Newt Gingrich, the “so-called” historian, courts the Jewish base at the expense of yet another minority. The problem with Newt’s hypothesis is that Jewish people here and in Israel will not fall for Gingrich’s obvious race baiting. It’s a terrible and shameless case of pandering on Gingrich’s part…
Another Republican pandering for the Jewish vote by making an extremist and ridiculous statement.
We’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab community and they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel since the 1940s. It’s tragic.
What is tragic is that this 1980s dinosaur has even the remotest of chances of becoming President. Insulting Palestinians by declaring them to be an “invented” people is another sign of how disastrous a Gingrich foreign policy would be. He’s also declared he’d move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ’cause you can never stoke those flames of division enough.
And worst of all, Gingrich has said he’s considering neocon nutcase John Bolton as his choice for Secretary of State which just about guarantee another war within two years of a Gingrich presidency.
Newt Gingrich – the stupid man’s smart man.
You know the Occupy movement is working when Right-wingers start trying to smear the massive movement…
Right-wing figures like Bill Kristol are pushing the idea that Occupy Wall Street is anti-Semitic to scare Jews and embarrass politicians like Obama, but the tactic is not gaining traction.
When your cries of anti-Semitism fail to rile the Anti-Defamation League, you might be on the wrong track.
That, however, has not stopped various right-wing figures from pushing the idea that Occupy Wall Street is a hotbed of Jew hatred. A group called the Emergency Committee for Israel, co-founded by Bill Kristol, is running television ads designed to scare Jews about the movement and embarrass politicians who’ve been sympathetic to the protesters. They feature footage of three men saying hateful things about Jews, before a voiceover asks: “Why are our leaders turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic, anti-Israel attacks? Tell President Obama and Leader Pelosi to stand up to the mob.” Since then, other conservatives have ceaselessly amplified the message, while complaining that the rest of the media is ignoring rampant bigotry on the left.
But the Anti-Defamation League, which no one can accuse of ignoring anti-Semitism, has been less than alarmed. In a statement, ADL head Abraham H. Foxman expressed concern about a few anti-Semites who’ve showed up at the protests, but said, “There is no evidence that these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are representative of the larger movement or that they are gaining traction with other participants.” Indeed, when Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen went to the demonstrations searching for bigots, he failed to find any. “This was my second visit to the Occupy Wall Street site and the second time my keen reporter’s eye has failed to detect even a hint of the anti-Semitism that had been trumpeted by certain right-wing websites and bloggers, most prominently Bill Kristol,” he wrote.
This is not to say that there is no one at Occupy Wall Street, or its many national offshoots, expressing despicable views. Protests always attract fringe characters, particularly when they provide free food and warm clothes to all comers. The footage that the Emergency Committee for Israel used is real, though somewhat disingenuous. For example, one of the ad’s anti-Semites, a guy holding a sign saying “Google: Zionists Control Wall Street,” has since been identified as a homeless man known to picket the area with such placards before the protests even began. Occupy Wall Street has tried desperately to get rid of him, but the police have (correctly) refused to eject him, citing his free-speech rights. “This guy with the Google Zionist banker sign, nobody wants him there,” says Daniel Sieradski, a Jewish activist who organized an open-air Yom Kippur service at Occupy Wall Street, attended by almost 1,000 people. “Everybody is harassing him, screaming at him, totally flipping out on him. Everybody wants him gone, and the police say if you have a right to freedom of assembly so does he.”
All one has to do is see how the folks at the “Values” Voter Summit behaved in past conferences.
As all of the major GOP presidential contenders prepare to speak at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) annual Values Voter Summit, the Southern Poverty Law Center is holding a press conference and has published an ad in the Washington Post reminding the candidates and the press that the groups behind the event “spread lies designed to demonize the LGBT community,” Muslims, Mormons, Jews, and others:
Some would interpret their view as wanting us to accept all religions without persecution of any particular religion. In fact, The Establishmet Clause in the First Amendment speaks to that very issue:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
But leading conservative strategist Karl Rove called the notion that the U.S. is Christian “offensive” on Fox News last night. “We are based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, we derive a lot from it, but if you say we’re a Christian nation, what about the Jews, what about the Muslims, what about the non-believers?” Rove said the president, in one of his books, inaccurately quoted Rove as calling the U.S a “Christian nation,” a misquote he was clearly offended by.
What is wrong with some people on the Right? Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo says it best:
I thought Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” comment was crude and stupid. And I understand that many found it offensive, though I can’t say I was really offended in any personal way. The truth is very few things actually offend me. But this actually did. The Washington Times says that the reaction to Palin is part of an “ongoing pogrom” against conservatives in America.
That strikes me as offensive and even disgusting.
I really don’t know what’s with these people.
A Washington Times (not to be confused with The Washington Post) editorial defends Sarah Palin’s use of the phrase “blood libel” in the wake of the Tucson shootings, by calling media criticism of Palin “the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers.”
Palin had been criticized for using the term “blood libel” to characterize media attacks against her, because of associations between “blood libel” and persecution of Jews in Europe. The term has its roots in the false charge that Jews would murder children and use their blood in religious rituals.
The choice by the Times to describe media attacks as “pogroms” is even more unfortunate since the term usually refers to destructive riots that targeted Jews during the time of the Russian Empire, and often resulted in massacres.
Palin had been criticized for posting a map of the U.S. last year with gunsights over 20 Dem districts that were targets for Republicans, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head on Saturday. Palin responded to the criticism in a video this week: “Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.” More…
Salon’s War Room is reporting updates on various political pundits’ reaction to Sarah Palin’s video…
UPDATE (12:59 EST): War Room editor Steve Kornacki’s response
Salon’s own Steve Kornacki explains that “This is why Palin ’12 just won’t work:”
Her defiant statement today will reinforce Republicans’ growing doubts about the wisdom of nominating her… FULL POST
UPDATE (12:33 EST): A roundup of the pundits
Digby scoffs at Palin’s attempted martyrdom, and name calling, on Hullaboo:
Memo to conservative morons: there’s a perfectly good all-American term to express your perpetual feeling of victimhood. It’s called “waving the bloody shirt.”
You don’t have to use the phrase “blood libel.” It’s inappropriate to use the term cavalierly at any time, but especially inappropriate when the real victim was Jewish.
Adam Serwer goes in depth on “The foolishness of the ‘blood libel’ charge:”
“Blood libel” is not wrongfully assigning guilt to an individual for murder, but rather assigning guilt collectively to an entire group of people and then using it to justify violence against them.
This is a new low for Palin, but outsize comparisons of partisan political conflict to instances of terrible historical oppression is a fairly frequent rhetorical device among conservative media figures.
Jonah Goldberg, similarly, on the attempt to coopt a very old (and loaded) phrase:
I should have said this a few days ago, when my friend Glenn Reynolds introduced the term to this debate. But I think that the use of this particular term in this context isn’t ideal. Historically, the term is almost invariably used to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews use blood — usually from children — in their rituals. I agree entirely with Glenn’s, and now Palin’s, larger point. But I’m not sure either of them intended to redefine the phrase, or that they should have.
UPDATE (12:23 EST): Josh Marshall in brief
TPM editor Josh Marshall:
Today has been set aside to honor the victims of the Tucson massacre. And Sarah Palin has apparently decided she’s one of them.
UPDATE (11:59 EST): Dave Weigel weighs in
It’s the other part, that the coverage of Palin served “to incite the very hatred and violence” that liberal pundits were condemning. She doesn’t say it, but I assume Palin got angry or hateful e-mails, and possibly some death threats, in the wake of the shooting.
Sarah Palin just made her horrendous week worse with her new video in which she accuses her political critics of “blood libel.”
This gaffe — demonstrating both an ignorance of religious history and language — tops a disastrous week: her crosshairs map has been Exhibit A in the discussion of the use of gun-related imagery in political rhetoric. But her PR has been woefully inadequate in explaining the map away as “surveyors symbols.” Her TLC show will not be renewed by TLC, her chances for a successful run at the presidency have been downgraded, and even Barbara Walters expressed “feeling a bit sorry for her.” Palin, however, has remained aloof and cocooned in Wasilla, while hired minions wipe her Facebook page constantly so that negative comments do not show up. So how is Barracuda Barbie a.k.a. Queen Esther shaping her response? The persecution meme.
Palin’s typical pattern is that she takes a phrase from somebody (in this case, possibly Glenn Reynolds, writing in the Wall Street Journal), picks it up, and uses it for her own. In today’s debacle, referring to criticism of her “crosshairs” map as a “blood libel,” Palin shows that even if six people are killed, it’s still all about her. The strategic release of this video, before President Obama travels to Arizona today for a memorial service, shows her self-serving political ends. In addition to misuing the term blood libel — which historically refers to the accusation that Jews murder Christian babies — her additional reference to dueling shows that she will not retreat from any violence-laden speech.
Blood libel, a term rooted in medieval Christianity, started as a rumor that Jews were killing Christian babies, and using their blood to mix into matzoh. The blood libel, refuted first by Pope Innocent IV through a series of papal bulls, has nonetheless persisted throughout history as a way for Christians at times to scapegoat Jews. Palin, by calling the media’s alleged persecution of her a “blood libel” plays into this evil history by inference. But does she understand how this comment of blood libel appears anti-Semitic? Not only is Rep. Giffords Jewish, but accusing the media of “blood libel” could be seen as playing into anti-Semitic memes that Jews control the media. More…
If I recall correctly, despite the incessant vilification of ACORN from the right, all investigations and court documents show that ACORN was not guilty of the many accusations hurled at that organization…
With ACORN now officially out of business, conservative ire has found a new focal point: billionaire George Soros.
As the one-man bank behind a plethora of liberal causes, seemingly lefty nonprofits, reviled media outlets like NPR, Democratic candidates and agitating websites like Media Matters, Soros has received an awful lot of attention in the past year, much of it from the commentators at Fox News. In fact, at Fox, Soros’ name has replaced ACORN as the new synonym for all that is wrong with the world.
The past week alone two rather significant Soros stories have made news:
Soros helped the Nazis hunt Jews?
Glenn Beck, who often speaks of Soros as a liberal “puppet master,” unleashed a three-day prolonged attack on the man last week, alleging, among other things, that Soros, who is Jewish, helped the Nazis hunt down fellow Jews during the occupation of Hungary. Those claims did not go down so well with Jewish groups.
“Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top. For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say — inaccurately — that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific,” The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles said in a statement.
Sarah Palin staffer on Soros’ payroll?
Salon.com gleefully pointed out today that one of Sarah Palin’s staffers is, in fact, on Soros’ payroll. Randy Scheunemann, one of Palin’s foreign policy advisers, runs a D.C. consulting firm Called Orion Strategies, Salon reported, that since 2003 has been paid more than $150,000 for lobbying work by the Open Society Policy Center, one of Soros’ outfits.
As Politico’s Ben Smith points out, the Scheunemann-Soros connection really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
There’s no gotcha, and no contradiction, here. Despite Soros’s left-leaning domestic politics and his sympathies for the Palestinians — the issues that make headlines here — his biggest investment, and his historic impact, was in dismantling real Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. He backed dissidents before the Soviet Union collapsed, and anybody who spent time out there in the ’90s saw a new liberal civil society of which he was the earliest and most important underwriter. His work to undermine Burma’s brutal dictatorship is an extension of that.
In fact, as The New York Times pointed out today, Soros, the so-called puppet master, has even been used as something of a political puppet by the government of Iran, which suspects the billionaire of plotting to overthrow that nation’s government.
Still, back in the United States, it is conservatives like Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin who rail the loudest about Soros’ influence and designs on America’s future. And the heart of the critique is perhaps best summed up by Beck himself, who stated on his program that “not only does [Soros] want to bring America to her knees financially, he wants to reap obscene profits off us as well.”