Friday, September 21, 2007

Baseless accusation confirmed

Do they hate us because we complain, or do we complain because they hate us?

Michael Gerson's op-ed, "Seeds of Anti-Semitism," is one of the few I've read that emphasize, if superficially, the historical angle of the Walt-Mearsheimer accusation. In context, one sees that their argument has been made and discredited endless times throughout history. Anyone familiar with the history of this conspiracy theory is bound to doubt that its latest incarnation is any more reliable than the others. This, not knee-jerk, Holocaust-related reaction, explains a good part of why so many rolled their eyes at news of a work on 'the Lobby.'

Gerson's op-ed is just forceful enough to set forth a long string of comments, most of which pretty much confirm his thesis, including one beginning, "This Iraq war manufactured for you by the following Jewish Americans," followed by a list of names. This comment cleverly brings in a jibe about Jews being capitalistic exploiters. Well done!

Predictably, Gerson refuses to refer to the work as anti-Semitic. So it's acceptable to describe the argument as being just that, but saying so makes one a whiny Jew or Jew-sympathizer. (I do not know Michael Gerson's religio-cultural identity nor do I care to Google it). At least one of the commenters attributes this refusal to a lack of conviction on Gerson's part: "It must pain Gerson that he cannot call Walt and Mearsheimer anti-semites. Not only can he not do that-because it seems he has at least some minimal appreciation for the facts and sound judgement-but he does not have the standing to weigh in with such academics." Really, he might as well have just said it. If you're going to complain, do it right.

1 comment:

G said...

Awareness.

That is the key.