Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism

Many of our friends on the political Left bend over backwards to defend vituperative critics of Israel from charges of anti-Semitism. Those offering ahistorical, myopic denunciations of the lone Jewish state, they say, aren’t anti-Semitic. Rather, they’re anti-Zionist.

That’s not, we must say, the soundest of defenses: If, as anti-Zionists, they gainsay the Jews–and only the Jews–the right to a national homeland, they haven’t proven their militant anti-Semitism in our eyes. Whereas there are, of course, numerous critics of specific Israeli policies who aren’t motivated by anti-Semitism, it doesn’t require too much brainpower to recognize that some anti-Israeli animus has more sordid roots.

Interestingly, however, many organs of the Left don’t see it this way. Although these publications perceive racism, homophobia, and sexism to be omnipresent, they simply can’t track down any legitimate incidents of anti-Semitism.

Take The Nation, for example. This beacon of the “progressive” Left is constantly bleating about anti-Muslim hysteria, anti-black racism, and the like. Yet it happily offers column space to an unhinged Jew-hater such as Gore Vidal, whose toxic ramblings, if directed against any other minority group, would have the Nationistas up in arms. (For Mr. Vidal’s disgraceful rants on American Jews as guilty of dual loyalties, one should turn to Norman Podhoretz’s 1986 Commentary article “The Hate That Dare Not Speak its Name.”)

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had reason to reflect on this matter when pondering a topic seemingly unrelated to the subject at hand. As we have noted in our humble “weblog,” a common tactic of the American Left is to brand those opposed to illegal immigration as xenophobic.

In the example we offered on our “website,” for instance, The New York Times labeled the Minutemen “a fiercely anti-immigration group” (i.e., xenophobic). This, of course, is an utter untruth: The Minuteman Project officially supports legal immigration and merely opposes illegal immigration. Yet the folks at the Gray Lady weren’t interested in making this crucial distinction.

So what gives? Why are many leftists keen to nitpick about charges of anti-Semitism, yet content to offer unfair blanket denunciations of those opposed to illegal immigration?

It seems clear to us that, in the view of many leftists, not all examples of prejudice are malign. Thus the slightest concern about illegal immigration becomes hysterical anti-Latino fervor, and vicious excoriations of Israel haven’t even a whiff of anti-Semitism.

Curious, isn’t it?

(The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently pondering the ways in which Israel, a state around the size of Vermont, is entirely to blame for all the pathologies of oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.)

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