://newsbusters.org/node/3739

6. http://www.cnionline.org/

7. http://www.cnionline.org/nyt4.pdf

8. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2006/12/13/cstillwell.DTL"

9. http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA30706">Ahmadinejad’s holocaust denial<

10. http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/fivmil.htm

 
Cinnamon Stillwell is a columnist for SFGate.com, the online arm of the San Francisco Chronicle and a contributing editor to FamilySecurityMatters.org. For more information, visit http://www.cinnamonstillwell.com/. To read Cinnamon's blog, visit: http://www.cinnamonstillwell.blogspot.com.

The original article can be found at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/ and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/homeland.php?id=511393

 

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