Stop Blaming the (Jewish) Neo-Conservative Cabal!

By Frum, David | Moment, September-October 2008 | Go to article overview

Stop Blaming the (Jewish) Neo-Conservative Cabal!


Frum, David, Moment


Who wrote the following?

"The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives--people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary--plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties...."

Pat Buchanan? The notorious British MP George Galloway? No--it was Joe Klein, a Jewish columnist for Time Magazine, writing on the magazine's website on June 24, 2008.

Okay, how about this explanation of the U.S.-Israel relationship: "The pro-Israel lobby has been remarkably successful in suppressing criticism." Jimmy Carter? The head of Aramco? No again: That was from Holocaust survivor George Soros.

See if you can identify who replied thus to a question about the likelihood of war with Iran: "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers."

Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney? Some ranting imam recorded by MEMRI.org? Nope. It was General Wesley Clark, descendant of Jewish immigrants from Belarus.

Finally, who would dare suggest that Jews see the Holocaust as a device that "authorizes Jews to make [claims] upon the international community"? David Irving? Once again, no: It is Tony Judt, a descendant of a line of Lithuanian rabbis and a distinguished professor at NYU.

Since 9/11, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have gained a new audience in the United States and around the world. These theories have often won unexpected endorsements. In 2002, for example, The New Statesman--an English publication whose board of directors was once ornamented by John Maynard Keynes--published a story titled "A Kosher Conspiracy," illustrated with a cover image of a shiny golden Star of David piercing and crushing a flattened Union Jack. In this country, the conspiracizing comes courtesy of the distinguished house of Farrar Straus & Giroux, publishers of The Israel Lobby by Professors Walt and Mearsheimer. The American variant is rather less explicit than the British version, but no less sinister.

These examples are only the most lurid manifestation of a broader trend. I cannot even begin to tally how many hundreds of times in the past half-dozen years I have been asked the same question: "So tell me about the role of the [long pause] neocons in the Bush administration?" The question is asked with excruciating embarrassment by German journalists, with guileless bluntness by Korean civil servants and with every possible range of emotion in between--but it is always, always asked, sustained by a global media campaign of breathless insinuation.

What can one say in reply? …

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