FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

George Will and Anti-Semitism

 

In his most recent Washington Post article, political pundit, George Will levels the charge of anti-Semitism against left-leaning intellectuals. This accusation, which is entirely without merit, comes from a journalist, who, during his dubious career has eagerly attacked blacks, aliens, Muslims and, his favorite “whipping boy”, liberals. His animus towards these groups is only partially disguised by the lofty rhetoric he employs to hide his own deep-seated prejudices.

Nevertheless, voices like Will’s are becoming increasingly commonplace as the marketplace of ideas has been reduced to the shrill invective issuing from America’s right wing think tanks.

Will defines these leftist intellectuals in a circuitous, Rumsfeld-like language, “people who think about ideas-about thinking-but also people who think they do.” If the intention is sarcasm, it’s lost in its oblique delivery.

Mr. Will continues, speaking in the voice of an alleged “leftist” anti-Semite, “We do not dislike Jews, we only dislike Zionists-although to live in Israel is to endorse the Zionist enterprise, and all Jews are implicated, as sympathizers, in the crime that is Israel.”

This is a sweeping statement and one that lies at the heart of attacks on liberals as anti-Semites. Will deftly conflates anti-Semitism with resistance to the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. What is striking about Will’s comment is that by his own logic both Colin Powell and George Bush anti-Semites, since they have both publicly advocated a two-state solution.

This is how pundits like Mr. Will back themselves into an intellectual cul-de-sac. They begin with assumptions that are entirely untenable and then they invoke linguistic trickery to hide their feeble argument. In reality, no defense is possible. The issue was decided decades ago when the world body agreed “unanimously” that Israel should accept the 1967 borders as the legitimate boundaries of the Palestinian State.

That hasn’t changed.

That won’t change.

Regardless of the legions of op-ed writers like Will who are employed to defend the indefensible, and regardless of the benign-sounding language (“security barrier”) used to mask the brutal reality on the ground; the facts remain the same. Israel is in violation of UN resolutions, continues to ignore the clear intentions of the world community, and shows no willingness to change. In fact, the violence and land theft has only increased under Sharon.

There’s nothing “leftist” intellectuals can do about this, nor is their anything anti-Semitic about pointing it out. It simply demonstrates a commitment to basic principles of social justice. Only the Israeli leadership can affect a substantive change. And, much like the American leadership, Israel’s government is not reflective of the collective will of the people, 56% of who STILL WANT A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT. (Even after three years of unrelenting war and acrimony)

This proves that Will’s opinion is in the minority even in Israel.

As for the charge of anti-Semitism, it should be noted that Will’s “selective indignation” was never aroused when Muslims were being locked up wholesale in the US after 9-11. Nor has he been outspoken about the disgraceful and lawless two year detention of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay. He hasn’t wasted one word on their account.

With George Will civil rights and personal liberties are only defended if you have the right pedigree; Muslims and liberals need not apply.

And, Will’s distain for Muslims couldn’t be more obvious. He opines on the “Arab world’s addiction to political lunacy”; a dismissive and racist comment that would never be directed at Jews, but can safely be levied at Muslims without fear of reprisal.

It’s just another illustration of the intolerance and bias that dominate Will’s writings. It’s clear that if it wasn’t for double standards, he’d have no standards at all.

Taking a broader view of the nagging problems of discrimination and bigotry, Mr. Will can be consoled in knowing that both are safely accounted for in their natural quarters, the right wing of the Republican Party.

MIKE WHITNEY can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail